#228 June 11, 2024

Leading Kubernetes into its Second Decade

Hosts: Abdel Sghiouar, Kaslin Fields

We talk with Nikhita Raghunath, Nabarun Pal, and Paco Xu. Nikhita, Nabarun, and Paco have each held various leadership positions related to the Kubernetes project. They talk about their journeys, the various leadership roles they’ve been in, and offer advice for new contributors and those who want to move into leadership in the project.

Nikhita is a Staff Software Engineer at Broadcom. She is currently a member of the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) overseeing all technical matters of the CNCF. In the past, she was a member of the Kubernetes Steering Committee, a technical lead for SIG Contributor Experience and has also won the CNCF Top Committer Award. Currently, she is also a co-chair of the KubeCon+CloudNativeCon conference.

Nabarun is a Staff Software Engineer at Broadcom, a maintainer of the Kubernetes project, a member of the Kubernetes Steering Committee and a chair of Kubernetes SIG Contributor Experience. In the past, he was the release lead for Kubernetes 1.21 and has served eight release teams. Nabarun also works actively with the Python community by organizing PyCon India and has been recognized in media publications for his work.

Paco is an open source team lead in DaoCloud. He started to work on container/docker in 2016 and later started to participate in the Kubernetes Community in 2018. He is a current member of Kubernetes Steering Committee and works mainly on kubeadm and sig-node. He is Co-chair of KubeCon+CloudNativeCon China 2024.

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

News of the week

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Hi, and welcome to the "Kubernetes Podcast" from Google. I'm your host, Abdel Sghiouar.

KASLIN FIELDS: And I'm Kaslin Fields.


ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Welcome to the third episode of the four-part special series for the Kubernetes 10-year anniversary. In this episode, we spoke to three leads who are carrying the Kubernetes torch into the future, Nikhita Raghunath, Nabarun Pal, and Paco Xu. We discussed how they got involved in the project, how they transitioned to lead positions, and what advice they have for new contributors.

KASLIN FIELDS: But first, let's get to the news.


The Kubernetes community released a blog commemorating the project's 10 year anniversary. The post outlines Kubernetes history, from the beginning of containers to today. It highlights major milestones in the development of the technology and cool stats on how the community has grown over the last decade. Check it out at kubernetes.io.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: The call for proposals for KubeCon North America's breakout sessions is now closed. But the CFP for co-located events at KubeCon North America is still open. Check out the list of co-located events and get your submissions in by July 14.

KASLIN FIELDS: Kubernetes Community Days, or KCDs, are locally-run events for the Kubernetes community. There are several events happening around the world this summer. KCD Zurich and KCD Barcelona are both happening on June 13. KCD Italy will be on June 20. Through August, there are also KCDs in Munich; Lahore, Pakistan; Lima, Peru; and Taipei.

Through the rest of the year, there are also KCDs in Washington, DC; Austria; and London. Only KCD Austria currently has a CFP open. And it closes June 22. So if you're interested in speaking at KCD Austria, get those submissions in. Support your local Kubernetes community by attending any KCD that is held near you. And that's the news.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Today, we're talking to Nikhita Raghunath. Nikhita is a staff software engineer at Broadcom. She is currently a member of the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee, overseeing all technical matters at the CNCF. In the past, she was a member of the Kubernetes Steering Committee, a tech lead for SIG ContribEx, and has also won a CNCF Top Committer Award. Currently, Nikhita is a co-chair of the KubeCon and CloudNativeCon Conference. Welcome to the show, Nikhita.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Thank you so much for having me here, Abdel, glad to be here.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: I've seen you around multiple times before. Of course, you are in the CNCF. You are in the KubeCon chair. I've been in the committee a couple of times. But we've never had an opportunity to talk until now. So I'm glad we had the opportunity. And thank you for being with us.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Oh, definitely. I've seen you around in the community so many times, so definitely, the podcast, of course, with Kaslin. So, yeah, it's a pleasure to meet you, too.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Awesome, awesome. So, you know, we're doing this as part of the 10 year anniversary for Kubernetes. So we're talking to a lot of people, from those who have been around for a while, those who are kind of more new-- newish, I should say. And we wanted to talk to, we call them the new leaders, although some of you have been around for a while, also. So let me get going with my first question. So, you've held multiple leadership positions. You do the TOC now. But you've been co-chair of other SIGs, or tech lead of other SIGs. You did the ContribEx. How did this whole thing start?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: So it all started when I was a student in university as a Google Summer of Code intern. So, at that time, Kubernetes had put out a project, which said, hey, improve this thing called third party resources, which doesn't make sense anymore because that was the name for CRDs before. And that's kind of the thing which blew up the whole extensibility of the Kubernetes ecosystem at that time.

CRDs, for context, is something that you write controllers on, and operators on, and so on. So that's something that I've worked on. And I wrote a lot of code features for it, including validation, sub-resources, and so on. So I worked on one particular feature. And at that time, my mentor was from Red Hat. And he said, hey, I really enjoy working with you on this. And do you want to do an internship with Red Hat? because I'm still a university student, and continue working on this.

So I worked on it for almost a year or more, I think, a little bit. And then, I realized that I really loved working with the community. Everyone is so friendly. I've made a lot of friends from around the world. And I wanted to continue doing that, even after my internship ended. So I picked up a lot of other things as well. So this originally was SIG API Machinery. So I continued working there.

And then, SIG Contributor Experience, SIG code testing, release, CLI, kubectl bits, and so on, like, a lot of other places as well. So these, and more, are what we call horizontal SIG. So horizontal basically means that they're cross-cutting across various areas. And when you're involved in them, you get a big picture perspective of the whole project. And that really helped me in working across multiple areas, for sure, but also interacting with a ton of people, which helps you definitely build a network.

But like I said, get a ton of context across the whole project. And eventually, that led me to becoming the technical lead for SIG Contributor Experience. That also won me the Chop Wood Carry Water Award in 2018. And I realized there was a steering committee. And I have a story to share about that. I'll come to it in a bit. But I joined the Kubernetes Steering Committee, worked there for a while. All of this eventually led me to winning the Top Committer Award in 2021.

And then, I moved on to the slightly CNCF side of things. So I'm part of the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee now, and also one of the co-chairs for KubeCon, that kind of venue. That's my role. As part of that role, I basically go through all of the proposals that people submit for KubeCon and select them, decide the program for KubeCon, and so on. So, yeah, that's me.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah. So you are curating the KubeCon content, essentially.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: That is correct, yes.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, that's actually pretty impressive, considering you started in 2018, was it-- 2018, 2017?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: So that was around 2016, 2017, yes.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: 2016, OK, OK, so two years, three years into the project's life in general, right?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Yeah, it was pretty early. Yeah, it was a smaller community then. Now, it's so huge. It's overwhelming. But I love it at the same time.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Of course, of course. So you mentioned a bunch of things. And one of them was the Google Summer of Code, which is an internship program that Google puts together for open-source projects. And that's how you got involved?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: That is correct. Google paid me to work on the Kubernetes project.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, and that's actually a great way for everyone who is interested, but also, especially university students, to get paid internships so they can work on open-source projects.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: That's correct. And we've actually had a lot of people who started out as GSOC interns. But now, they are maintainers and leaders within the project. So I definitely still recommend that as a great way to get started.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, I think at the moment when we're recording this, the application have closed. But there is-- they operate every year. And it's a really cool program. So, through all of these journeys that you just described in detail, how did you find yourself in the project? Like, was it easy? Was it difficult? How was the community welcoming new people, I would say?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: The community is definitely welcoming. But it's very hard to find your place in the project, I would say. If you started as a new contributor, everything is overwhelming. There's a lot of things to do. Everyone's doing a lot of things. But you just don't know where your niche is or where you can jump in and start contributing, becoming a maintainer in a few months, and so on. So I think one of the things to understand is that this might not be easy. It might take time. And that's OK.

For myself, when I started, it was very early on in the project. So there were very few-- there were a lot of things that needed to be done, even now, to be very frank. But at that time, yeah, so I was getting involved in multiple SIG contributor experience, which is something that I really liked. Working on it, I was touching the whole project.

And that's why I reached out to the other leads. I told them that I'm really interested in this. And I want to work towards a leadership position. And I was consistently putting in work for this. And even they reached out and said, hey, we also think you would be a good fit. Would you be interested in this as well? So that's kind of how I got the PL role, is, that was a different approach. So I said, I want this, and how do I get it?

So the steering committee was a little different for me because, in my mind back then, steering committee is all bigwigs. And I am nowhere near that. It's all maintainers who worked on the project since the beginning and so on. So when the election was going on-- I forget which year that was, to be honest, 2020 or something like that so they reached out to me. And they. And they said, hey, look, I have a favor to ask for you. I'm like, sure, what is it? And they said, I want you to go out for the steering committee.

At first, I thought that was a joke. But it turns out it was not. And they were serious. And they said, hey, why don't you consider putting your name in? And I did. And I enjoyed the experience. I didn't get in the first time, which was OK. And I think it was a good experience in actually putting my name out there and telling other people that, hey, I'm really interested in this role. And that's when people know about you. They think of you in the way that, OK, this person might be a good fit for the steering committee and so on.

So the next time I tried, so the next year, and that worked out. And that's kind of how I joined the steering committee. After my stint in the steering committee, I worked on-- I ran for the TOC election, the CNCF TOC election. And I got through there. So, yeah, I think there are different approaches. One is, when you actually want something, you work towards it. You reach out to people, and you tell them. And actually, I recommend that.

The steering one was, there are areas when you feel that maybe you're not a good fit for it. But you are. So my recommendation would be definitely to reach out to people, even when you think you're not there yet, or just put your name out there so that people know who you are and know the fact that you are interested in it. And maybe if it doesn't work out now, it'll work out in the future.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, you definitely touched on a lot of things. And one of the questions we were going to ask was the leadership role. But one thing you said that I liked very much is, getting involved in a project like Kubernetes, there's a lot of things to do. And there is probably not that much people who have time to guide you. So you have to figure things out yourself, right? If you are the kind of person that has to wait for somebody to tell them what to do, it would be probably harder, I would say, to get involved.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: I agree. I think one of the challenges we face as maintainers is also people who reach out and say, hey, I want to contribute. How do I get started? I really hate that question. I love that people are coming in, and they want to contribute. But I don't have the time to explain everything from the start. So what I like is, if someone reaches out and says, hey, I'm really interested to contribute. Here's the background I have. Here's all the research I've done.

And this is what I think is interesting to me, or at least the area that's interesting to me, and do you have any issues or bugs or whatever that I can work on? So having some more information about yourself and the kind of work that you want to do, and the research that you've done, is a great way to gain maintainers' interest and have-- my point is, basically, help maintainers help you. So make it easy for others to help you. And I think, then, you'll have a much better experience working with the project.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: In other terms, people have to do their homework, right?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: That's correct.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, nice, nice. OK, so what do your day-to-day responsibilities look like? I know that it changes depending on the role you're in. But what does your day-to-day look like today?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: So right now, my main role that I have is part of the GitHub admin team. So this involves everything related to having admin rights over all GitHub projects, or GitHub repositories, organizations, repositories, and so on. And before this, I was a technical lead for SIG Contributor Experience. I'm still involved there. So this means reviewing PRs related to anything that touches the meta aspects of the project, be it GitHub, automation, and so on.

But I was going to bring this up later on. But I kind of took a step back from those leadership roles so that we can bring in the next generation of leaders. In fact, for this, we had a lot of trouble initially because we wanted to replace ourselves, a bunch of us leaders in SIG Contributor Experience. But we were having trouble doing that because a lot of folks used to come in as drive-by contributors, contribute for a little bit, and leave.

But this was not enough time for us to mentor them and also just share enough context and gain trust in them. So we came up with this. I'm kind of digressing here a little bit. But I wanted to mention this because this was pretty cool, was that we came up with a SIG Contributor Experience leadership shadow program. And then we set up a cohort of leaders, and we personally mentored.

And I know personal mentorship is not that scalable, but I think that helped us because it was very focused towards leadership and not the day-to-day activities. So people continued doing the day-to-day activities. But then, from a leadership perspective, it helps giving personal context to them-- having one-on-one conversations and asking, hey, how are you going to-- What are your thoughts on how you're going to approach a complicated issue that we see? and so on, and giving some insights into how to navigate that.

So things like that kind of helped me become involved. But I'm not doing all-- basically, the other way to put it is, all the hard work is done by other people right now. But to get to that role that we can, how you said, define the second decade of Kubernetes for the new generation of leaders. That was what it was all about. So I think a lot of us maintainers are focusing on how we can replace ourselves. And that ends up becoming all of our day-to-day responsibilities, more than anything else.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: I mean, all the interviews we've done for the 10 years anniversary special, this echoes quite a lot, the sustainability aspect of, How do you drive the project? the sustainability aspect of the community itself. How do you get people who stick around, and not just write one PR and move? So it's quite interesting.

And I think, also, the fact that the project was born in 2014, which I consider Kubernetes being the new generation of open-source projects compared to, say, Linux Kernel, or how open source used to be done before, which was different. It's impressive how the community is able to move and adjust in such a short period of time. 10 years is not long. For open source, it's not long.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Yeah, definitely.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Right, so, then, bringing this back to your job, your actual day-to-day job, how does your work with the Kubernetes community relate to your actual job?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: I work at a Kubernetes platform at my day job. So I work on anything and everything regarding Kubernetes and parts of some other projects, like Cluster API and so on. But contributing back to upstream Kubernetes is not really part of my job, as such. But my manager is super supportive. He's also part of the CNCF Governing Board. So he understands the big picture of why it's important to give back to the community, but also stay involved there, and how that can help from a day job perspective.

So to answer your question directly, Kubernetes is something that we consume-- I consume at my day job, but not necessarily contribute back to it. It's a little bit of my personal time and so on. But I think one thing that's really helped me is setting business-aligned goals, so being involved in areas that I can actually justify back to my employer that, hey, me being involved in this area helps me achieve this goal at work. I think that was a very big part of why I'm able to do Kubernetes at my day job.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, and definitely, you're not the only one because, I mean, some people get paid by their employers to actually work on open-source projects. But not everybody is in that situation. All the time I spend on doing the committee work for the KubeCon, that's just personal time. Actually, all the time I spend doing committee for every single conference I'm involved in is personal time.

All right, so we touched a little bit on this. And you gave a little bit of advice through all the discussion. And this will be my last question. I don't want to use more time than needed. What would be your advice for people who are interested to either contribute or to get into a leadership position? Let's start with contributor first.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Yeah, I think, for contributor, my main thing would be help the maintainers help you. So reach out with very specific asks and talk about what-- like I said, do your homework. Talk about what homework you've done and showcase what you already know so that we can suggest what you can take next. Remain consistent. So drive-by, no one likes drive-by contributors. Drive-by contributions are great. But then, if I'm investing time in mentoring someone, I would like to feel like there is a return on investment in that. So please stay consistent. Yeah, I think from a contribute perspective, I would say that.

From a leadership perspective, I would say, don't feel shy to put your name forward. I've done that mistake a few times. And people had to literally poke me and say, actually, go put your name out there. So don't feel shy to do that. And ask people who are already in the role of what it's about. Sometimes, it might not even be, actually, something you want to do, once you learn the day-to-day of what goes on behind the scenes.

So, yeah, I think just talk to people. Ask them very specific questions on, how do I get there? Sometimes, this means networking more and learning more about the role. So, yeah, I would say, be very clear on what you want to achieve. Talk to people. And be OK with realigning your goals if needed, as well.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Nice, nice. OK, so, then, my last question, KubeCon India-- are you excited about it?

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Oh, definitely This is the first time KubeCon is coming to India. And we've wanted it for a very long time. So I'm definitely excited, and, yeah, very excited to see what that looks like and how many people show up and what that eventually feels like, yeah.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, well, there was a KubeDay India before, which was a single day event. But this is going to be a full-fledged three days-- four days, if you consider co-located events-- in India for the first time. And I'm definitely-- I was talking to them the other day. And I was like, OK, I'm going to try to make it. I want to go.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Also, if you're going to be there, that'd be amazing. I hope you can make it. Also, I want to plug in one thing. We're also doing a Kubernetes Birthday Bash this Friday in Bangalore. And I think it's also happening in multiple cities across India. I think there's a website where they put on everything. I just don't know the details of all the cities. But we're doing one in Bangalore on 7th June, this Friday. So I'm very excited about that, too.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: We covered this as part of the other episode because this episode is coming next week, not this week. This week, we're publishing an episode with Tim Harkin and Kelsey Hightower, on the 6th, on the actual birthday. But in the last episode, we already covered it. But I think we'll keep this in the recording because there will be parties happening through the month in different parts of the world. And we'll definitely include a link for people to go check it out.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Sounds good, yeah. And I hope to see you and others at KubeCon in North America, as well as KubeCon in India.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: I am definitely excited about that. Well, thank you very much for your time, Nikhita. Thank you for being with us.

NIKHITA RAGHUNATH: Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. This was fun.



KASLIN FIELDS: Today, I am so excited to be speaking with Nabarun Pal. Nabarun is a staff software engineer at Broadcom, a maintainer of the Kubernetes Project, a member of the Kubernetes Steering Committee, and a chair of Kubernetes SIG ContribEx, or Contributor Experience. In the past, he was the release lead for Kubernetes 1.21 and has served eight release teams. Nabarun also works actively with the Python community by organizing PyCon India and has been recognized in media publications for his work. Welcome to the show, Nabarun.

NABARUN PAL: Thank you, Kaslin, for the warm invite. I am glad to be on the podcast, for this episode, especially. It is very close to my heart.

KASLIN FIELDS: It's so exciting to have you here. And you've been on before since you were a release lead. And we always do the release episodes. But we also work together in open source as co-chairs of ContribEx, so.


KASLIN FIELDS: And with this, I think I have interviewed, or at least been on episodes with, every member of the current leadership team of SIG ContribEx. [LAUGHS]

NABARUN PAL: That's so nice.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, it just goes to show how active these leaders are, if I may say so myself. So our topic today, this is our third episode in our 10-year anniversary series. And I really wanted to speak with you because, in addition to being a co-chair of SIG ContribEx you are also a member of the steering committee. And you just got elected last year. Congratulations on that, if I got that right.

NABARUN PAL: I was elected last year.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, got that right. So you've been doing a whole bunch of things and, obviously, release lead as well. So you've been doing a whole bunch of different leadership-type activities in the project. But you just became a co-chair of SIG ContribEx, along with me, within the last year or two. And your steering term began last year. So you're a relatively new leader, but you're doing all of these leadership things.

So I really wanted to talk with you about leading Kubernetes into its second decade. So let's start off with you're a relatively new leader in the community. But, of course, leaders never start out leading. So you must have been involved with the community for some time. Can you tell me a little bit about how your Kubernetes journey began and how you got to where you are now?

NABARUN PAL: Oh, yeah, it's a very interesting story to begin with. I actually didn't know about the existence of Kubernetes probably until around 2017. And back then, I used to work at a startup where we were trying to build an application platform for data scientists and machine learning engineers. It sounds very niche now. But back during those days, it was not that much well-running business. Basically, we wanted to build a platform so that data scientists and ML engineers could run their models, deploy them, and experiment on Jupyter Notebook.

The infrastructure was quite traditional. And we used to run on VMs. And we built our own scheduler and an orchestrator to run systemd units on VMs, running on AWS, or Google, or any other cloud provider, as deemed necessary. So then, we decided to try out this magical thing called Kubernetes. And I started modernizing our logic to leverage Kubernetes for all things. I wanted to give back to the Kubernetes Project after I saw the magic happening. And I started contributing to areas of the project that we were actively using in our product. So first, I began with the Kubernetes Python client. And it has been a long journey since then.

KASLIN FIELDS: So when did you start doing code contributions in open-source Kubernetes? You started being aware of it in 2017. So how long did it take for you to get to the point where you were doing code?

NABARUN PAL: So I think the first code contributions that I did to the Python client was around 2018, if I remember correctly.

KASLIN FIELDS: Pretty quick.

NABARUN PAL: The community was very welcoming. I really felt nice to be around the people who used to maintain the Python client. And they're still doing it till date, which is great. I mean, the resilience in people, I really admire in this community. And they were very receptive to suggestions from new people like me.

And I got the real boost, I believe, at KubeCon Europe 2019, held at Barcelona, where I attended my first Kubernetes Contributor Summit as a new contributor. I got exposure to so many great individuals back then. And I got exposure to Contributor Experience and SIG Release, which is when I felt I found what I wanted to keep doing in the community. And that's where I found my place in the project.

KASLIN FIELDS: I had no idea that you had a machine learning, HPC-type background. It's amazing to me how many people in the community have, actually, those kinds of roots, of trying to run machine learning-type workloads, which at the time were very niche, as you were saying. But now, of course, they're kind of everywhere. But it just made so much sense, even in the early days, for a distributed system and a scheduling system like Kubernetes to be used for those kinds of use cases.

NABARUN PAL: Yes. I mean, it was all about us coming with a use case and finding Kubernetes to be very suitable for its dynamic scheduling and orchestrating capabilities. We just fell in love with what Kubernetes did.

KASLIN FIELDS: Awesome. We're going to dive into that more in our next episode, where we'll talk more about HPC backgrounds of folks in Kubernetes. So you're kind of giving us a lead in to that. But we'll come back to leadership and contributing right now. [LAUGHS] So you started using it, and then you started contributing to the parts that you were using. And then, you started getting more involved with the community, and you found these other areas that you were more interested in. So how did you do that progression of being a contributor and then eventually moving into all of these leadership roles?

NABARUN PAL: I think being on the release team early on when I joined the community, shaped my thoughts, pretty much, on why I should lead or move into a leadership role. That gave me that purpose. So the kind of impact that you can create on the project-- and the people in the project made me realize that, this is something I really want to do.

I loved aspects of what the release team was doing, and the kind of impact that even Kubernetes, with its releases, makes year on year and release on release, every quarter. And then, when Jeremy asked me whether I'm interested to be the lead for 1.21, I obviously knew what I would answer. Then, there are other aspects.

So, when I was doing that, I was also part of ContribEx. And I want to really give credit to the great programs run by ContribEx. I'm not saying it as a co-chair, but I am saying it as a true member of the community, and seeing myself grow in the community because of ContribEx initiatives, and seeing a lot of other people grow in the community because of those initiatives, specifically the mentorship cohorts. Even, as you mentioned earlier, we signed up to one of those leadership mentoring cohorts to get guidance on becoming one of the next chairs.

And eventually, we graduated to be the co-chairs of the group, and then the other respective steering committee. When I was doing ContribEx and release, and getting involved with the Python client machinery, I was really motivated to solve the challenges that I saw, while contributing from the other hemisphere of the world. I wanted to work on enabling diverse geographies to contribute more comfortably, and also help SIG leads create a sustainable growth path for contributors to become leads themselves.

Overall, I think we have done well on that front as steering, and also as the community, by initiatives like async meetings, making sure that we have enough participation from other geographies in the meetings by having meetings in their active working day time zones, and having things like sub-project leads, where it is an additional thing that people can look forward to, and people can get recognized for their work, which creates a more fine-grained ladder for contributors to become leaders in the community. Overall, I think, if you see the common aspect in all the three areas, the opportunity to make an impact on people and do great things for the Kubernetes community made me actually consider those leadership roles.

KASLIN FIELDS: I love it. And before I got started as a leader in the Kubernetes community, I would always hear people talk about how much of a challenge time zones are for the project. I never really understood that until I started running a bunch of meetings and trying to get the whole contributor community doing things. And it really is challenging to make sure that everyone is included in ways that are comfortable for them. So thank you for being passionate about that.

And I'm really excited that all of the guests on this episode, actually, are all based in Asia, not because all of the leaders of Kubernetes are in Asia, obviously not. We're talking to lots of Kubernetes leaders in this series. But I'm seeing a lot more folks from Asia and other regions coming up in leadership in the project. So we're getting a lot more global in our leadership, which helps make the contributor base a lot more global as well.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, I mean, I am baffled. I feel very happy and nice seeing the kind of progress that you have made. I mean, when I started contributing, there were not many people contributing. I mean, it's not about policies, or it's not about meeting time zones. It's just about awareness. People are using Kubernetes. But I think we have done great on the front of evangelizing contributing to the project.

KASLIN FIELDS: Which is something that SIG ContribEx cares a lot about. And you mentioned that there were some particular areas of SIG ContribEx that you found really helpful as you were getting involved with the community. I think it's really hard to explain to folks a lot of the time what SIG ContribEx does. I think, once I start explaining a lot of the time, people get it. But what are some of those projects or areas that SIG ContribEx owns that have been particularly helpful for you as you've gotten involved with the community?

NABARUN PAL: I think the leadership cohort, for sure, to get direct guidance from existing leaders, that helped a lot. Then, I think just showing up, being a fly on the wall initially, and how ContribEx gives that opportunity for you to do a very diverse set of things. You can do comms management. You can do infra management. You can do GitHub administration.

You can run your own mentoring cohorts if you want to. You can be part of the events team, which is where I also started contributing to ContribEx. After liking the 2019 Contributor Summit, I was part of the organizing team for 2019 San Diego Contributor Summit. So that helped me gel well with people. So, overall, I feel like all these initiatives that-- basically, the openness with which people can just get on to the train and have a fun ride.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, it's a very broad SIG. And hearing you say that being part of the Contributor Summit planning was helpful to you is especially heartening to me right now because I am a lead for comms for the Contributor Summit. And I have five shadows. [LAUGHS]

NABARUN PAL: Thank you so much for mentoring those people.

KASLIN FIELDS: It's going to be an adventure. I'm looking forward to hopefully giving them enough work to get them as involved as you are. [LAUGHS]

NABARUN PAL: I think they have a great future.

KASLIN FIELDS: I hope so. That's certainly our goal as leaders in the community. Let's move on to my next question for you. Since you've had a number of different leadership roles in the community, I guess we could talk about each one of them. What are some of the day-to-day responsibilities that you have in the Kubernetes Project, maybe grouped by these roles? Because they're very different roles. And I would imagine you do very different day-to-day activities in each of them.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, so I would say, I'll start with Contributor Experience, for sure. If I have to summarize what I do in ContribEx, I think we both do a lot of different things in ContribEx. And to summarize, I think what we do is improve the experience of contributors by creating and promoting programs that help them.

KASLIN FIELDS: Do you have the charter there in front of you? [LAUGHS] That's about it.

NABARUN PAL: I mean, I remember that part of the charter because--

KASLIN FIELDS: It's a good part.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, if I have to explain to people what ContribEx does, I sometimes get lost because there are a lot of things that we do. So I need to tell them one-liner on what we do in ContribEx. And that's why I say, we make things that work for the community, and we retire programs which don't work for the community anymore. That's the short version.

And then, even inside ContribEx, I am very involved in GitHub administration. That part of the project basically maintains the large GitHub organization that we have, actually multiple GitHub organizations. We have, I think, six or seven. I always get confused by the number of organizations that we have. And we manage it through GitOps. Everything is inside a Git repo, automated workflows. And we enforce policies to administer that repository. That is one aspect.

The other aspect is my steering committee involvement. So steering committee, in short, tries to maintain the overall health of the community by making sure that everyone abides by the charter, every group. A steering committee doesn't make technical decisions. Steering committee delegates those technical decisions to the special interest groups, which is part of their charter. But we make sure that everyone abides by the charter. And then, the community groups are healthy. And they're sustaining.

Then, we maintain some root level accounts, like Google Workspaces, et cetera. And often, we get requests for, let's say, a visa letter sponsorship or some other things like funding requests. For example, if you want to run a newsletter applic-id and you need to get a subscription to some service, you ask us. And then, we basically ask CNCF, hey, could you please budget some funds?

Basically, we liaison for the whole community in front of CNCF to get funding, to get-- I can give an example of this. CNCF does a great thing by sponsoring people to travel to KubeCon because not everyone can afford their way into KubeCon. And if some leader in our community, they want sponsorship, and if a word from steering helps in getting their application approved, we also do those activities. This is a gist of what I do in the community. I was very active in release earlier, when I was with the release teams.

KASLIN FIELDS: And that was a very different day-to-day, I'm sure, as well.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, that was very different day-to-day. That work was also very bounded work, unlike what I've been talking till now is wide, unbounded. Sometimes, you need to get into uncharted territories. In release, roles and responsibilities were well-defined. I did enhancements. I did release lead, release lead shadowing. I did branch management duties.

I was an emeritus advisor for a cycle. I have cut a few patch releases in the past. So those duties were very well-defined. And then, there are often things which relate to my day job, like working on a few features that are beneficial for the community that, also, I work on. But those are not day-to-day. Those are more ad hoc, whenever they come in.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, makes sense. And that's something I often try to explain to people about releases, that it's much more structured than basically any other part of the project. It's got the shadow process, where you apply. And they get a whole lot of applications. And they have to have a process to choose applicants. And then they now have a process as well to remove shadows who are not doing the work. And they have all of these very well-defined roles that they cycle through three times a year. So it's got to be very on point.

NABARUN PAL: Yes, we are reputed for releasing on time, year on year.


NABARUN PAL: Our on-time performance is really good.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, it's always a challenge, though. Those last few days leading up to the release are always stressful, even not as part of the release team.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, I have been there. And I admire everyone on the release team who often burn midnight oil near the release date, just to make sure that people who consume our artifacts, they get the artifacts on time.

KASLIN FIELDS: And I would love to have a short phrase for the steering committee, like we have for SIG ContribEx. Maybe I should go look at the charter. Maybe there's a good, short sentence in there. But I feel like it's so hard to explain steering to folks. I think CNCF liaison for the project is kind of the best explanation I have for folks.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, and then, I usually say we are the body which governs non-technical aspects of the project. That's how I usually define. I mean, the one-line definition here is much more concise compared to ContribEx.

KASLIN FIELDS: I do think people often get confused, though, about steering versus ContribEx, on what responsibilities lie with each, because they're both such broad groups about the contributor community of Kubernetes. But they're a little bit different.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, so as ContribEx-- ContribEx has much more responsibilities, I would say, in terms of maintaining those contributor programs. And steering basically acts as the overseer of whether everything is working fine or not.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, lovely. So let's talk a little bit more about how you get to do those day-to-day activities in the Kubernetes Project. How does your Kubernetes work relate to your day job?

NABARUN PAL: I have been one of those fortunate people on this planet who get time out of their day jobs to work on open source. I know that the set of people is very small compared to the large workforce on this planet. I am part of a team which builds a product on top of Kubernetes and another project called KCP.

So for the listeners who haven't heard about KCP before, it's an open-source project to build horizontally-scalable control planes for Kubernetes, like APIs. And this is from the documentation directly. So, due to my role, I am very involved with API machinery and scalability aspects of Kubernetes, and also with the Kubernetes Project because KCP is kind of like an extension of what-- it's a fork of Kubernetes, essentially, which does Kubernetes-like things.

In the past, I worked at a team in the same company building a Kubernetes distribution. Over there, I was involved with SIG Release as well. And that is where I used to get the majority of my time to open source. And, hence, all of these activities I could do. Currently, almost all of my leadership involvements are practically on my own time. So it's a little challenging. But I have a lot of other technical aspects which relate to my day job.

KASLIN FIELDS: For me, I've talked about on the show before that my job essentially considers my open-source work to be 20% of my time. So we try to keep it within that box. It sounds like you're in a similar place, where you get to do some of it for your work but only a small portion, at this point, at least. In the past, you've had more. But at this point, a lot of it is volunteer time.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah. So both times, it's 80/20. Earlier, it was 80 open source and 20 day job. Now, it's 80 day job and 20 open source.

KASLIN FIELDS: It's such a convenient way to split the time.

NABARUN PAL: I mean, I don't know who designed it. But it works.

KASLIN FIELDS: It keeps coming up, though.


KASLIN FIELDS: Lovely. So, let's start to wrap up here. And what advice would you give to a new contributor, or, I guess, an active contributor right now, who is trying to move into a leadership position in the project? We'll start with that one.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, so what I usually tell people is, find your purpose in the community. Find what drives you the most. I think figuring that part out early on gives the best motivation to pursue the path of leadership, as it's not always a bed of roses. You will often run into obstacles. And the days where you feel like you are running into obstacles, that purpose that you found out early on will keep your motivation alive. And that's what happened with me, too.

The next advice that I think that I always give people is, seek mentorship from existing community leaders. Ask them about their journey. I have had really great conversations with leaders in the community about how they got into certain positions and what motivates them to be there. That gave me a lot of perspective on, hey, this is how it works. And, hence, I do want to do it.

And sometimes, during those conversations, I found out, OK, this is not for me. This looks great. This is great work. But maybe it doesn't align to my purpose. So it's OK. Whichever way you go, it's OK. But it's good to know. It's very important to know what is out there. And just ask people for their experiences. Ask them, Can I get a one-on-one with you? or whatever suits best. And follow what they're doing. Be a fly on the wall. Basically, see what they're doing in the community, if you want to do it in future. In a nutshell, you be there, essentially.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yep, it's all about just being there, is often what I tell people. The more you're there, the more you'll learn about what's going on, and the more all the other people involved will know about you so that we can help you contribute to the community.

And let's talk a little bit more about what advice you have for folks who are looking to get started as contributors. Maybe they're not looking at leadership yet. Maybe they're inspired by leadership and want to move in that direction at some point. But they're not even contributing to the project yet. What advice would you give to folks who are new to the community?

NABARUN PAL: So it's an evergreen question, and it comes up very often. And the question comes up so often that I have templated answers ready for this because, usually, the first conversation is always the same. And then, from the second conversation, you start seeing the divergence. And then, it basically depends on how the conversation goes with that prospective new contributor to Kubernetes. So the first thing that I tell people is find your interest area.

You should try out a few things in the start and see what excites you. Best case is when you contribute to an area that aligns to what you work on day to day. You will keep the motivation alive, basically, because you will have aligning interests all throughout the day. And you don't need to be conflicted on, OK, what should my mind think as a primary thread, at what times of the day?

The other thing is being consistent, showing up. And it's not about showing up, let's say, 20 hours a week. It's about spending, let's say, even a couple of hours every week to start with. And it's much better than spending time in bursts. For example, you spend 10 hours one week, and then you don't show up for five weeks. That doesn't work out for anyone in this scenario. What you can do is, you be consistent. Don't be bursty. You can just show up in the meetings, try to understand, spend some time with what people are talking about in the meetings.

If you have doubts, raise your hand or ask questions on Slack asynchronously, if you don't feel comfortable speaking up on the call. Or if the meeting is not something that you can attend, depending on your day, or night, or whenever it is, you can always go and see the recordings. But again, coming back to the point, being consistent is very important. The next thing is keeping expectations in check.

It's very hard to keep track of motivation across time, unless you think in a very sustainable manner. You can't think about, OK, I start contributing one day. And then, in a couple of weeks, I start committing code. Yes, you can do it. But then, there are corner cases. What you need to do is be consistent, keep expectations in check, and don't burn yourself out. It's very easy. The perils are high.

And it's OK to take a break if you feel, hey, this is feeling overwhelming to me. Just pause, breathe. Think about what you are doing. Maybe take a day or a week off, and then come back. That works out really well. These few advices have worked out for me. And a few contributors have given me feedback as well over time that these parts and pieces in different sets and permutations worked out well. So I feel happy about giving this advice.

KASLIN FIELDS: Each individual's experience in open source can be so different. And so I feel like, a lot of the time, the advice is general and broad. But it kind of has to be that way because each individual's experience with the project is going to be different because you want different things out of contributing. And it's a long-term thing. It's all about putting down those roots in the community and then sticking around. So the paths end up being very different for each individual person.

NABARUN PAL: Yes, I agree. I think every individual in this community has a unique path. I am yet to see two people who have the same paths.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, or even very similar. They're usually not even close.

NABARUN PAL: Correct. Maybe even some part of their pathways are same. But then, I've seen everyone is involved in some distinct sets of things in the community. And neither they are completely disjoined, neither they are completely same.

KASLIN FIELDS: Wonderful. So we hope all of you out there are excited to join the Kubernetes Project and get into contributing. But keep those expectations in check and know that this is a long-term commitment if you do start contributing to open source. And I'm so glad that I got to talk with you today, Nabarun. And I really look forward to seeing what you do in the future to lead Kubernetes into its second decade.

NABARUN PAL: Thank you so much, Kaslin. It was great talking.



ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Today, we're talking to Paco Xu. Paco is an open source team lead in DaoCloud. He started working on containers in Docker in 2016, and later started to participate in the Kubernetes community in 2018. He is currently a member of the Kubernetes steering committee and works mainly on Kubeadm and SIG Node. He is also the co-chair of KubeCon and CloudNativeCon China 2024. Welcome to the show, Paco.

PACO XU: Hi, everyone.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Thank you for being with us. So, Paco, you've been involved for quite a while, since almost 2018. But you're considered the new generation of leaders, right? Can you tell us a little bit, how did your Kubernetes journey started?

PACO XU: My journey all started when I joined DaoCloud. At first, I worked on a Docker-based path. And later, we used the Docker Swarm at first. And within a year or two, we switched to Kubernetes. And then, I started my journey in the Kubernetes community. And later, in 2020, I started working full-time in the community.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Nice, nice. So, it has been around four years, almost, right, since 2018?

PACO XU: Yes, I have been working in the community full-time for four years and maybe six years--

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Total, OK, yeah. So, how did you find your place in the project? How was that experience, finding something you can contribute to and work on?

PACO XU: Yeah, before I joined the community, I'm a Kubernetes user. And when I joined the community, I started from my familiar path. And as my team was working on the infrastructure, and also the installer, so I started from the Kubeadm and also Kubelet. And this led me to part of the Kubernetes SIG Node.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Nice, nice, cool. Then, how was the transition from contributing to taking a leadership position? Because you are in the steering committee, right?

PACO XU: Yeah.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: How was that transition?

PACO XU: I think there are several reasons. At first, I participated in the community by myself. And later, I helped others to join the community and helping them to learn about Kubernetes, answer questions, and help them to merge their pull requests. And later, I started my promotion of the best practice from the community to our company, like the KEP, the production readiness review process, and also other best practices from the Kubernetes community.

And also, I started to share my experience in some events, like KCD China and also KubeCon. And I also started to organize a KCD in Chengdu, 2021. And later, last year, I organized the Kubernetes Contributor Summit in Shanghai. And this year, I will be the Co-Chair of the KubeCon and CloudNativeCon in Hong Kong, this August.


PACO XU: So, through those activities, I started to think like a maintainer. And I also participated in the steering committee election last year. And now, I'm a member of the steering committee.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Nice, nice. I am a member of the program committee for KubeCon China this year. So I just finished the reviews a few weeks ago.

PACO XU: Yeah, thanks.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: It was pretty cool. It was pretty interesting, actually, to be able to see submissions from different parts of the world. So in your current role within the Kubernetes community, what is your day-to-day responsibilities look like?

PACO XU: Currently, I serve as a member of the steering committee. And also, my primary work is on the SIG Node and Kubeadm. I also contribute to the release team in recent release cycles as the release signal team shadow and lead. As I'm now the Co-Chair of the KubeCon China, I'm very busy on the events. So I may focus on some maintenance tasks this cycle. And later, I may start other works in next release.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: All right, cool. So, then, how does your work with Kubernetes itself in the open-source world relate to your job?

PACO XU: At first, I was a developer for our enterprise platform based on Kubernetes. And later, after I joined the community, I started to work as-- we will learn the latest information from the community and share it to our team. And this also helped our product, to build our roadmap. And also, when our customer is using Kubernetes, they meet some problems.

The Kubernetes contributor or maintainer can solve their questions faster and better. We can provide the better solution and better products to our customers. This is the basic thing for our company. And this also helps us to learn the latest information. And the latest information sometimes helps us to move forward.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Nice. Yeah, you mentioned that you use the KEP process and the product readiness review process internally, right?

PACO XU: Yes, we use part of that, not the same one, but similar.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, but you got inspired from the community. And then you implemented a similar process inside your company.

PACO XU: Yeah, yeah, yeah,

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: This is very interesting. This is the first time I hear something like this. This is the first time I hear people taking advice from the open-source community. It's usually the other way around. So because the production readiness review, I think that that used to be a Google process, an internal Google process. KEP I think, is something that the community came up with. But it's just very interesting to see that an open-source project helps with more than just the code, just processes as well.

PACO XU: Yeah.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, all right, so thinking in your current role, and I assume you work with a lot of new contributors, right?

PACO XU: Yeah.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: All right, so, then, the question, what advice would you give to people who are either thinking about contributing to Kubernetes or thinking of transitioning to a leadership role?

PACO XU: From my view, I think our initial goal is to become a better engineer, no matter a leader or not. So, first, we should continuously improve our skills and also help others. When you start to help others, I think you become nearer to the leadership. And another thing I think we can do is to learn from current leaders and also current maintainers. We can observe and learn from their behavior and also their decision-making process.

And we should think as if we are in their role. And as we are working in the open-source community, all decisions are made in public. And you can find the official history in the KEP and also in the GitHub issues or pull requests, and also the SIG meetings.

All the meeting videos are public. So you can learn from all those resources to know how to become a leader and how to become a good leader. You may choose-- you can see how the leaders work. And then, you can choose to become what kind of leader you want.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Awesome, awesome. Well, that was all the questions I had for you. So thank you very much, Paco, for being with us.

PACO XU: Thank you.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Thank you. Have a good day.


KASLIN FIELDS: I'm so excited that we got to speak to these newer leaders in the Kubernetes community. We have folks from steering. We have leads of SIGs. Nikhita is just, you know, a superstar.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yes, yes, she is.

KASLIN FIELDS: And Abdel, you got to do the interviews with Nikhita and Paco. And I haven't gotten to listen to them yet, actually, as we're recording this. So how did those go?

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: They went super well. I think it's funny that we call them the new generation, although Nikhita, for example, has been involved for quite a while, right?

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, I mean, it takes a while to get into leadership, right?

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: That's true, that's true. Yeah, so Nikhita was awesome because Nikhita has been involved-- first of all, she'd been involved since university because she got into Kubernetes through the Google Summer of Code, which is the paid internship that Google has, and then, since then, got involved in the project, served in a bunch of SIGs.

KASLIN FIELDS: She is actually already emeritus of SIG ContribEx. So, I mean, fair point on that one.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yes, yeah, because before the interview, she was like, the way you wrote your questions make it sound like I just started. And I'm like, that's not what we're implying here. But it's hard to find the people who have real impact and who are really involved and can have a good conversation.

I think in trying to list the people, it was a little bit challenging because we don't want to, as Nikhita said in the interview, we don't want to have the drive-by contributors, the people that contribute for PR and move on. But yeah, it takes time for people to build up enough experience to have something to say, I think. And I think Nikhita is one of these people.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, it was very difficult categorizing the experts that we wanted to talk to.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: It was, it was.

KASLIN FIELDS: So sorry if we missed one every now and then. But they're all wonderful. So I'm excited that we got to talk to them.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Exactly. I mean, ignore the titles of the episodes. What's important is the interview itself.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yes, there we go.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: So, yeah, Nikhita was involved for a while, doing all the ContribEx, which-- well, one thing I found interesting in your interview with Nabarun, I did not know that the ContribEx people are in charge of GitHub admin.

KASLIN FIELDS: We are, yeah.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: I did not know that.

KASLIN FIELDS: That is a scary one.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Is that new, or was it the case for a while?

KASLIN FIELDS: I think it's been that way for a long time. It's kind of a tricky one for us to manage because it requires so much trust from the project, for folks to have that level of access to the whole of the GitHub of Kubernetes.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: The kingdom, yeah.

KASLIN FIELDS: So there's a little bit of shared ownership there with steering because it's such a high trust position for GitHub administration. But there's also two different parts of GitHub administration. We were talking about this recently as we were working on our annual report for the SIG, that there's the GitHub admins, who are those super trusted people who have really high access.

And so that's one part of it. But we also have folks who do a lot of the day-to-day work, of doing things on GitHub that have lower levels of access. So there's kind of, actually, two different pieces, GitHub administration and GitHub management. We considered splitting those into two different sub-projects. We haven't yet. Maybe we'll continue to consider that. But yeah, GitHub administration is a pretty tricky one to manage because of that high level of trust.

NABARUN PAL: Yeah, it was just very interesting for me to learn. I never thought about it until I heard-- I was talking to Nikhita and then listening to the interviews. And I was like, hmm, that's interesting.

KASLIN FIELDS: GitHub is critical to the contributor experience.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Of course. Now it makes a lot of sense.


ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, so that was cool. That was discussing with Nikhita. We talked about a lot of things, how to get involved, how to-- don't sit around and wait for people to tell you what to do. But I think this is something that echoed across all the interviews we've been doing. So, yeah, it was, all in all, very cool.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, that was one piece of advice I got very early on in my contribution in Kubernetes, is, of course, one thing, don't sit around for people to tell you what to do. But also, if you're a leader in the community who wants people to do things, assign it to someone, put a name to the task. Otherwise, it's not getting done.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yes, or it's not going to get done, yeah. And the other advice that I found very interesting, or very cool, I think, from Nikhita was, if you are coming as a new contributor, do your homework. Come in with an idea of what you want to do because that will help the existing contributors help guide you.


ABDEL SGHIOUAR: So if you already know the area you want to work on, generally speaking, it doesn't have to be technical. It can be the Contributor Experience. Then people will be able to help guide you, navigate the whole complexity of the project, I guess.

KASLIN FIELDS: Yeah, nobody knows everything that's happening over here. But we can try to help direct you to the things that will be of the most value to you as best we can. And if you're doing something that you feel is valuable, you're going to be more successful at it and more driven to keep getting involved with it. So we want to help you find those things.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Exactly. And then, Paco, we had a good conversation. I think the two things that stand out from that conversation was, a, the fact that Paco said that they took KEP as a process. And they implemented it inside the company where he works.

KASLIN FIELDS: Oh, interesting. I mean, the Kubernetes community as a precedent, as something to be emulated, I love those stories because the Kubernetes community is something else. It's such a large community. And there's so much organization and process that's gone into it at this point, that we have some really good processes that were created for this community. So I love hearing things like that.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, and especially that it's not something you hear very often, that people take stuff from open source and apply it to enterprise. It's usually the other way around.

KASLIN FIELDS: The business, yeah.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Exactly. So that was pretty cool.

KASLIN FIELDS: Awesome. And I was a election officer, I believe, for the one where both Nabarun and Paco became members of the steering committee. So I was kind of excited to hear from them now that they're in their steering roles. I feel like a lot of folks-- I might have said this before.

I feel like I've said it a couple of times recently, then, that I feel like folks often don't quite know what they're getting into with the steering committee because it's really hard to condense it down into a single sentence. Like I was saying with Nabarun, it's really hard to describe exactly what the steering committee does in a way that clicks with people. So I was excited to hear from them now that they're in it.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, and Nabarun also had been involved for quite some time, including working with you on the ContribEx SIG.

KASLIN FIELDS: And he'd even been on the podcast before as a release lead.


KASLIN FIELDS: The folks in this community, they are amazing.


KASLIN FIELDS: So many folks do so many things. I love to see it.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yeah, it's super cool, like, the contributors. And everybody's so humble and so nice and so willing to help. So it's very, very humbling to be involved.

KASLIN FIELDS: So we hope that, for the 20 year anniversary, probably not us, but whoever's running this podcast then will interview some of you out there.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: Yes, we'll carry on, for sure, the tradition of doing the release leads. That's for sure. We'll try to get the community on the podcast as much as we can. We, of course, have to balance out the guests. But for me, it's just-- these three episodes and the next one have been super humbling to be able to talk to all these people. It's just pretty cool to be able to do this show.

KASLIN FIELDS: It's so cool. And it's also eating away at me how many people were on our list that we really wanted to talk to that we didn't fit into this series. So I'm hoping we can maybe fit some of those into future episodes someday.

ABDEL SGHIOUAR: I hope so as well. Well, thank you very much, Kaslin. That was great.

KASLIN FIELDS: Thank you, Abdel. And thank you to all of you out there listening. We'll see you next time.


That brings us to the end of another episode. If you enjoyed this show, please help us spread the word and tell a friend. If you have any feedback for us, you can find us on social media at 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 notes and links to subscribe. Please consider rating us in your podcast player so we can help more people find and enjoy the show. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you next time.