Growing the Kubernetes community is essential for ensuring its strong and prosperous future. But Kubernetes and cloud native ecosystems are complex, and building bridges into the community through open learning tools and platforms is critical to eliminating barriers of entrance and growing the community effectively.
At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon this October, Le Tran, a member of the technical staff at Kasten by Veeam, shared her insights on the journey toward growing the Kubernetes community through learning tools, as well as her own story of becoming a member of the community and learning cloud native development. In this post, we’ll review key takeaways from her talk.
Transitioning to Cloud Native Development
Le Tran joined our engineering team at Kasten by Veeam since October 2021. Prior to joining Kasten, she worked at Bosch in the automotive embedded systems industry as a software engineer, leading a team that launched new surround view camera systems in the latest car fleets.
At Bosch, Le gathered extensive experience as a trainer, leading numerous courses on autonomous driving technologies. Having recently changed tech stacks, she understands what it takes to get up to speed quickly when undertaking a new challenge, such as learning Kubernetes.
“Cloud native technologies, in general – and Kubernetes specifically – might not be the most beginner-friendly topics,” she said. “Therefore, it’s important for our community to lend a helping hand and continue to build bridges into our world through open learning tools and platforms.”
Having transitioned from the auto industry to cloud native development, initially Le knew nothing about Kubernetes, container technologies or other related topics. “I came to a strange land where I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” she said. Today, she’s not only familiar with that “strange land,” she’s operational and has enough knowledge to navigate new topics. However, Le knows there’s still a lot to learn.
Choosing the Right Learning Pathway
According to Le, diving into a new topic as complex as cloud native development can be overwhelming, because of the surplus of available materials. In her own journey, she relied on free and beginner-friendly resources to get up to speed. “The learning materials that worked well for me are those that are engaging, high quality and fun,” she said. “One of them is a homegrown learning site from Kasten.”
Introduced during KubeCon NA 2021, the site Le used – Learning.kasten.io – was designed as an initiative to address the need for more Kubernetes training for all skill levels. While it offers a variety of learning modules, Le’s favorites are the hands-on labs. “I learn best with a mix of theoretical contents and hands-on exercises, and the labs on Learning.Kasten.io deliver just that,” she said. “They are essentially a playground where I can work with real-world examples and use actual Kubernetes clusters without having to set them up.”
The environments for the labs are curated to be engaging and drive home learning points without being overwhelming. Not only are they designed to be beginner-friendly, they cover advanced topics as well – from storage to application consistency, databases and more. Since the labs are short – about 50 minutes each – they allow for incremental learning. What’s more, according to Le, they’re fun! “Every lab comes with digital badges that can be shared on social media,” she said. “There is also a Wall of Fame for folks to showcase their progress with most points and most badges earned.”
Since Learning.kasten.io was announced, it has continued to evolve and incorporate labs covering new projects from the community such as Prometheus and Grafana, and adding new content covering topics such as how to use MiniKube and using Kubernetes Network Policies to control traffic flow.
A New Name: KubeCampus.io
Given the growing success of the site and the number of requests for new courses, Kasten has changed the branding to be vendor neutral to encourage event more instructors from the community. The completely rebranded site – now called KubeCampus.io – features a new look and structure, but continues to deliver engaging, high-quality and fun content and labs to the Kubernetes community. In addition, the site is now open to Kasten partners, which will help create a larger ecosystem of learning materials.
“When we discuss our future, it’s important to discuss the growth of the Kubernetes community itself,” Le said. “We want to continue growing our user-base, and KubeCampus.io is the perfect platform for doing just that.”
We're happy Le was able to share her experience ramping up in the space. Watch Le’s presentation on-demand here. Also, checkout KubeCampus.io for yourself and start expanding your Kubernetes and cloud native knowledge!
Tom graduated with an M.S.E from the University of Michigan in 2013. His first job was on the server team at Maginatics, cloud based file system company which was acquired by EMC late in 2014. After the acquisition, he joined Dropbox where he was focused on improving the efficiency of Dropbox’s metadata storage, disaster recovery, and fault tolerance. In 2017, Tom joined the founding team at Kasten. Kasten is focussed on kubernetes data management, and was acquired by Veeam in 2020. He is now managing teams spanning multiple projects, all with the aim of simplifying data management in cloud-native environments.
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