Honest review of KubeCon Amsterdam
I recently got back from KubeCon in Amsterdam. I know some of you can’t attend, and I know some of you are unsure if it's worth the cost and time.
So... here's my honest review of KubeCon Amsterdam. I break it down into different aspects of the conference and give each one a score out of 10.
The day before
My score: 7/10
If you don't already know, the day before the main event is home to a ton of specialised mini conferences. These are a great way to sample the wider ecosystem and deep-dive into specific areas.
I attended Cloud Native Wasm Day and really enjoyed it.
If you plan on attending a future KubeCon, I highly recommend arriving early and attending one or more of these mini-conferences. Be warned though, they usually cost extra.
My score: 6.5/10
There were tons of great sessions to attend. In fact, there were almost too many. My personal favourite was Kate Goldenring’s talk on Serverless WebAssembly.
Unfortunately, I have the same problem every year — the app and the website! I know these probably aren't a priority for event organisers, but when you've got 30+ tracks and 120+ sessions on the first day... you need a decent app and website.
I'd give the session content an 8/10 but the app and website a 5/10.
Showcase floor and booths
My score: 9/10
I normally don't like the showcase floor and booths. However, in Amsterdam they were amazing. Everything was in one place, there was a great vibe, and everyone I spoke to was super-kind and super-approachable.
I know that speaking to people at a booth can be intimidating. However, most of them are super-keen to help and I think they welcome an opportunity to talk to anyone that’s genuinely interested. As a quick example, I didn't understand something, so I asked one of the booth experts if they could spend more time explaining it to me. I was immediately swept away to a quieter place with two of their technical team who walked me through things at a slower pace and answered all my questions.
On a personal note, I did a book signing at the Akamai booth and the line was possibly longer than it's been at any previous event. I signed 150 copies of The Kubernetes Book and we ran out with lots of people still in line.
The reason I'm not giving this section a 10/10 is because I could never find a map of the show floor, so I spent far too much time trying to find stuff.
My score: 7/10
Parties can be a big part of KubeCon for some people. However, this year there wasn’t an official KubeCon party.
This didn’t bother me as I'm shy and don't always enjoy attending them. However, I do enjoy the smaller parties organised by vendors and sponsors. I attended a couple and heard great things about some of the ones I didn't attend.
If you attend KubeCon in the future, feel free to enjoy the parties, but also feel free to skip them and chill in the evenings.
The frustrating thing about the smaller parties is that it's sometimes hard to find out about them and they're usually invitation-only, or you have to sign-up in advance.
My score: 9/10
I love the tech, but the people are the best thing about KubeCon. Everyone I spoke to was kind, generous, and approachable. I also learned a lot from the experts at the booths.
Also, when speaking with the 150+ people at my book signing I was amazed that this was the first KubeCon for most of them!
So... don't stress about attending your first KubeCon, you’ll be surrounded by plenty of others who are experiencing it for the first time!
Overall event score…
… 7.7 out of 10.
If you attend a future event, ping me and we can catch up.
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