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KubeCon NA 2020: For the Modern App Developer

Here is a curated list of some talks to watch at KubeCon NA 2020

Tiffany Jernigan November 11, 2020

KubeCon North America is coming up soon! It will take place virtually November 17th-20th.

The schedule is chock-full of very interesting talks,from introductory overviews to advanced deep dives. When I first saw it, I ended up copying down as many talks as possible to share here because they are all just so good. But I figured I should probably curate a bit, so below you will find a list of my top recommendations, broken down, for the most part, by their respective Special Interest Group (SIG) names.

Talks with a 🌱 next to them are introductory/deep dive talks, and each SIG section header links to its respective SIG page.


If you can, definitely watch all of the keynotes. There is a complimentary pass just for the keynotes if you’re unable to attend the rest of the conference.

If you’re interested in seeing what cool things different companies are working on and/or are interested in, check out the sponsored sessions on Day 1.

API Machinery

Day 2

🌱 Admission Control, We Have a Problem - Ryan Jarvinen, Red Hat

This is an interactive session that will teach you how Admission Controllers play a critical role in securing Kubernetes APIs. You will be able to “implement basic input validation and testing of webhooks for the Admission Controller.”

Day 4

Into the Deep Waters of API Machinery - Federico Bongiovanni & Daniel Smith, Google, & David Eads, Stefan Schimanski, Red Hat


Day 4

🌱 SIG Architecture Intro and Update - John Belamaric, Google & Derek Carr, Red Hat


Day 2

🌱 Introduction to Autoscaling - Guy Templeton, Skyscanner & Joe Burnett, Google

This talk covers different types of autoscaling, how they work, and why you should use them. Best practices and gotchas will also be discussed.

Cluster Lifecycle

Day 4

🌱 Introduction to SIG Cluster Lifecycle - Lubomir I. Ivanov, VMware & Justin Santa Barbara, Google


Day 3

Kubernetes and Logging: Do It Right - Eduardo Silva, Arm Treasure Data

This talk dives into logging for distributed systems, specifically for Kubernetes environments, best practices, and available open-source tools.


Day 2

Contour, A High Performance Multitenant Ingress Controller for Kubernetes - Michael Michael, Steve Sloka, Nick Young, & James Peach, VMware

Day 3

🌱 Kubernetes SIG-Network: Intro and Deep-Dive - Tim Hockin & Bowei Du, Google & Rich Renner, Sunder Networks


Day 1

Simplify Application Deployment at the Edge with Harbor - Michael Michael, Harbor

In order to operate Kubernetes at the Edge, a container registry is required. This is where Harbor comes in.

Day 2

Harbor- Enterprise Cloud Native Artifact Registry - Steven Zou, Daniel Jiang, Alex Xu, & Steven Ren, VMware

This talk goes into detail about Project Harbor, a container registry, and its roadmap.


Day 1

🌱 Introduction and Deep Dive into containerd - Michael Crosby & Derek McGowan, Apple, Phil Estes, IBM, & Wei Fu, Alibaba

This talk will be a combined intro to and deep dive into containerd, a container runtime.

Day 3

🌱 Intro: CNCF SIG-Runtime - Ricardo Aravena, Rakuten & Renaud Gaubert , NVIDIA

In this talk, there will be an overview of current projects and future technologies that fall into the SIG-Runtime scope.


Day 2

Open Policy Agent Intro - Patrick East, Styra & Max Smythe, Google

This talk will give an intro to Open Policy Agent (OPA), which provides policy-based control for cloud native environments. To see an instance of how OPA has been used, scroll down to Day 4.

Detecting Security Policies Violation Using Falco: A Practical Introduction - Leonardo Grasso, Sysdig

This talk will provide an intro to and tutorial of Falco, a runtime security tool designed to detect anomalous activity and security breaches.

Day 3

A Special Interest in Cloud Native Security - Emily Fox, National Security Agency (NSA) & Brandon Lum, IBM

This talk will be about SIG-Security efforts and projects.

Kubernetes-native Security with Starboard - Liz Rice & Daniel Pacak, Aqua Security

“Starboard is an open source project that gathers security information from various different tools into Kubernetes CRDs, so users can manage & access security reports through familiar Kubernetes interfaces, like kubectl or Octant.” This talk will include multiple demos.

Day 4

Using Open Policy Agent to Meet Evolving Policy Requirements - Jeremy Rickard, VMware

This talk will cover concrete examples of how VMware has used Open Policy Agent (OPA) to implement evolving Kubernetes policy requirements and more.


Day 4

🌱 Intro & Deep Dive: Kubernetes SIG-Storage - Xing Yang, VMware & Michelle Au, Google


Day 3

Kubernetes: Putting the Focus on Upstream Usability with SIG Usability - Tasha Drew, VMware & Gabby Moreno Cesar, IBM

This talk will focus on Kubernetes end users and how Kubernetes can help.

Five Hundred Twenty-five Thousand Six Hundred K8s CLI’s - Phillip Wittrock & Gabbi Fisher, Apple

This talk will go into a number of very useful Kubernetes-related CLIs.


Day 4

Simplifying Windows Runtime and Deployment in Kubernetes - Michael Michael, VMware, Mark Rossetti & Muzz Imam, Microsoft, & Deep Debroy, Docker

When talking about containers, people often think about Linux. This talk will instead dive into Windows and Kubernetes.