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Platform Engineering Day at KubeCon: K8s++, Beyond Platforms, and NYTimes Blueprints 

Logo of KubeCon & CloudNativeCon for Europe 2024

In just over 2 weeks, the CNCF is hosting their flagship conference, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe, in the beautiful city of Paris. 16 co-located events are happening the day before the main conference and, for the first time ever, they are hosting a Platform Engineering Day! The original proposal for this event was put together jointly by Syntasso and Dynatrace, and we are so happy that the CNCF accepted it. Here are our reasons for being part of  the event and our top talk picks at Platform Engineering Day (with a few special mentions from other co-lo days, too!)

Reasons to Attend Platform Engineering Day

Here at Syntasso, we think it's a no-brainer to attend all of the Platform Engineering (PE) Day talks. But that may be because our luminary COO, Paula Kennedy is hosting, and we're a bit obsessed with platform engineering.


If you aren't quite as nutty about the topic as us, here are some other reasons to join:

  1. Learn more about one of Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Trends this year. Practically everyone is building a platform, and Platform Orchestration has hopped onto the Thoughtworks tech radar.

  • The buzz around platform engineering in 2024 is HUGE. Within the 'Rise of the Builders' theme, Gartner says platform engineering is trending "because of its promise to optimize the developer experience and accelerate product teams’ delivery of customer value" - what's not to love about that. In 2021, the 'Platform engineering product teams' blip moved into the 'Adopt' ring of the radar and hasn't moved since. The introduction of another platform blip shows that this area continues to grow in relevance.

  1. Meet other platform enthusiasts and experts.

  • Not only will you get the chance to listen to a diverse range of talks and presentations on topics related to platform engineering, but you can also meet other practitioners. This is the perfect time to learn about how others have built their internal platforms, talk about tools (both new and old favourites) and grow your network.

  1. Learn more about Kratix from users, the community, and the Syntasso team! 

  • Colin, Paula, Cat, Abby, Derik and Dan will all be there to answer your questions and show you how Kratix can help you on your platform engineering journey.


Our top 3 talks for Platform Engineering Day

We've scoured the schedule, so you don't have to. With 16 different co-lo days you can attend, we won't pretend that you'll spend all day with us at #PlatEng Day. But these are our must-see talks that will give you a great insight into the trends and goings-on of platform engineering. We've included the timings as well, so you won't miss them!


'To K8s and Beyond: Maturing Your Platform Engineering Initiative' by Nicki Watt from OpenCredo 15:50 - 16:15

We're not sure how Nicki Watt managed to find time to join us at PlatEng Day while also doing her day job as both CEO and CTO of Open Credo - but we are grateful she has. She is a techie at heart, author and regular conference speaker, always looking to share her experience with the broader community. We love her recent talk at the GOTO Conference in Amsterdam, 'Why is it so hard to create Platform as a Product' and expect similarly actionable insights in the talk she brings to PlatEng Day.

She'll be taking us through the CNCF platform maturity model <link>, and sharing common scenarios that organisations she and her team have worked with find themselves in. Hopefully, we'll hear about the paths those organisations have plotted to mature their platforms and reach impactful business outcomes.


'Beyond Platform Thinking at Ritchie Brothers: Build Things No One Expects in a Place No One Expects' by Bryan Oliver from Thoughtworks and Ranbir Chawla from Ritchie Bros.  09:50 - 10:15

My favourite talks are based on real-world experiences from the practitioners themselves. This talk is just that. Ritchie Brothers offer end-to-end solutions for buying and selling used heavy equipment, trucks and other assets. They operate across a multitude of sectors, offer multiple sales channels and financing options, and have a huge number of brands under their umbrella. That is all to say, their software landscape is complicated. Bryan and Ranbir share how they managed observability and operational needs in this complex landscape of tools - Kubernetes native, non-Kubernetes, OSS and proprietary - by following the developer journey. 

Also, Bryan and Ranbir are flying over from the US to share their story with us - PlatEng Day is transatlantic!


Lighting talks are a great way to get a spark of brilliance, without the length of a main talk. We believe this lightning talk by Ahmed Bebars will do just that - and should leave you inspired and excited to stay for more! 

Ahmed talks about two things we believe strongly in at Syntasso - user experience and paved paths. He'll dive into the nuance of migrating teams who previously had control over their tools and processes to a centralised platform. This is a challenge everyone in platforms is talking about - our fingers are crossed in the hopes that Ahmed has the answers!


Bonus talks from Syntassians!

We also have two talks on the roster from Syntassians. Abby Bangser, one of our Principal Engineers joins the wonderful Whitney Lee, Staff Technical Advocate, VMware for their Keynote talk on why Sometimes, Lipstick Is Exactly What a Pig Needs! Later in the day, the visionary Chris Plank, Enterprise Architect at the NatWest Group and our Principal Engineer Derik Evangelista talk about Unlocking Innovation: How NatWest Bank Uses Cloud Native Tools to Deliver Platform as a Product.

We'll be sharing a deep dive into both these talks in the next few weeks.


Key Highlights from other Co-lo Day Events

Even though we know PlatEng Day will be the best co-lo day if you find yourself straying to the other events, here are our top picks.


'Adobe/AWS: Key Takeaways from Scaling Adobe's CI/CD Solution to Support 50k Argo CD Apps' by Andrew Lee from AWS and Vikram Sethi from Adobe 12:15 - 12:40.

Andrew and Vikram are taking the stage at ArgoCon to talk about setting up the #argo-sig-scalability working group to collaborate on common patterns and practices around using Argo at scale.


'Bridging Argo Notifications' by Andre Marcelo Tanner from Ada Support and Alistair Israel from Ada 13:30 - 13:55.

Another talk from ArgoCon, Andre and Alistair talk about creating the Argo Bridge community project, what it has unlocked for Ada's business and how you can get involved.


'Testing Cloud Apps: Mocks vs Service Virtualization vs Remote Tools' by Daniel Bryant from Big Picture Tech 11:40 - 12:05.

Our friend and colleague Dan Bryant is talking at AppDeveloperCon about testing in the cloud. "The main challenges developers now face are performing integration or end-to-end testing without spinning up all of their microservices locally and driving their laptop fans to high speed or breaking the bank by using resource-heavy remote clusters" - we're sure to learn a bunch in his pre-lunch talk.


See you at KubeCon EU or in the Kratix Slack!

Will you be joining us in Paris, or catching up on the recordings after? What talks are you most excited to see at the co-lo events? Join the conversation in our Slack channel and at the post-Kubecon LOPUG event. Want to learn more about Kratix? Book a chat here.


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