From Network Engineer to K8s Developer: Lessons Learned via Telepresence


Authors:   Peter O'Neill


The presentation discusses the journey of a network engineer into becoming a K8s developer and the skills and knowledge that transfer between the two roles. It highlights the complexity of Kubernetes and the importance of tools like Telepresence for developing and debugging in the cluster.
  • Network engineering involves troubleshooting and following a network path, which transfers to Kubernetes development.
  • Cloud-native applications are more complex, with multiple services, load balancers, and connections.
  • Troubleshooting in Kubernetes involves identifying which service and connection is causing the issue.
  • Telepresence is a useful tool for bridging a laptop's local network to a Kubernetes cluster for easier development and debugging.
  • The presentation includes a demo of using Telepresence to access the Kubernetes API and work with pods.
The presenter uses a simple networking path to illustrate the difference between troubleshooting a traditional website and a cloud-native application. They also demonstrate using Telepresence to connect a laptop to a Kubernetes cluster and work with the API and pods.


Kubernetes is every bit as complex as a globally distributed network, but all wrapped up in one cluster. From Ingresses, to load-balancers, to headless services, Kubernetes has more possible points of failure than an IP packet jetting around the world. Join in to hear a network engineer's journey into Kubernetes. As any network engineer would do, we will follow the networking path. We will start at the Kubernetes API, work our way through the services and connections, and eventually make our way into the pods and containers. Understanding how complex it is to reach backend services hosted in Kubernetes, it's surprising a tool like Telepresence hasn't come around sooner. Once you've experienced it, bridging your laptop's local network to a Kubernetes cluster makes sense. No spotty VPN tunnels or long-lived port-forwarding sessions. Just "telepresence connect" and start developing and debugging as if your laptop was in your cluster.