Putting Into Practice the Skills You've Learned Contributing to Kubernetes


Authors:   Kiran Oliver


The importance of contributing to the Kubernetes community and defining success on an individual level
  • Creating content in your own voice to share your unique experience and knowledge
  • Submitting to CFPS and becoming a Kubecon pod mentor
  • Unifying the community and celebrating everyone's wins
  • Communicating effectively and remembering to pause and reflect
  • Defining success on an individual level and not comparing oneself to others
  • Negotiating job titles and remembering that progress is not linear
The speaker shares their personal journey of losing their job in 2019 and pausing their Kubernetes open source work, but eventually returning to the community in 2020 and winning the bake off. They emphasize the importance of believing in oneself and persevering through difficult times.


Contributing to Kubernetes, learning how the community functions, and understanding the key pillars that make this large open source project, and its surrounding community a success may seem like a mystery. The secret is actually no secret at all: It’s about the people behind the project, working tirelessly and making things happen day in, and day out. It is a recurring challenge for many new open source developers to apply the skills they’ve learned when contributing to Kubernetes to the real world, particularly if they are new to the industry, changing careers, or are skilling up in their current role. This talk helps to bring clarity to the questions, “How can I truly use what I’ve learned contributing to Kubernetes to improve my career outlook long-term?” and “How can I use these skills to improve the communities, ecosystems, and other open source projects I’m a part of?”