#157 August 5, 2021
It’s Kubernetes release day! The team that launched v1.22 of everyone’s favourite cluster management software was led by Savitha Raghunathan, Senior Platform Engineer at MathWorks. Savitha joins host Craig Box to talk contribution, containers and cricket.
Do you have something cool to share? Some questions? Let us know:
CRAIG BOX: Hi, and welcome to the Kubernetes Podcast from Google. I'm Craig Box.
JIMMY MOORE: And I'm Jimmy Moore.
CRAIG BOX: I read an article today. It's not a new article, but it was going around the internet. And it talks about life before smartphones. That got me thinking. Over the last week, we've had what I call very spotty, patchy weather here. It's a British thing. We have to talk about the weather.
But basically, it's rained on and off for maybe 30, 40 minutes at a time. And one of the things that my phone will do is it will tell me, through its use of weather radar and hyperlocal weather apps-- it'll say it's about to rain. And pretty accurately, almost down to the nearest minute, it'll tell me this. And I'll be able to seek shelter and know when it's going to end. And I don't know how I'd live without that.
JIMMY MOORE: Yeah, in San Francisco, we have microclimates. It's literally maybe 10 or 15 degrees difference depending on the neighborhood that you're in. And frankly, I'd like that to be a little better, or just to know when the fog is going to be gone. Because that's actually not something we predict well, but perhaps in the future.
CRAIG BOX: Two questions, then-- can you race around the neighborhoods? Can you say, well, I know where the rain is going to be in this neighborhood, so therefore I've got to zip out to the next one on my Lime scooter or whatever it is?
JIMMY MOORE: Oh, yes, you have your Lime scooter, your Lyft scooter, your Uber scooter, you've got all the scooters, and you can zip around, depending. Unfortunately, the buses aren't fully up to speed again yet. But we've got the scooters.
CRAIG BOX: My second question about San Francisco is, how do you feel about the fog having a personality and a name? Does it make you feel better knowing that the fog's name is Karl, with a K?
JIMMY MOORE: Absolutely. It's harder to hate Karl. He peeks up around the mountain in the middle of town, and you're like, oh, there's Karl. Stick around over there. Sometimes, he listens and stays back. Sometimes, he's coming and just taking full over. But he's beautiful, actually, and so keeps me at a nice 65 degrees Fahrenheit while the rest of the West Coast are at 100-and-something degrees. So I love Karl for now.
CRAIG BOX: That's 18 degrees for those of us in the old-money world.
JIMMY MOORE: Or the rest of the world.
CRAIG BOX: Now, you escaped the fog in San Francisco last week and headed off down to LA for a few days.
JIMMY MOORE: Yes, big old La La Land. My partner and I went and visited family friends of ours, a family of four, mom and dad and two kids, which was new for us, yeah. But we went to Universal Studios, so I love theme park life.
CRAIG BOX: Given that there's been closures and openings of things over time, what's the current state of theme parks where you are?
JIMMY MOORE: Yeah, they actually did a great job. Southern California, now all of California, is back in a mask mandate for indoor locations. So we did that. Most of the time, most of what we were doing was outside. But we kept our masks on anyway because it's just as easy. And it was pretty warm, but lots of shade and great California air.
But I think people are ready to keep their masks on and take care of what we need to do. They're not checking vaccinations at a theme park, but they were definitely encouraging social distancing and masks and lots of opportunities to eat outside in the shade. So I thought they did a great job, actually.
CRAIG BOX: If the in-person KubeCon does end up going ahead in October-- and I will probably bet either side of that-- there is a group outing being arranged to go to Disneyland. Can you give people who might be attending a theme park for the first time some Jimmy Moore theme park advice?
JIMMY MOORE: Craig, you have just touched on what I should probably have my PhD in, OK? I lived in Orlando for many years. I worked at both Walt Disney World and Universal. I was a skipper on Jaws. If you know, you know. And I just love the theme parks. So I spent a lot of time there, and I definitely have some great tips. So number one is, start early. Go when the park opens. Everyone else is disoriented.
Get to the good rides, right? Go to the back of the park. Hit your Harry Potter. Hit your Space Mountain, whatever you're going to do. Also, if the park's set up in a circle. Don't go left. That's where everyone goes. Go to the right, right? And you'll be able to hit up quite a few things. Single-rider lines are your best friend. You don't need to be with your family for that three minutes. Just get on the ride. It cuts the weight down by half, if not more. We literally walked right on the Transformers ride.
CRAIG BOX: But what about those photos that they take and try and sell you at the end?
JIMMY MOORE: I mean, you don't really want that anyway. You're going to buy it. It's a waste of money. That's a top tip. Don't spend money on those things. Take a picture of the screen. I'm not representing the Walt Disney Company or Universal with that statement, but I'm just telling you, it's true.
CRAIG BOX: I will admit to having a few pictures of screens in my camera roll.
JIMMY MOORE: Absolutely. And you know what? Nobody looks at it again. I love actually taking a video on a roller coaster of me and the people behind me. It's super fun. I will also say, use the shows as an opportunity to sit down and take a break. And when I used to go with my buddy, I would say, if you need sunscreen or you need something, find a mom with a stroller. They have everything in that thing. So those are my tips for good life at the theme park.
CRAIG BOX: I went to Universal Studios a few years back, and I will leave out with my top tip, which is I went on the simulator ride. It was the Simpsons ride. I'm not sure if that's what it still is. But you get in a little vehicle, and you're thrown around, and it simulates being on a roller coaster. But the strangest thing I found is that you can feel, obviously, the pit of your stomach, the butterflies. If you close your eyes on a simulator ride, it all just goes away. You don't feel anything at all.
JIMMY MOORE: It does. You need all the senses engaged to make it actually feel real. Otherwise, you just feel like you're being bumped around. And if you're getting a little swirly, like on Harry Potter, that's a pretty intense ride, highly recommended. But yeah, close your eyes. Things calm down.
CRAIG BOX: If only that were true for the rest of the world. Let's get to the news.
CRAIG BOX: Kubernetes 1.22 has been released, with over 50 enhancements in areas such as security, API, and Windows support. Listen to today's interview for more details. If, after that, you're inspired to join the Kubernetes 1.23 release team, you can find a link to the sign-up form in the show notes.
JIMMY MOORE: The Linkerd service mesh has announced its graduation in the CNCF. The fifth project to join the foundation, Linkerd watched 10 other projects join later and graduate sooner, and then convinced the powers that be to relax the "must have maintainers from more than one company" rule. The project has seven maintainers, all employed by its creator, Buoyant, but was granted a waiver because it could, in theory, one day have more.
CRAIG BOX: In March, we brought you the news of the Sigstore initiative and the Cosign project. And since then, we've talked to both Dan Lorenc and Priya Wadhwa from the team. Not six months later, we can announce that the Cosign container signing tool has hit version 1.0, marking its general availability and readiness for production use. Congratulations to the team, incidentally, also seven maintainers, with contributors from 32 organizations.
JIMMY MOORE: If the inevitable rejection of your KubeCon proposal left you in tears, the team from Cloud Native Rejekts, with a K, has returned to soothe your pain. The conference, which we spoke about in episode 79, runs again on the 9th and 10th of October, the weekend before KubeCon. It aims to run both in person in Los Angeles and online, and CFPs close August 13.
CRAIG BOX: Well worth missing the theme park for. The team behind Kalm with a K went through Y Combinator and heard, during their research, that getting a Git Ops pipeline set up was too hard. Their answer is Koncrete, also with a K, a cloud-hosted continuous delivery system for Kubernetes built on Argos CD. Koncrete has a free tier and starts at $30 a month for paid, with the team currently soliciting feedback on their product market fit.
JIMMY MOORE: In the YC class before that one, there was a startup called Nestybox, who built an open source container runtime called sysbox. Sysbox lets you run full systems that you would previously have had to run on a VM, but it only worked in Docker. The team has added Kubernetes support, letting you run secure rootless workloads next to your regular pods. The Community Edition is free on GitHub, and the Enterprise Edition starts at $33 a month.
CRAIG BOX: Curiefense, a tool which I have previously described as "a web application firewall plugin for Envoy", has added support for NGINX. Thus, I shall now describe it as "a web application firewall plugin for Envoy or NGINX". It is open source, with a premium product to launch soon. Might we suggest $30 to $33 per month?
JIMMY MOORE: It is the going rate. Congratulations to Replicated, whose CEO Grant Miller joined us in episode 143. They've just announced a $50 million series C investment led by OwlRock. They'll be using at least some of that cash on their home office reimbursement program, which covers up to $10,000 per year per employee for their fully remote workforce.
CRAIG BOX: Lots of updates in the Kubernetes-based platform space this week. Deckhouse, a Kubernetes platform from Flant, is generally available. Deckhouse uses raw cloud infrastructure to build a consistent Kubernetes-based environment upon which they can offer a 3 and 1/2 nines SLA. You can get a community, enterprise, or hosted edition.
Red Hat has released version 4.8 of OpenShift, offering sandbox to containers, serverless functions, and improvements to the developer console. Red Hat Systems added new features to its Kubernetes managed cloud, including enterprise-wide dashboards, single click upgrades, and configuration overrides for multiple deployments.
JIMMY MOORE: VMware's Tanzu team maintains a suite of templating in application deployment apps called Carvel. The project has added a new feature-- kapp-controller, a package manager for Kubernetes. They wanted something that was like RPM, Apt, or Brew but seem to have failed to find Helm in all of their Google searches. It builds on their "kapp" specification for deploying locally written or provided code to the cluster.
CRAIG BOX: Finally, if you wanted to go one click simpler, Porter, not to be confused with the Microsoft tool of the same name, wants to be your Heroku on top of Kubernetes. The founding team announced a $1.5 million seed round this week to help with that goal. From the same YC class as Nestybox, Porter is the SAAS the runs in your own cloud where you pay for your own hosting. You can use their open source version or call them for pricing.
JIMMY MOORE: And that's the news.
CRAIG BOX: Savitha Raghunathan is a senior platform engineer at MathWorks, and the release team lead for the recently released Kubernetes 1.22. Welcome to the show, Savitha.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Hey, Craig. Thanks for having me on the show. How are you today?
CRAIG BOX: I'm very well, thank you I've interviewed a lot of people on the show, and you're actually the first person who's bothered asking me.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I'm glad. It's something that I always do. I just want to make sure the other person is good and happy.
CRAIG BOX: Well that's very kind of you. Thank you for kicking off on a wonderful foot there. I want to ask first of all-- you grew up in Chennai. And my association with Chennai is the Super Kings cricket team. Was cricket part of your upbringing?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Yeah. Actually, a lot. My mom loves watching cricket. And then I have a younger brother. And when we were growing up, we used to play cricket on the terrace. Everyone surrounded me, my best friends-- and even now, my partner loves watching cricket, too. Cricket is a part of my life.
I stopped watching it a while ago, but I still enjoy a good game.
CRAIG BOX: It's probably a bit harder in the US. Everything's in a different time zone. And I find, obviously, with my cricket team being on the other side of the world, that it's a lot easier when they're playing near me as opposed to trying to keep up with what they're doing when they're playing at 3:00 in the morning.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: That is actually one of the things that made me lose touch with cricket. I'm going to give you a piece of interesting information. I never supported Chennai Super Kings, by the way. I always supported Royal Challengers of Bangalore.
I once went to the stadium, and it was a match between the Chennai Super Kings and the RCB. I was the only one who was cheering whenever the RCB hit a 6, or when they were scoring. And I got the stares of thousands glares, people looking at me. I'm like, what are you doing? My friends are like, you're going to get us killed. Just stop screaming.
CRAIG BOX: Well, first of all, I hear you. As a New Zealander in the UK, there are a lot of international cricket matches I've been to where I am one of the few people dressed in the full beige kit. But I have to ask, why an affiliation with a different team?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I'm not sure. When the IPL came out, I really liked Virat Kohli. And he was playing for RCB at that time. And I think pretty much that's it.
CRAIG BOX: Well, what I know about the Chennai Super Kings is that their coach is New Zealand's finest batsmen and air conditioning salesman, Stephen Fleming.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Oh, Really?
CRAIG BOX: Yeah, he's a dead ringer for the guy who played the yellow wiggle back in the day.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Oh, interesting. I remember the name, but I cannot put the picture and the name together. I stopped watching cricket once I moved to the States. And then all my focus was on studies and extracurriculars. I have always been an introvert. And the campus-- it was a new thing for me, so they had international festivals.
And every week, they'd have some kind of new thing going on. So I'd go check them out. So I won't participate, but I did go out and check them out. That was a big feat for me around that time because a lot of people-- and still, even now, a lot of people-- they kind of scare me. I don't know how to make a conversation with everyone.
I'll just go and say, hi, how are you? OK, I'm good. I'm just going to move on. And I'll just go to the next person. And after two hours, I'm out of that place.
CRAIG BOX: Perhaps a pleasant side effect of the last 12 months-- a lot fewer gatherings of people.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Could be that, but I'm so excited about KubeCon. But when I think about it, I'm like, oh my God. There's going to be a lot of people. What am I going to do? I'm going to meet all my friends over there.
Sometimes I have social anxiety like, what's going to happen?
CRAIG BOX: What's going to happen is you're going to ask them how they are at the beginning, and they're immediately going to be set at ease.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I hope so they do.
CRAIG BOX: Let's talk a little bit, then, about your transition from India to the US. You did your undergraduate degree in computer science at the SSN College of Engineering. How did you end up at Arizona State?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I always wanted to pursue higher studies when I was in India, and I didn't have the opportunity immediately. Once I graduated from my school there, I went and I worked for a couple of years. And my aim was always to get out from there and come here, do my graduate studies.
Eventually, I want to a PhD. I have an idea of what I want to do. I always wanted to keep studying. If there's an option that I could just keep studying and not do work or anything of that sort, I'd just pick that other one. I'll just keep studying.
But unfortunately, you need money and other things to live and sustain in this world. So I'm like, OK, I'll take a break from studies, and I will work for a while.
CRAIG BOX: The road to success is littered with dreams of PhDs. And I have a lot of friends who thought that that was the path they were going to take. And they've had a beautiful career and probably aren't going to go back to it. Did you use the Matlab software at all while you were going through your schooling?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: No, unfortunately. So that is a question that everyone asks. I have not used Matlab. I haven't used it even until now. I don't use it for work. I didn't have any necessity for my school work. I didn't have anything to do with Matlab. I never analyzed or data processing or anything with Matlab. So unfortunately, no.
Everyone asks me like, you're working on the MathWorks. Have you used Matlab? I'm like, no.
CRAIG BOX: Fair enough. Nor have I. But it's been around since the late 1970s, so I imagine there are a lot of people who will have come across it at some point. Do you work with a lot of people who have been working on it the whole time?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Kind of. Not all the time, but I get to meet some folks who are working on the product itself. Most of my interactions are with the infrastructure team and platform engineering teams at the MathWorks. One other interesting fact is that when I joined the company-- MathWorks has extensive internal curriculum for training and learning, which I really love. They have intuitive Matlab. And that's in my bucket of things to do.
And it was like 500 years ago. I added it, and I never got to it. I'm like, OK, maybe this year at least I want to get to it and I want to learn something new. My partner-- he used Matlab extensively. And he misses it right now at this current employment. And he's like, you have the entire license. You have access to the entire suite and you haven't used it? I'm like, no.
CRAIG BOX: Well, I have bad news for the idea of you doing a PhD, I'm sorry.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Another thing is that none of my family knew about the company MathWorks and Matlab. The only person who knew was my younger brother. And he was so proud. He was like, oh my God.
When he was 12 years old, he started getting involved in robotics and all the stuff. And that's how we got introduced to Matlab. And he goes absolutely bananas for the swag. So all the t-shirts, all the hoodies-- any swag that I get from MathWorks goes to him, without saying.
Of all the five, six years, the things that I've got-- there was only one sweatshirt that I kept for myself. And everything has just given it to him. And he cherishes it. And he's the only one in my family who knew about Matlab and MathWorks.
Now, everyone knows because I'm working there. And they are like, initially, I don't even know this company name. Is that like Amazon? I'm like, no. It's like we make software that can send people to the moon. And we also make software that can do amazing robotic surgeries and even make the car drive on its own. So that's something that I take immense pride.
I know I don't directly work on the product, but I'm enabling the people who are creating the product. I'm really, really proud about it.
CRAIG BOX: I think Jeff Bezos is working on at least two out of three of those disciplines that you mentioned before, so it's maybe a little bit like Amazon. One thing I've always thought about Matlab is that, because it's called Matlab, it solves that whole problem of Americans call it math, and the rest of the world call it maths. And why do the Americans think there's only one math?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Definitely. So I had trouble-- so growing up in India, it's always British English. And I had so much trouble when I moved here. So many things changed.
One of the things is maths. I always got used to writing maths, physics, and everything.
CRAIG BOX: They don't call it physic in the US, do they?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: No, no, they don't. Luckily, they don't. So that still stays physics. But math-- I had trouble. It's maths. Even when you do the full abbreviations like mathematics and you are still calling it math, I'm like, mm.
CRAIG BOX: They can do the computer science abbreviation thing and call it math 7S or whatever the number of letters is.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Just like Kubernetes. K8’s.
CRAIG BOX: Yeah, so your path to Kubernetes is through MathWorks. They started out as a company making software which was distributed in a physical sense and boxed copies, if you will. I understand now there is a cloud version. Can I assume that that is where the two worlds intersect?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Kind of. I have interaction with the team, that supports Matlab on the cloud, but I don't get to work with them on day-to-day basis. But yeah, kind of. They use Docker containers. And they are building the platform using Kubernetes. So yeah, a little bit of that.
CRAIG BOX: So what exactly is the platform that you are engineering day to day?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Providing Kubernetes as a platform, obviously-- that goes without saying-- to some of the internal development things. And in the future we might expand it to more teams within the company. So that is a focus area right now. So that's what we are doing. In the process, we might even get to work with the people who are deploying Matlab on the cloud, which is exciting.
CRAIG BOX: Now, your path to contribution to Kubernetes, you've said before, was through fixing a 404 error on the Kubernetes.io website. Do you remember what the page was?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I do. So I was going to something for work, and I came across this changelog in Kubernetes [INAUDIBLE] page listed. So once you get to the release page, and then, there would be a long list of changelogs.
And one of the things that I fixed was the person who worked on the feature had changed their GitHub handle, and that wasn't reflected on this page. So that was my first. I got curious and clicked on the links. And then one of the link was the handle. And then that went to 404. And I was like, yeah, I'll just fix that.
They have done all the hard work. They can get the credit that's due. And it was easy. It wasn't overwhelming for me to pick it up as my first issue because before that I logged on around Kubernetes for about six to eight months without doing anything because it was just a lot.
CRAIG BOX: Now, one of the other things that you said your initial contribution is that you had to learn how to use Git. As a very powerful tool, I find Git is a high barrier to entry for even contributing code to a project. When you want to contribute a blog post or documentation or a fix like you did before, I find that to be almost impossible to think how a new user would come along and do that. What was your process? And do you think that there's anything we can do to make that barrier lower for new contributors?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Of course. So there are more and more tutorials available these days. There is this new contributor workshop. They actually have a Git pull request, how to do a pull request and stuff like that. I know a couple of folks from SIG documentation that are working on what Git commands that you would need or how to get from writing something small and getting it committed. But more tutorials or more links to intro to Git would definitely help.
The thing is also, someone like a documentation writer-- they don't actually want to know the entire Git. Honestly, it's an ocean. I don't know how to do it. Most of the time, I still ask for help even though I work with Git on day to day basis. There are several articles and a lot of help available already within the community. Maybe you could just add a couple more to the Kubernetes dev. That is an amazing site for all the new contributors and existing contributors who want to build code, who want to write documentation.
We could just add a tutorial there like, hey, don't know Git, you are new to Git? You just need to know these main things.
CRAIG BOX: I find it a shame, to be honest, that people need to use Git for that, by comparison to Wikipedia where you can come along, and even though it might be written in Markdown or something like that, it seems like the barrier is a lot lower. Similar to you, I always have to look up anything more complicated than the five or six Git commands that I use on a day to day basis. And even to do simple things, I basically just go and follow a recipe which I find on the internet.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: This is how I got introduced to one of the amazing mentors in Kubernetes. Everyone knows by his name, DIMMs. This was my second PR to the Kubernetes website, and I made a mistake. And I destroyed the Git history of whatever. I could not push my reviews and comments, like what about the reviews and comments I got, I addressed them. I couldn't push them back.
And my immediate thought was to delete it and recreate, another pull request. But then I was like, what happens to others who have put already effort into reviewing them? And I asked for help. And DIMMs was there.
I would say I just got lucky he was there. And he was like, OK, let me walk you through. So we did troubleshooting through Slack messages. So I copy pasted all the errors. Every single command that he said I copy pasted. And then he was like, OK, run this one. Try this one. And do this one.
And finally, I got it fixed. So you know what I did? I went and I stored the command history somewhere else in my local for the next time when I run into this problem. Luckily, I haven't. But I find the contributor so helpful. They are busy. They have a lot of things to do, but they take moments to stop and help someone who's new.
That is also another part. The reason why I stay-- I want to contribute more. It's mainly the community. It's the Kubernetes community. I know you asked me about Git, and I just took the conversation to Kubernetes community. And that's how my brain works.
CRAIG BOX: A lot of people in the community do that and think that's fantastic, obviously, people like DIMMs who are just floating around on Slack and seem to have endless time. I don't know how they do it.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I really want to know the secret for the endless time. Only if I have 48 hours in a day, I would sleep for 16 hours. And I would use the rest of the time for doing the things that I want.
CRAIG BOX: If I had a chance to sleep up to 48 hours a day, I think it'd be a lot more than 16. Now, one of the areas that you've been contributing to Kubernetes is in the release team. In 1.18, you were a shadow for the docs role. You led that role in 1.19. And you were a release lead shadow for versions 1,20 and 1.21 before finally leading this release-- 1.22, which we will talk about soon.
How did you get involved? And how did you decide which roles to take as you went through that process?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: This is the question that I love to talk about. This was fresh when I started learning about Kubernetes and using Kubernetes at work. And I got so much help from the community. And I got interested that I want to contribute back.
And there was this first KubeCon that I attended in 2018, Seattle. They had this speed mentoring session. Now, they call it pod mentoring. So I went to the speed mentoring sessions. And then I said, hey, I want to contribute. I don't know where to start. And I got a lot of information on how to get started with.
And one of the things was the SIG release and release team. I came back and diligently attended all the SIG release meetings for four to six months. And in between, I applied to the Kubernetes release team-- 1.14 and 15. I didn't get through. So I took a little bit of break, and I focused doing some documentation work. And I applied for 1.18.
Since I was already working on some kinds not full fledged documentation-- documentation, I still don't write. I eventually want to write something really nice and full fledged documentation like other awesome folks.
CRAIG BOX: You'll need a lot more than 48 hours in your day to do that.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: (laughs) That's how I applied for the docs role, because I know a little bit about the website. I've done a few pull requests and commits. That's how I got started. And I applied for that one role. And I got selected for the 1.18 team. That's how my journey just took off.
And the next release, I was leading the documentation team. And everyone knows. the pandemic hit. So it was one of the longest releases. I could lean back on the community. I would just wait for the release team meetings. It was my way of coping up with the pandemic.
It took my mind off. It was actually more than the release team. They were all people first, and we took care of each other. So it felt good.
And then, I became a really lead shadow for the 1.20 and 21 because I wanted to know more. I wanted to learn more. I wasn't ready. I still don't feel ready, but I have led 1.22. So if I could do it, anyone could do it.
CRAIG BOX: How much of this work is day job?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I was lucky to be blessed with an awesome team. I do most of my work after work, but there have been times where I have to take the meetings and attend to immediate urgent stuff during the time of exception, breakfast and stuff like that. I take a little bit of time from my work.
So my team has been wonderful. They support me in all possible ways. And the management as well, although in the meetings I don't do much of the work during the day job. it just takes my focus and attention away too much. And I end up having to do a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, which I don't like.
Before the pandemic I had a good work life balance. And I'd just go to work at 7:00, 7:30, and I'd be back by 4 o'clock. I never touched my laptop ever again. And I left all work behind when I came home. So right now, I'm still learning how to get through stuff.
I try to limit the amount of open source work that I do during the work time. The release lead shadow and the release lead job-- they require a lot of time, effort. So on an average, I'd be spending like two to three hours post work time on the release activities.
CRAIG BOX: Before the pandemic, everyone was worried that if we let people work from home, they wouldn't work enough. And I think the opposite has actually happened, is that now we're worried that if we let people work from home, they will just get on the computer in the morning and you'll have to pry it out of their hands at midnight.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Yeah, I think the productivity has increased by at least a couple folds, I would say, for everyone once they started working from home.
CRAIG BOX: But at the expense of work life balance, though, because as you say, when you're sitting in the same chair in front of, perhaps, the same computer doing your MathWorks work and then your open source work, they kind of can blur into one perhaps.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: That is a challenge. I face it every day. But so many others are also facing. I implemented a few little tricks that would help me. Like when I used to come back home from work, the first thing I do is remove my watch. That means that's the indication that OK, I'm done.
So that's the thing that I still do. I just remove my watch, and I just keep it right where my workstation. And I just close the door so that I never look back. Even going past the room, I don't get the glimpse of my work office. So I start implementing tiny little things like that to avoid the burnout.
I think I'm still facing a little bit of burnout. I don't know if I have fully recovered from it. I constantly feel like I need a vacation. And I could just take a vacation for like a month or two. If it's possible, I will just do it.
CRAIG BOX: I do hope that travel opens up for everyone as an opportunity because I know that, for a lot of people, it's not so much they've been working from home but they've been living at work. And the idea of taking vacation effectively means, well, I've been stuck in the same place if I've been under a lockdown. And it's hard to justify that. And it'll be good as things improve worldwide for us to be able to start focusing more on mental health and perhaps getting away from the "everything room," as I sometimes call it.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I'm totally looking forward to it. I hope that travel opens up and I could go home and I could meet my siblings and my aunt and my parents.
CRAIG BOX: Catch a cricket match?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Yeah. Probably yes, if I have company and if there is anything interesting happening around the time. I don't mind going back to the stadium and catching a match or two.
CRAIG BOX: Let's turn now to the recently released Kubernetes 1.22. Congratulations on the launch.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Thank you.
CRAIG BOX: Each launch comes with a theme and a mascot or a logo. What is the theme for this release?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: The theme for the release is reaching new peaks. I am fascinated with a lot of space travel and chasing stars, Milky Way. And what's the best place to do is over the top of a mountain. So that is the release logo, basically. It's a mountain-- Mount Rainier. On top of the Mount Rainier, there is this Kubernetes flag. And it's overlooking a Milky Way.
And it's also symbolic that with every release, that we are achieving something new, bigger, and better. And we are making the release awesome. So I just wanted to incorporate that into the team as for like, we are achieving new things with every release. So that's the reaching new peaks theme. So that's a little bit background about the logo and the team.
CRAIG BOX: The last couple of releases have both been incrementally larger as a result, perhaps of the fact there are now only three releases per year rather than four, and also changes to the process where the work has been driven a lot more by SIGs than by the release team having to go and ask the SIGs what was going on. What can you say about the size and scope of the 1.22 release?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: The 1.22 release-- this is the largest release to date. We have 56 enhancements if I'm not wrong. And we do have a good amount of features that's graduated as stable. And you can now say that Kubernetes as a project has become more mature because you see new features coming in. At the same time, you see the features that were new getting duplicated. So we have like three deprecations in this release.
Aside from that fact, we also have a big team that's supporting one of the longest release. And this is the first official release cycle after the cadence cap got approved. So officially, we are at four months, even though the 1.19 was six months, and 1.21 was like 3 and 1/2 months, I think, this is the first one after the official cap approval.
CRAIG BOX: What changes did you make to the process knowing that you had that extra month?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: One of the things the community had asked for is more time for development. So we tried to incorporate that in the release schedule. We had about six weeks between the enhancements freeze and the code freeze timeline. That's one.
And it might not be visible to everyone, but one of the things that I want to make sure was that the health of the team-- since it was a long, long release, we had time to plan out, and not everyone worked during the weekends or during their evenings or time off. So that actually helped them keeping the sanity in and also making good progress and delivering good results at the end of the release. So that's one of the process improvements that I'd call.
We got better by making a post at least during the exception request process timelines because everyone worked around the world and there were-- people from the UK would start a little earlier than the people in the US East Coast. That, and the West Coast starts like three hours later than the East Coast. So we used to make a post every Friday evening feeling like, hey, we actually received this many requests. And then we have addressed a number of it. We are waiting on a couple or whatever. And then all the release team members are done for the day. And we will see you around on Monday. Have a good weekend. Something like that.
So we set the expectations from the community as well. We understand things are really important and urgent, but we are done. This give everyone their time back. They don't have to worry over the weekend thinking like, hey, what's happening? What's happening in the release? And they could spend time with their family, or they could do whatever they want to do, like go on a hike or just sit and watch TV.
There have been weekends that I just did that. I just binge watched series. That's what I did.
CRAIG BOX: Any recommendations?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I'm a big fan of Marvel, so I have watched the new Loki, which I really love. Also, Loki is one of my favorite characters in Marvel. And I also like the One Division. That was good, too.
CRAIG BOX: I've not seen Loki yet, but I've heard it described as the best series of Doctor Who in the last few years.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Really?
CRAIG BOX: There must be an element of time traveling in there if that's how people are describing it.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: You should really go and watch it whenever you have time. It's really amazing. I might go back and watch it again because I might have missed bits and pieces. And that happens always to Marvel movies and the episodes, that you need to watch them a couple of times to catch, oh, this is how it's relating. Oh, this is how it probably related to something else.
CRAIG BOX: Yes, the mark of good media that you want to immediately go back and watch it again once you've seen it. Let's look now at some of the new features in Kubernetes 1.22, a couple of things that have graduated to general availability-- service side apply, external credential providers, a couple of new security features in the replacement for pod security policy has been announced. And Set Comp is now available by default.
Do you have any favorite features in 1.22 that you'd like to discuss?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I have a lot of them. And all my favorite features are related to security. And one of them is not security, but a major theme of my favorite caps are from security. I'll start at the default Set Comp. I think it would make the clusters secure by default. And we assist in preventing more vulnerabilities, which means less headache for the cluster administrators.
This is close to my heart because the base of the platform is provisioning Kubernetes clusters. So knowing that they are secure by default will definitely provide me some good sleep. And also, I'm paranoid about security most of the time. And I'm super interested in making everything secure. It might get in the way of making the users of the platform angry because it's not usable in whatsoever way.
My next one is the rootless moored containers. So that feature's going to enable the cluster admin, the platform developers to deploy Kubernetes components to run the username space. And I think that is also a great addition. And like you mention, the most awaited drop in for the PSC application-- the PSC replacement is here.
It's part admission control. It lets cluster admins apply the port, security standards. And I think it's just not related to the cluster admins. I might have to go back and check on that. Anyone can probably use it-- the developers and the admins like.
And it also supports various molds, which is most welcome. There are times where you don't want to just cut the users off because they are trying to do something which is not securely correct. You just want to warn them, hey, this is what you are doing. This might just cause a security issue later. So you might want to correct it. But you just don't want to cut them off from using the platform for them trying to attempt and do something-- deploy their workload and get their day-to-day job going. That is something that I really like, that it also supports a warning mechanism in there.
And another one which is not security is node swap support. Kubernetes-- they didn't have support for swap before, but it is taken into consideration right now. This is an alpha feature. With this, you can take advantage of the swap, which is a provision in the Linux VMs and everything.
And some of the workloads-- when they are deployed, they might need a lot of swaps for the start-up-- example, like node in Java applications, which I just took it out of their cap user stories. So if anyone's interested, they can go and look in the cap. That's useful. And it also increases the node stability and whatnot. So I think it's going to be beneficial for a lot of folks.
And we know how Java and containers work. I think it has gotten better, but five years ago, it was so hard to get a Java application fit in a small container. It always needed a lot of memory swap and everything to start up and run. So I think this will help the users and help the admins and keep the cost low. And it will tie into so many other things as well. So I'm excited about that feature.
Another feature that I want to just call out-- I don't use Windows that much, but I just want to give a shout out to the folks who are doing an amazing job bringing all the Kubernetes features to Windows as well to give a seamless experience. One of the things is that Windows privileged containers. I think it went alpha this release.
And that is a wonderful addition, if you ask me. It can take advantage of whatever that's happening on the Linux site. And they can also pull it over and see, OK, I can now run Windows containers in a privileged mode.
So whatever they are trying to achieve, they can do it. So that's a noteworthy mention that I made. I'm like, OK, I need to give a shout out for the folks who work and make things happen in the Windows ecosystem as well.
CRAIG BOX: One of the things that's great about the release process is the continuity between groups and teams. There's always an emeritus advisor who was a lead from a previous release. And one thing that I always ask when I do these interviews is, what is the advice that you give to the next person? When we talk to Nabarun for the 1.21 interview, he said that his advice to you would be do, delegate, and defer. Figure out what you can do, figure out what you can ask other people to do, and figure out what doesn't need to be done. Were you able to take that advice on board?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Yeah, you won't believe it. I have it right here stuck to my monitor.
CRAIG BOX: Next to your Git cheat sheet.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Absolutely. I just have it stuck there. I just take a look at it.
CRAIG BOX: Someone that you will have been able to delegate and defer to is Rey Lejano from Rancher Labs and SUSE, who is the release lead to be for 1.23
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I want you tell Rey that beware of the team's mental health. Schedule in such a way that it avoids burnout. Check in, and make sure that everyone is doing good. And if they need some kind of help, create a safe space where they can actually ask for help if they want to step back, if they need someone to cover.
So I think that is more important. The releases get successful only based on the thousands and thousands of contributors. But when it comes to release team, you need to have a healthy team where people feel they are in a good place and they just want to make good contributions, which means they want to be heard. So that's one thing that I want to tell Rey.
And also collaborate and learn from each other. I constantly learn. I think the team was 39 folks, including me. Every day I learned something or the other, even starting from how to interact.
Sometimes I have learned more leadership skills from my release lead shadows. They are awesome, and they are mature. I constantly learn from them. And I admire them a lot.
It also helps to have good, strong individuals in the team who can step up and help when needed. For example, unfortunately, we lost one of our teammates after the start of the release cycle. And that was tragic. His name was Peeyush Gupta. He was an awesome and wonderful human-- very warm.
I didn't get more chance to interact with him. I had exchanged a few Slack messages, but I got his warm personality. So I just want to take a couple of seconds to remember him. He was awesome.
After we lost him, we had this strong person from the team step up and lead the communications, who has never been a part of the relief team before at all. He was a shadow for the first time. His name was Jesse Butler. So he stepped up, and he just took away.
He ran the comms show for 1.22. So that's what the community is about. You take care of team members, and the team will take care of you. So that's one other thing that I want to let Rey know, and maybe whoever-- I think it's applicable overall.
CRAIG BOX: And there's a link to a family education fund for Peeyush Gupta, which you can find in the show notes.
Five releases in a row now you've been a member of the release team. Will you be putting your feet up now for 1.23?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I am going to take a break for a while. And in the future, I want to be contributing if not the release team, the SIG release and the release management effort. But right now, I have been there for five releases. And I feel like, OK, I just need a little bit of fresh air.
And also the pandemic and the burnout has caught up, so I'm going to take some break from certain contributions. So you can see me in the future. I will be around, but I might not be actively participating in the release team activities. But I will be around the community. And anyone can reach out to me. They all know my Slack, so they can just reach out to me via Slack or Twitter.
CRAIG BOX: Yes, your Twitter handle is CoffeeArtGirl. Does that mean that you'll be spending some time working on your lattes?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I am very bad at making lattes. The coffee art means that I used to make art with coffee. You get the instant coffee powder. And then you can just mix with water. You get the colors, very beautiful brown colors. I used to make art using that.
So I just combine both. And I love coffee. So I just combined all the words together. And I had to come up with it in a span of one hour or so because I was joining this 'meet our contributors' panel. And Paris asked me like, do you have a Twitter handle? I was planning to create one, but I didn't have the time.
I'm like, well, let me just think what I could just come up with real quick. So I just came up with that. So that's the story behind my Twitter handle. Everyone's interested in it. I'm like, you are not the first person you have asked me or mentioned about it. So many others are like, why coffee art?
CRAIG BOX: And you are also interested in art with perhaps other materials?
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Yes. My interests keep changing. I used to do pebble art. It's just collecting pebbles from wherever I go. And I used to paint on them. I used to use watercolor, but I want to come back to watercolor sometime.
My recent interests are color pencils, which came back. When I was very young, I used to do a lot of colored pencils. And then I switched to watercolors and oil painting. So I just go around in circles.
One of the hobbies that I picked up during a pandemic is crochet. So I made a scarf for Mother's Day. My mom and my dad were here last year. They got stuck because of the pandemic, and they couldn't go back home. So they stayed with me for 10 months. So that is the jackpot that I had, that I got to spend so much time with my parents after I moved to the US.
CRAIG BOX: And they got rewarded with a scarf.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Yeah.
CRAIG BOX: One to share between them.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: I started making a blanket for my dad. And it became so heavy, I might have to just pick up some lighter yarn. I still don't know the differences between different kind of yarns and how to do stuff, but I'm getting better.
I started out because I wanted to make these little toys. They call them amigurumi in the crochet world. So I wanted to make them. That's why I started out. I'm trying. I think I made a little cat which doesn't look like a cat, but it is a cat. I have to tell everyone that it's a cat so that they don't mock me later, but.
CRAIG BOX: It's an artistic interpretation of a cat.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: It definitely is.
CRAIG BOX: All right. Well, thank you very much for joining us today, Savitha.
SAVITHA RAGHUNATHAN: Thanks so much, Craig.
CRAIG BOX: You can find Savitha on Twitter @coffeeartgirl, and you can find Kubernetes 1.22 at kubernetes.io.
CRAIG BOX: Thanks for listening. As always, if you've enjoyed the show, please help us spread the word and tell a friend. If you have any feedback for us, you can find us on Twitter at @kubernetespod, or reach us by email at email@example.com.
JIMMY MOORE: You can also check out our website at kubernetespodcast.com, where you'll find the transcripts and show notes, as well as links to subscribe. Until next time, take care.
CRAIG BOX: Catch you next week.