Google developer advocate Kelsey Hightower shares his thoughts on Kubernetes and the culture of open source

Respect It

It's a Commodity

"Usually when you write a whitepaper, you're sharing ideas with the world. These research papers try to crystallize practices that sometimes people never share; it's their secret sauce," said Hightower. "So, once you put the idea out there that people can read, you start to commoditize the idea."

"The other part of the commoditization process I believe comes from the standardization," said Hightower. CNCF has already standardized Kubernetes with the conformance program.

However, commoditization doesn't mean an end of innovation, at least not in the case of Kubernetes.

The Kubernetes community is quite welcoming to new use cases. If someone can't start with Kubernetes because it doesn't support their use cases, the response of the community, according to Hightower, is, "it's a huge use case; let's support it by adding new extension points." That's why a lot of things in Kubernetes are in alpha, because new use cases keep getting support.

It's All About People

Hightower is a very strong believer of open source. "When I was growing up, I didn't see a world where anyone in my family was in the tech world. I was into sports and hung out with other kids. I never imagined that I would be in an industry like this at all," said Hightower. "In open source, you don't have to prove yourself first. I can contribute at any level – documentation, talk, or source code. You don't need validation from others."

Leaders like Hightower have created a very positive and welcoming community. When he came offstage, he was surrounded by people who wanted to take selfies with him. As he was walking, he was interrupted by at least four people who wanted to thank him, shake his hand, or tell him how his work helped them. Only one other person in the open source world generates the same amount of craze – Linus Torvalds. When I mention this to Hightower and ask him how it feels to be treated as a celebrity, his answer is humble:

"If you're helpful with people, this is their expression of gratitude. That's how they say 'thank you'. It means a lot to them. I don't let it go to my head. Honestly, the community gave it to you, and the community can take it away, so I respect it."

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy ADMIN Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus