The Elastisys Tech Blog


5 Key Takeaways from KubeCon EU 2024


Blog post by Cristian Klein

I’m Cristian, the Compliant Kubernetes product owner at Elastisys. I review data protection regulations and security best practices, to translate those into Kubernetes and Cloud Native solutions. I gathered over 19 years of experience acting variously as an on-call network engineer, consultant, teacher and researcher. You can follow me on LinkedIn, where I post about topics at the intersection of information security and Kubernetes.

Since its inception, KubeCon has been the go-to event for Kubernetes, DevOps, and platform engineers. KubeCon EU 2024 is as of April 2024 the biggest KubeCon ever, having attracted over 13 000 attendees.

But there’s another reason why this year’s KubeCon was special: Kubernetes turns 10 years old. As a result, KubeCon EU 2024 was an opportunity for the cloud native community to reflect on the past and to shape the upcoming 10 years.

Being big fans of platform engineering, we at Elastisys went to Paris to listen in on the latest and greatest trends in the area.

Here are my (Cristian) top 5 takeaways.

1. "AI is the new web application and Kubernetes is the new web server."

Keynotes, sessions, "the hallway track", as well as the solutions pavilion were filled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Clearly the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) – who organizes KubeCon and owns Kubernetes – wants to signal that it’s a relevant player in a world which was caught by surprise by the quick progress of Generative AI, and in particular Large Language Models (LLMs).

Already now, AI and ML fill the CNCF landscape with projects such as Kubeflow, and the AI working group within the CNCF is busy writing whitepapers on the topic.

Expect even more AI projects and whitepapers from the CNCF.

2. The scope of cloud native technology has widened ... and will likely widen even more.

It was interesting to hear the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) discuss that certain types of projects (e.g., container runtimes à la OCI) were initially considered out-of-scope. Later, due to expectations and opportunities, the scope was widened.

For example, back in 2018, container runtimes were considered out-of-scope. In the meanwhile, Kubernetes added Container Runtime Interface (CRI), a plugin interface which enables the use of a variety of container runtimes. The CNCF charter was updated to include “OCI topics” and – slowly but surely – the CNCF added container runtimes to its landscape.

The current Cloud Native Definition dates back from 2018. The TOC expressed that it might be time to revisit it.

3. Inclusiveness was, and will keep being, a driver for growth

The cloud native community is obsessed (and rightfully so!) with inclusiveness. This allows it to create a nice and cozy atmosphere, where everyone is invited to contribute. This seems to have been a working strategy in the long-run to attract and retain talented people.

In fact, the CNCF Code of Conduct was visible in several places, and the CNCF made it clear that they will keep enforcing it. This year’s inclusiveness focused a bit more on people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This group was given valuable keynote time dedicated to raising awareness of the inclusiveness issues they’re facing.

On the topic of inclusiveness, another session which I felt was eye opening was "Giving and receiving professional feedback". Due to working from different locations from all around the world, the cloud native community mostly communicates asynchronously via text in the form of Slack messages and PRs. This is known to lose a lot of information, so PR reviews might end up looking more rude than intended, which would discourage future contributions. The talk gave several tips on how to be more inclusive, such as:

  • Always say something positive about a PR. At the very least, you should express your gratitude that the contributor took their time, but you should also say what is good about the PR before smashing it down.
  • Even if you reject a PR, offer a path to success.

The quote I take away from this talk is: "You need to not only own your intentions, but also the outcome of your actions."

4. End users were, and will stay, in focus

Cloud native technology doesn't have a purpose in itself. What I think the CNCF nailed really well is giving end users a special place. As a reminder, to the CNCF, end users are organizations who don’t sell products or services based on cloud native technologies, but who significantly benefit from them. Examples include CERN and Apple.

To give end users even more influence over cloud native technologies, they now have a dedicated Technical Advisory Board (TAB).

The importance of end users to the CNCF was also highlighted by the End-User Award, given to CERN during a keynote. My favorite quote from that ceremony: "Every contribution makes scientific computing better."

It’s kind of cool and motivating to think that every issue and PR, whether code or documentation, is my little contribution to better understanding unsolved mysteries of the universe. 🥹

5. More mature projects, more mature processes

Remember that CNCF Technical Oversight Committee classifies projects into sandbox, incubating and graduated. Over the past 10 years, the bar for promotion has steadily gotten higher. And, indeed, “incubating” and “graduating” has sort-of become a brand. These help both the community pick-and-choose, but also provide “free marketing” to the projects. Win for users, win for the contributors.

The CNCF is expected to become a so-called “steward” under the proposed EU Cybersecurity Resilience Act, which means that the bar will likely go higher. And this is great! As the recent XZ Backdoor shows, open source is too important to society to rely on a handful of burned out contributors. I’m really looking forward to the stewardship of the CNCF to fuel a healthy open source ecosystem. It has done a great job for the past 10 years, and I’m sure it will do so for at least another 10!


As Kubernetes and the cloud native community continue to expand, the spotlight is increasingly on the individuals driving this technology forward and the meaningful contributions we make to the open source technology. Emphasizing softer values is becoming more prominent, giving us a stronger foundation and better conditions for our collective efforts.

Elastisys has followed and contributed to Kubernetes and the cloud native ecosystem since inception. We regularly take part at KubeCons to learn about the latest trends, speak to project contributors, do our due diligence, and apply all of this, not only within our platform, but also, and more importantly, throughout the whole organization. This enables us to continuously develop as a company, as an employer, as a vendor, and as a CNCF silver member.