Codemotion in Amsterdam, Devoxx in London

After my trip in Istanbul, I visited my parents in Nicosia, Cyprus for a long weekend. Then, I stopped by in Amsterdam for Codemotion before coming back to London for Devoxx. 4 cities in 4 countries in 1 week was exhausting but also a lot of fun in many ways.

Codemotion Amsterdam

Amsterdam is almost a second home to me nowadays. There’s a great tech scene and a lot of tech events throughout the year, as a result, I end up visiting Amsterdam at least 2-3 times a year.

Codemotion is a European tech conference that happens in many locations. As you might remember, I spoke at Codemotion Rome earlier this year (trip report). This was my second time speaking at Codemotion Amsterdam. Last year, I spoke about gRPC and this year about Istio, both open source projects .

Codemotion Amsterdam is a mid-size conference, my guess is about 1000/1500 developers. I love the venue of Codemotion Amsterdam. It’s in an old factory kind of place, right next to the river. They did a great job with the venue decoration, lighting both last year and this year as well.

Talk & Questions

I did my usual Istio 101 talk to a group of about 100 developers. After my talk, I got the following questions:

  • How does Istio compare to Conduit? (apparently, Conduit is an Istio like project but I didn’t know much about it).
  • How can we have sticky sessions with Istio? (i.e. make sure certain users always go to the same pod).
  • Is it possible to have a message queue between services? This is a common pattern in microservices and a couple of people were wondering if this is possible in Istio.

Devoxx London

After Amsterdam, I arrived back to London for Devoxx UK. Even though I’m based in London, I don’t get to speak as much as I’d like in London, mainly due to my travels, so I was happy to be part of Devoxx UK.

Devoxx is another European conference that happens in places like Brussels, Krakow, Casablanca and London. It started as a Java conference but nowadays, it’s much more than just Java. I got to speak at Devoxx Brussels, Krakow and Casablanca in previous years but this was my first time speaking in Devoxx London.

As a side note, Devoxx Brussels is one of the best tech conferences I ever attended with great technical content, huge cinema like screens for previous and awesome attendees and speakers. In comparison, London is smaller but still a nice conference.

Talk & Questions

In Devoxx London, I did my Istio 101 talk again. It’s great to see so much interest in Istio from the community. The talk of the video is already online, so you can watch it here if you like:

After the talk, I got the following questions:

  • Kafka or some message queue between services: Again, people are curious about how to have an async architecture with message queues between services.
  • Zipkin add-on: Where does it save its data? If Istio is restarted, does the data persist?
  • Zipkin: Can we have it to look at our custom headers for tracing?
  • Pilot stability: What happens if Pilot does? Does the service mesh still work? Does Pilot’s state persist somewhere?
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Istanbul: The city where the East and the West meet

Istanbul is one of those crazy dynamic cities with friendly people, amazing history, great shopping and above all, a food heaven. Naturally, I was excited to be back for Java Day Istanbul conference.

I came a day early to meet with a partner and visit a customer. They had lots of questions on Kubernetes and hybrid-cloud. It was quite useful for me to hear about their challenges about moving to the cloud and propose some solutions.

The biggest benefit of conferences for me is meeting or reconnecting with people. This time, I got to meet my friends Edson and Rustam. We went to the famous steak house called Nusret where the owner is a social media sensation.

Java Day

Java Day is a community driven conference that happens all over Europe. I spoke in Java Day Istanbul for the first time last year about Kubernetes. This year, it was at a different venue and seemed a little bigger than last year with about 800 developers (my guess). I got to speak about Istio in the main room to a group of about 100 developers.

They also have my video talk if you want to watch.

After my talk, I had to leave immediately to catch my flight, as I went to visit my parents for a long weekend.

Questions

The questions I received about Istio were mostly about the performance overhead of Envoy and also the production readiness of Istio. I’m sure I received some other questions that I cannot think of anymore but overall, no unique question stood out.

 

 

 

Manchester after 20 years

After my time in Beijing, I flew back to the UK but instead of London, I went to Manchester for IPExpo conference. The first time I visited Manchester was 20 years ago. I was a 15 year old high school kid and I visited my great aunt and uncle one summer with my sister. I remember I had such a good time back then.

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to visit Manchester again and it was quite nostalgic for me to be back. I was hoping that I would remember Manchester a little bit but to my surprise, it was like a brand new city to me.

Apparently, Google has a small office in Manchester. I did a quick visit (my 36th Google office visit!) and after my talk, I got to visit Manchester United’s iconic stadium, Old Trafford. I was too late for a tour but it was still nice to see it from outside. I also had dinner with my great aunt and uncle again after 20 years 🙂

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IPExpo

IPExpo is a 2 day conference that happens in locations like London, Manchester and Nordics. I spoke at IPExpo in London for the first time last year. It’s a conference that happens in a giant expo hall where they have a number of companies with their booths. The talks happens in the four corners of the expo hall.

IPExpo in London last year was a unique and challenging experience for me because I wasn’t used to speaking in a large open expo hall with a ton of background noise. This time, I was much more comfortable with the setup and enjoyed doing my talk.

I did my Intro to Kubernetes talk to about 100 people. After the talk, I got a number of basic Kubernetes questions, so it was an engaged audience but I don’t remember the questions anymore unfortunately.

First time in China

Visiting a new country is always extra special for me and a couple of weeks ago, I got to do just that and visited Beijing, China for the first time.

After TDC in Floripa, I flew to Beijing for QCon conference and for a Google Developer Group (GDG) meetup. It was the first time for me in China (my 48th country!) and first time speaking at QCon, so I was naturally excited. I didn’t know what to expect in Beijing but I was pleasantly surprised. Beijing is a modern city with good public transportation and interesting sites to visit. I got the feeling that it’s also very international with many expats, definitely more than I expected. I visited the iconic sites like Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. I also visited Google’s Beijing office (my 35th Google office visit!)

QCon Beijing

QCon is a global conference that happens in multiple locations like New York, London, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Shanghai. QCon Beijing was a multi-day multi-track conference with more than 1000+ attendees on a diverse set of topics. I could only attend the last day of the conference on Sunday.

I did my Istio 101 talk to a full room of probably 200 people. I was surprised by the number of attendees and the level of questions I received after my talk. It seems like many people in Beijing are active users of the cloud related technologies like Kubernetes and they were very curious about Istio.

Questions

After my talk, I received the usual Istio questions such as:

  • When will Istio be production ready?
  • What’s Istio roadmap, what features are planned in the upcoming releases?
  • What’s the performance overhead of Envoy proxy?
  • What are the performance characteristics of Istio?

I also received a couple unique questions such as:

  • How do you talk from Istio to an external database?
  • What’s the state of CloudFoundry with Istio?
  • How to upgrade Istio? What’s the recommended procedure?

GDG Beijing

A couple of days after QCon Beijing, I did the same Istio talk at Google Developer Group in Beijing. It was at a co-working space and organizers did a great job in putting the event together with banners, videos before the event and a great Q&A session after my talk.

Questions

After the talk, we had an extensive Q&A session. There were the usual Istio questions on roadmap, production readiness and envoy overhead. More interesting questions I remember were:

  • How long lived connections are handled in Istio?
  • How to delete route rules without yaml?
  • How does Istio see user agent headers when encrypted?
  • Will Istio replace or integrate with Spring Cloud?
  • How is Istio different from Rancher?

Overall, I was very happy to get the chance to visit this great city and country and hope to come again in the near future.

Trip Report: TDC in Florianópolis

Back in my favorite country: Brazil

Last week, I was in my favorite country, Brazil, for The Developer Conference (TDC) in Florianópolis (aka Floripa). I went to Brazil for the first time last July. Since then, I’ve been there 3 more times and I gradually fell in love with it. People are friendly, their BBQ is amazing, scenery is beautiful. I always have a good time in Brazil and this time wasn’t an exception.

In all previous times, I was mainly in Sao Paulo for a conference followed by a short trip to Rio (my favorite city!) for myself. This time, I went to Florianópolis which is a city to the south of Sao Paulo. It has a similar feeling as Rio (i.e. beach town) but smaller and felt safer than Rio. It had amazing views of mountains and sea, great food and friendly people, as always the case with Brazil.

TDC

TDC is probably the biggest tech conference in Brazil, along with QCon. It’s a community driven conference that happens in multiple locations (Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Floripa) throughout the year. It is usually multi-day, multi-track conference on a number of diverse topics (cloud, microservices, big data, .NET, Java) and a big technical audience of usually 1000+ people. I was told that TDC Floripa was close to 4000 people which is amazing. Most of the talks are in Portuguese with a few exceptions in English, like my talk.

At TDC, I got to meet my friend, Rafael Benevides from RedHat and made some new friends such as Elder Moraes and Rodrigo Cândido Silva who were the track leads for microservices track that I was speaking at. Although the conference was 4 days, I could only attend the first day. I had to fly out the next day for another conference.

My talk on Istio

I first spoke at TDC last July in Sao Paulo about running .NET Containers with Kubernetes on Google Cloud. This year, I was happy to be selected again for Floripa for my Istio talk. It was a big room full of people, in the end probably about 120+ people.

It was the same talk I did in Codemotion Rome a couple weeks ago on introduction to containers, Kubernetes and Istio with demos sprinkled along the talk.

Questions

After the talk, the audience was engaged and asked a number of questions. These are some of them that I remember.

Production readiness and roadmap. People asked when Istio will be considered production ready and what’s the roadmap of features coming up.

What’s the overhead of Envoy? People want to know what’s the performance overhead of Envoy and Istio in general. While the overhead of Envoy is supposed to be minimal, I don’t have exact figures. I intend to look into this further to give people more guidance.

Existing ingress rules. Someone mentioned that they have an existing Kubernetes cluster with a number of existing ingress rules and they were curious how Istio ingress work or doesn’t work with existing ingress rules.

DOS attacks with ingress. Someone asked if Istio ingress handles Denial of Service attacks. I don’t think ingress itself has DOS protection but a loadbalancer infront of DOS would handle that in Google Cloud.

Rancher and Istio. How’s Istio different than Rancher? Rancher is about deploying Kubernetes to multiple clouds and making that process easy. Istio is built on top of Kubernetes and provides microservice level features. So it’s much more than just Kubernetes and Rancher.

WebSockets with Envoy. Someone mentioned that they had issues using WebSockets with Envoy. I told him that latest versions of Istio have WebSocket support, you just need to enable it but I couldn’t really comment on the issue without seeing the details.

After talk interview

After my talk, an Oracle LATAM DevRel person, briefly interviewed me about my talk and here’s the video: