#199 April 13, 2023


Hosts: Abdel Sghiouar, Kaslin Fields

In this episode we bring you with us to Southern California Linux Expo, or SCaLE20x in Pasadena, California. We interviewed several attendees about their experience at the conference.

Do you have something cool to share? Some questions? Let us know:


Do you have something cool to share? Some questions? Let us know:

News of the week

Chainguard contributes Rekor Search Project to Sigstore

Docker and Ambassador Labs Announce Telepresence for Docker, Improving the Kubernetes Development Experience

Docker, Inc. Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Alliances

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to Increase the Reliability, Efficiency, and Simplicity of Large-Scale Kubernetes Environments at Reduced Costs

cdCon / GitOpsCon Schedule

Crossplane Security Audit

KASLIN FIELDS: Hello and welcome to the "Kubernetes Podcast" from Google. I'm your host, Kaslin Fields.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: And I am Abdel Sghiouar.


This week, Kaslin brings you to Southern California Linux Expo, or SCALE 20x. How was it, Kaslin?

KASLIN FIELDS: So Southern California Linux Expo, or SCALE, judging by the 20x and judging by the names of previous years, this must have been their 20th iteration. So it's a conference that's been going on for quite a while. It happens in Pasadena, California. So it's really a very regional local event. But if you're involved in any kind of Linux-y communities, DevOps, those kinds of areas, a lot of the folks in those Kubernetes know about SCALE. It's pretty well-known and pretty popular.

I think a lot of that comes from the fact that it's a very community-oriented and community-driven conference. It goes over the weekend. It's like Wednesday or Thursday, depending on if you go to the workshop day, through the weekend, through Sunday. And they do that because they actually have kids activities at the conference. So it's very welcoming. They do a fun game night as their attendee party, similar to some other events that I've been to. But it's kid friendly. They had laser tag and stuff for the kids to play. It was really cool.


KASLIN FIELDS: I definitely learned a lot from going there. I have some friends in various communities who were part of the organizing groups. It's also interesting because SCALE is not just one conference. They combine several other events-- so DevOps Days LA is also part of SCALE. And they added a Kubernetes Community Day.


KASLIN FIELDS: So all of these events were just taking place at SCALE. You just get a ticket for SCALE. And you get all of them.


KASLIN FIELDS: So it's a really cool, very community-oriented, very community-driven conference. This was my first time there. A lot of the folks that I talked to have been there for many years. And I'll let them tell you more about it. But first, let's get to the news.


ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Chainguard contributes the Rekor search projects to Sigstore. The project was open-sourced in 2022 and is used to search Rekor's public transparency logs from the browser. Sigstore would run the search engine, at search.sigstore.dev.

KASLIN FIELDS: Docker turned 10 on March 20 this year. Docker was first announced at PyCon Santa Clara in March 2013 and has since grown to become the de facto tool for building and running containers. Docker Inc used the opportunity to announce an alliance with Ambassador Labs to improve the experience of developers. Details are in the show notes.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Oracle announced a set of new features for their Managed Kubernetes Service called OKE. The latest updates include virtual nodes, add-ons, lifecycle management, and workload management.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR:The schedule for cdCon and GitOpsCon have been announced. The conference will take place on May 8 and 8 in Vancouver, Canada.

KASLIN FIELDS: Crossplane completed their fuzzing security audit. The audit was carried out by Ada Logics and is sponsored by the CNCF. It resulted in the discovery of four issues with two Crossplane projects, including a couple of CVEs. Fuzzing is a technique for testing software whereby random data is passed to an application in order to discover bugs or security vulnerabilities. So congratulations to Crossplane on completing their security audit. And you can find more information in our show notes.

And that's the news.

I'm Kaslin Fields with the "Kubernetes Podcast" from Google. And I'm here at Southern California Linux Expo or SCALE 20x 2023. And I'm here with--

AUDIENCE: Robin Phantomhive

AUDIENCE:Mofi Rahman

AUDIENCE: Hi, I'm Fatima Sarah Khalid. And I'm also here from GitLab at Southern California Linux Expo. It's my first time in Pasadena.

AUDIENCE: Bryan Behrenshausen

AUDIENCE: My name is Laura Santamaria. And I am a Lead Developer Advocate at Dell. And I'm making faces at Kaslin while we're recording.

AUDIENCE: Jeff Deifik

AUDIENCE: Jill Bryant Ryniker.

KASLIN FIELDS: Would you like to say a little bit about yourself?

AUDIENCE: Yeah, so I am a video podcaster on the "Destination Linux Podcast," as well as a video podcaster on the "LWW Linux Podcast" at Linux Game Cast. And I'm also one of the co-chairs at the LinuxChix of LA. So I'm busy here at SCALE.

KASLIN FIELDS: Sounds like it.

AUDIENCE: I am Bill Schouten with the TuxDigital Network. And I am a co-host on the "Sudo Show," where business meets open source.

KASLIN FIELDS: What were you hoping to get out of the conference?

AUDIENCE: So at SCALE this year, I was trying to really just find more people to meet, learn about some of the things that I'm having trouble with at work and otherwise with home projects.

AUDIENCE: I was hoping to talk to people about trends and other things they're doing to make their Kubernetes journey more accessible and scale for the team they are currently in. Kubernetes is roughly 10 years old this year, or turning next year, 10 years old. So you could almost call Kubernetes legacy at this point.

That means every year, we have new people joining the Kubernetes community, as well as people that has been running Kubernetes for ages now. And I would like to know, what has worked for folks? And what is making people understand this new system and making it work for them?

AUDIENCE: Honestly, I usually come to SCALE for the community vibes. It's the kind of conference where it really brings together a little bit of corporate marketing but a lot of community open source projects, people working, contributing to open source. And I think it's a good place where people feel like they can share their projects.

They can have long form conversations. You can really sit down and have discussions. I wasn't going to come because of budget reasons. And I got pulled in last minute. I was like, yes, if there's one conference I can go to this year, I think this is the one that really inspires me and gives me new ideas to work on, so.

AUDIENCE: So I am here with GitLab. And I love to come to SCALE because it's a great opportunity to connect with our community, right? We're an open source, open core product. And there's no better opportunity to meet with the people who make possible everything that you do then coming to a place like SCALE and meeting them face-to-face. So any chance I can get to do that, I'll take it. And that's why I'm here.

AUDIENCE: I am actually here partially as a sponsor for DevOps Days LA. So we got a chance to have a nice time talking with people there. And then really, I'm mostly here for the hallway track, getting a chance to talk to a few people, getting a chance to hear some of the talks. But for the most part, I am out wandering around, talking to people, seeing people again. It's great to see everyone but also to really catch up on some of the trends in the industry and things like that.

AUDIENCE: I always wanted to learn more about Linux and open source in general. And I've been working pretty well so far.

AUDIENCE: Oh boy, so for us, my "Destination Linux" crew is here. And this is only their second SCALE. And I just wanted the community to learn more about our podcast and get to know the hosts because one of the cool things is we are the largest of the video-- Linux video podcast. But we're, of course, audio. Most of our listenership is 90% audio on iTunes and all the RSS feeds.

But SCALE for me is important. It's my home. It's my family. It's community. I've been attending SCALE for almost 20 years. And it's what brought me to the Linux community. And I came to SCALE to meet the community and specifically to meet the LinuxChix of Los Angeles. And that helped boost a new career for me.

I had been teaching computer animation and motion graphics for 30 years and getting students into open source and Blender and Krita and all the open source options, and using Linux and even proprietary-- Maya, and some of the other proprietary software on Linux. And it was time for me to change. I retired. And it was time for me to change at a new career. So the last five years, I've been podcasting and absolutely loving it!

AUDIENCE: I was really looking forward to meeting some of the people that work at the different booths that I've come across in my many years of using Linux and open source software. And I was able to accomplish just that. So I'm very pleased with the conference overall.

KASLIN FIELDS: And what are the biggest trends you've seen so far?

AUDIENCE: So Kubernetes is happening. And I'll be honest, I don't know if it was bigger or smaller in previous years. But it's still continuing to be a thing and otherwise be a major area for a lot of people.

AUDIENCE: I think the biggest trend in this conference would be the move towards platform engineering. I have heard a lot of talks and conversation about making Kubernetes into the platform it was always meant to be. In 2017, Kelsey Hightower tweeted out, "Kubernetes is a platform for building other platforms." And at that time, it almost felt like people were pushing back against it. People are happy just with Kubernetes. But as their complexity and their application grew, it almost became obvious that what Kelsey saw in 2017 was the right path.

You had to build application platform on top of Kubernetes that abstracted away Kubernetes-- the perfect world for Kubernetes where people don't really think about Kubernetes anymore. And I think we're seeing that now. And again, like anything we do in technology, we are discussing a lot. We are coming up with new novel ideas. Not all of them are going to be winners. But I think from discussion and trial and error, we're going to reach some cool solution.

AUDIENCE: So the first day I got in here, I was invited to a dinner to talk about the trend of platform engineering and what it is, whether it's a real thing, where it's headed, what our predictions are. So there's that. And then there's been a lot of chatter about generative AI. How are you using Chat GPT is probably, like, the most asked question on the floor this week. So that's one of the major questions I've seen. And people are sharing the different projects they've been doing with OpenAI and things like that.

AUDIENCE: This is going to sound pretty mundane and pretty obvious. But I really do believe it to be true. I felt at this conference especially, there's really been a resurgence of an emphasis on contribution, right? I feel like the pendulum is swinging in a direction where organizations, companies, are really understanding the power of an open source model and are really beginning to double down on encouraging contributions-- really understanding that the community is going to power their success and leading with messaging that is contributor first.

AUDIENCE: It's been kind of interesting. We had a lot of conversation about AI and Chat GPT. I mean, you expect that right now since it's such a hot topic in the industry. I noticed a lot more discussion around Linux, which you expect at SCALE. That's kind of a thing.

But also, it was really great to see Kubernetes Community Day come in and definitely bring a lot of different open source to SCALE as well-- and then, of course, unfortunately, lots of conversation around Silicon Valley Bank and the whole situation with that as well. So most of the trends I'm seeing is very focused on AI and Chat GPT and what we think is going to happen with it, as well as just open source in general.

AUDIENCE: I think more commercial acceptance of open source. When I started with this, it was very niche and very educational and hobbyist stuff. And now, I see companies adopting a lot of different open source stuff, whether it's open source developing tools or open source operating systems or any different open source thing. It's much more commercially viable and commercially acceptable than it has been in the past.

AUDIENCE: OK, so a lot more cloud AI and a lot of people wanting homelab to learn about how to run their own private homelabs for security and privacy. And I think because we just came through the pandemic, community, connecting, reconnecting with your fellow penguinites, you know? So that's definitely a thing.

Our SCALE last year was about a third the size of this one. And it had-- in fact, it was supposed to be last March here in Pasadena. But it got postponed because of the pandemic. We had an outbreak. And everyone was masked. And we had to show vaccination-- do what we had to do. But it was a wonderful conference. But it's nice to now, this one, to be returning to the size of pre-pandemic SCALE. We're still not quite there yet. But we're getting really close.

AUDIENCE: I see a lot of vendors here that are focusing on Kubernetes shifting workloads to the cloud, how to manage that and the variety of tools that are available for them to do so.

KASLIN FIELDS: What's your favorite thing that you've learned so far?

AUDIENCE: So from you, even, apparently, Kubernetes the hard way is one way of learning how to actually make a Kubernetes system. And if there is a Kube admin way of doing it, which is supposedly a bit simpler, I'll take it because that's the personal project part that I've been having the most trouble with because most of the stuff that I'll find online is going to be like, here's how to make a dev system. Here's how you make a home system. Here's how you do it for whatever that's-- single system, not the multiple that I have and want to put it on.

AUDIENCE: Favorite thing? I went to a Birds of a Feather about homelabs. And I learned a bunch of cool, new homelab things that I actually didn't even think of to use homelabs for. I mean, I'm not that big of a homelab expert myself. I have done some tinkering with it. But from that conversation, I'll probably have taken some notes that I'm going to try out.

AUDIENCE: This is going to sound really biased. But I swear this was my answer before I was invited to speak on this podcast. And it was your talk on-- what was the title again?

KASLIN FIELDS: Welcome to the Cookie Factory, an Illustrated Intro to Kubernetes.

AUDIENCE: Ding! And it was certainly an illustrated intro to Kubernetes. I was telling a number of people about it yesterday. And everybody was like, wow, that is a really succinct understanding of Kubernetes. And I was like, aha, thank you! [LAUGHS]

KASLIN FIELDS: Thank you very much. [LAUGHS]

AUDIENCE: My favorite thing to learn is honestly just hanging out at the booth and listening to people come and tell me what they're doing with GitLab, all right? All the stuff that they've done that I've never even considered doing, from, hey, I run a synology NAS in my basement that has GitLab doing x, y, and z, to hey, I use it to build my student project, to hey, I built a laser. And I was using GitLab to kind of organize the software that I used to shoot a laser at some molecules, right? I just love to listen to people's stories about the things that they're using our software for because it will trump the wildest story I could create, every time.

AUDIENCE: My favorite thing that I've learned so far? I don't know. There's been just a lot of good conversation. I was actually just thinking about this morning how humans are much better at identifying generated art than they are generated text, and yet also how there's language models that figure out when something has that pattern.

But it's definitely a really interesting discussion. So one of the people I was sitting with is actually an AI researcher. So I spent a long time delving into the intricacies of modeling and stuff like that, which is something I don't normally do.

AUDIENCE: So there was a really interesting talk that a Meta engineer gave about C Groups and [? E2. ?] And I knew about C Groups. I didn't know all of the nuances of them. And it was a very good talk. And it was a very good presentation. And I learned a lot.

AUDIENCE: That's a hard one because I've learned so much. Just from meeting new developers, I have a lot of friends that I'm meeting for the first time that are developers, like at the Lutris booth. Matthew Comandon, the creator of Lutris, is one of my best friends. And so we have-- GloriousEggRoll flew in. He's a really well-known Proton. He helps Valve with Proton-- and a Lutris developer to get gaming on Linux.

So that's really been awesome. And people have changed to new careers because of the pandemic-- and seeing the excitement. Oh, they're doing something new. And it's exciting. So they're not at their old, boring job anymore-- and the need for people who need to get jobs in the tech industry. And in fact, today, we have the Open Source Career Expo ran by [? Daryl Hans, ?] one of my close friends.

And that is so needed right now. And SCALE is the best place to come if you need a job. And one of the reasons is because we are the cream of the crop. We are the uber nerds. And the companies are going out of their way to find you, not the other way around. If you go to other just general tech conferences, you're having to stand in line to give people your resume.

And there's too many people wanting a certain position. Whereas here, they're looking for you because you're the developer, the coder, the animator who works on open source, you know? So there's so much opportunity here. And I recommend everyone to come. It's the largest community-run convention in the United States.

AUDIENCE: I think the favorite thing that I've learned here so far is that Linux is applicable to many industries-- people, backgrounds, ages, and all walks of life. I've been able to meet and introduce myself to young people, older people, new people, experienced people that have all come here to learn more about Linux for their respective interests.

KASLIN FIELDS: What would you like to see at SCALE in the future?

AUDIENCE: The simplest answer is I'd like to see more magnificent people here. There's a lot of great people that come here. I'd just like to meet more of them.

AUDIENCE: SCALE already does it fairly well, but maybe more first time speakers because this community always needs more folks to share their journey. And it's great to hear from experts, obviously. But I think for practitioners, it's also good to have folks that are just trying this thing out for the first time themselves, to talk about their experience because sometimes, experts can be blinded by their own knowledge, which, new speakers can cover the spaces that experts sometimes-- from their blind spot, they don't get to cover them.

AUDIENCE: This is a really hard question because I think SCALE does what it does really well already. But then we were joking a little earlier. And I was like, yeah, food-- maybe food options. I know All Things Open does a really great job with different food, dietary restrictions and hands you food in the middle of the day so that you don't starve and get really hungry by the end of the day. So I really like that.

And another thing that would be great is more open space to hang out. I know we have these cafeteria tables. But I didn't really see a lot of people here. And so some conferences have a turfed out area maybe with an arcade machine or something like that, where people can hang out and chill. And I think that would be a great way to meet new people without the pressure of stepping up to a booth and having to ask questions.

AUDIENCE: So I'm not a developer. And so I am a sucker for watching people do what they love to do and are really good at in real-time. So I would love to see some kind of hacking competition or live coding event, even if it's a collaborative thing.

It doesn't have to be a competition, but some kind of hackathon or a contest that has a leaderboard, some kind of interactive thing that takes place over the span of all three days that you can track progress, even if it's-- a project volunteers to open up an issue board. And we track how many contributors at SCALE are able to close issues or submit patches to that project throughout the entire weekend-- would be cool. Some kind of collective, collaborative, spirit-building activity that's code-focused that goes across the entire duration of the event would be really cool.

AUDIENCE: I actually kind of like it like this, to be honest with you because it's really easy for it to go down the route of just another tech conference that's talking about Kubernetes and CNCF and all of those things. And we have a lot of conferences that are like that. So getting a chance to have stuff that is not that-- so it's all Linux. It's anything open source. It's a lot better to me than just constantly talking about the hot button topics of the day. So I actually don't want to see SCALE change that much. But maybe that's just me.

KASLIN FIELDS: But you do want to see more of it.

AUDIENCE: I do want to see more of it, yeah. I mean, I'm going to be exploring everything.

AUDIENCE: I would like to see more talks about security. So I work in security. And there's a security track on Saturday. And it was OK. But it wasn't as good as past SCALEs. And it could be better. And as Linux becomes more prevalent in the commercial sector, security becomes more of a concern. And whether you're Google or Facebook or anybody, if people don't trust that your systems are secure, they're not going to be using your stuff. So it benefits the open source advocates. It benefits the corporations. It benefits everybody.

AUDIENCE: Yeah, probably-- well, the more ladies, the better. [LAUGHS] So when I started SCALE, literally, there was like, 400 people. And of the women, there were 0.01%. There were five of us at SCALE. And now, it's at least 2%. So trying to get more diversity at SCALE has been a goal. Every year, we try to get more women into Linux and open source. And that's what the LinuxChix of LA is about.

And we had a Birds of a Feather last night and got a lot of new people that are really excited about helping us and about doing workshops and meetings and everything-- and helping us in all the different ways. And we needed that. Since COVID, everyone kind of went their separate ways. So we're getting that back. And to get the diversity into Linux, that's, to me-- every year-- and it does increase every year a little bit. But it needs to be more. We need more women like yourself in Linux, you know?

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, I've seen quite a bit of diversity around the conference, really. I've been impressed.

AUDIENCE: SCALE is one of the most diverse of any of them because we're here in Los Angeles. We're a diverse county, a diverse city.

AUDIENCE: More people-- more people, more vendors, more interesting gadgets, more interesting exhibits. Please come. If you're a vendor and you're into open source, please consider coming to SCALE next year. It's a wonderful experience. The facility is fantastic. The other vendors here are great to work with. And we would love to see more of everybody here next year.

KASLIN FIELDS: Thank you very much.


That brings us to the end of another episode. If you 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, @KubernetesPod, or reach us by email at kubernetespodcast@google.com.

You can also check out the website at kubernetespodcast.com, where you'll find transcripts and show nodes and links to subscribe. Please consider rating us on your podcast player so we can help more people find and enjoy the show. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you next time.