CoreOS Fest 2017 Review

Event Reflections

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This article written by WWCode SF member Heather Moore-Farley.

Firstly, I’d like to thank Women Who Code for the ticket to attend CoreOS Fest this year and I highly recommend that other women apply for the giveaways in the emails every week. I entered this one because of my proximity to the conference. Really, everyone, you should go put your name in the giveaways right now! I also applied for CoreOS Fest because it is the Kubernetes and containers and distributed systems conference and I don’t have a lot of knowledge in that world. At work we use the infrastructure that my company provides when deploying to the cloud so I don’t normally set that all up myself. It was wonderful to get a chance to broaden my knowledge about containers and get a peek into that world.


The venue was lovely on the Bay and the first day had beautiful sun and the second day, the best San Francisco fog you can expect.


I also got some socks, which I am wearing even as I write this. Socks are the best tech swag because almost everyone needs socks.


There were three tracks of talks: Run, for DevOps and Reliability Engineers. Build, for application developers and architects, and finally Secure, for system architects and security engineers. Choosing a track was not required and I floated from one track to another, though I did find that the “Build” track was much more informative for me as a developer, as expected.

All of the talks are available to watch online for free, but I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorites:

My favorite talk from the first day was Containers from Scratch by Eric Chiang
. His talk was a step-by-step demo of exactly what it says: creating a container from scratch, not using any pre-made container like Docker. This isn’t something most people need to do, but it was very interesting to watch and one of my post-conference goals is to go back and follow his demo and do it myself. I use Docker at work and it would be really need to make my own container.

I highly recommend listening to Lucianne Walkowicz’s keynote The Internet and Solar Flares on the second day of the conference. She is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and spoke about the Carrington Event in 1859, which was when a large solar flare erupted from the sun and caused the Northern and Southern lights to be seen near the equator and affect electronics like telegraph lines. The sun alternates between periods of high activity and calmness and Walkowicz spoke about what might happen to our electrical infrastructure if a similar solar flare were to erupt again. You do not need to have any astronomy knowledge going into it to enjoy it.


Also on the second day, I enjoyed Euan Kemp’s talk, Wait, my init does what? I discovered that systemd is a lot more versatile than I expected. And it was the first conference talk I’ve attended in which the speaker uses a sock puppet. His very informative slides are here.

Lastly, probably one of the best talks at CoreOS Fest was by Jessie Frazelle, titled CoreOS Container Linux on the Desktop. She was funny and the talk was enjoyable, and her repo of container images is impressive. She seemed to have no shyness about attempting things that hasn’t been done before and I found her “Go get ‘em! Try everything once!” attitude infectious. Despite her warning to not try running everything on containers at home, I think I want to try it at home. You can find her slides here.

If you weren’t at this conference, check out those talks. Thank you, Women Who Code, for giving me the chance to attend CoreOS Fest this year.

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