Preparing to Attend KubeCon Europe 2024

As we’re one week away from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024, I figured I’d prepare in public and write about it here. If this sounds weird, keep in mind that the event lasts 4 days, and 223 talks will take place. Besides the talks, there’s workshops, unconferences, poster sessions, a hackathon, parties and other events. That's a lot! So, I believe at least some preparation is in order — I want to make sure that I take away a lot from attending.

In terms of the schedule, the 4 days are broken up as follows:

Tuesday, 19 March 08:00 – 17:00 | Pre-event programming (including co-located Events)
Wednesday, 20 March 09:00 – 18:00 | Keynotes, Breakouts, Solutions Showcase 18:00 – 20:00 | KubeCrawl + CloudNativeFest
Thursday, 21 March 09:00 – 18:00 | Keynotes, Breakouts, Solutions Showcase
Friday, 22 March 09:00 – 18:00 | Keynotes, Breakouts, Solutions Showcase

(The best way that I’ve found to explore the schedule is by going into the Schedule page and then hovering “Schedule” and selecting “Grid”. Then, pick the day and click, drag and hold with your mouse cursor to browse around.)

It should go without saying that attending a conference like this shouldn’t be something that’s meticulously planned in advance. Here’s why:

  • I’m not attending alone (more on this later), and so we’ll have to cater to everyone’s interests.
  • It’s very likely I’ll meet new people that I’ll want to hang out with and so the social part of the experience will determine which events I take part in. Furthermore, if a conversation is going really well during a coffee break I might skip attending a session altogether! Networking is certainly part of the reason why SingleStore wants me to attend KubeCon.
  • I might be more or less tired on some days and that might influence how many technical vs. less technical talks I want to watch.
  • Some talks might be physically distant from others, so the walking time could affect planning a bit.

Generally, I have a preference towards talks from non-vendors about their experiences with different technologies. However, there’s a fair amount of talks from database vendors that I really want to attend. These preferences are reflected in my selection below. If I don’t have your talk or workshop on my list and you really think I should attend, please let me know!

(I’ve bolded the talks that I definitely don’t want to miss. This will be useful for me when I compare planning notes with Miguel and Francisco, whom I’m attending with.)

Tuesday, the first day

The first day is a bit special since it’s for the co-located events. These are single-track events with primarily lightning talks (10-15 minutes). This is the full list:

These are just the “official” co-located events! There’s some more events happening on this day organized by companies such as Microsoft, Tigera, Sysdig, Red Hat, SUSE, Pure Storage and Canonical.

Where will I be on Tuesday?

I definitely I want to go to “Data on Kubernetes Day” in the afternoon. This is an area that I’ve heavily involved in over the last 5 years with running SingleStoreDB on Kubernetes (across all cloud providers, but also in self-managed deployments). However, the technology continues to evolve and we’re still learning a lot to this day. I’m sure I’ll learn even more from talks such as the one about MongoDB’s operator, or the one from EnterpriseDB about scaling Postgres with Kubernetes on their cloud service.

Of course, I also expect Kelsey Hightower’s infamous Twitter thread to be discussed quite a bit 😁

As for the morning, it’s hard to say where I’ll be, but I am attending KubeCon with 2 engineers from SingleStore’s platform engineering organization. Knowing them, I imagine we may end up at Platform Engineering Day, ArgoCon or BackstageCon.


So, Wednesday starts off with a Fun Run at 7:00 AM. There’s a 5K and a 7K, so I’ll probably join the 7K!

Then, from 9:00 AM to 10:45 AM there’s some keynote talks. There’s a huge focus on AI obviously and people from Microsoft, Mistral (who is French), Nvidia will be speaking. I’ll very likely watch these talks.

Then, the fun of deciding which talks to watch begins! I might lay out my calendar like this:

And then in the afternoon:

So, basically a huge focus on Cilium and eBPF because I want to get more up to speed on that, but also some interesting talks by database people (Planetscale and ClickHouse).

Finally, at the end of the day there’s different happy hours and other parties. We will probably hop around those!


Once again, the day starts off with some keynotes. Then, here’s what my day might end up looking like:

And in the afternoon:


By Friday, I expect to be drinking insane amounts of coffee to keep up. After the keynotes, here’s what I might be attending:

And in the afternoon:

Wrapping Up

Of course, a huge part of the experience won’t be the talks, but everything around the talks. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet lots of people and hang out.

It will definitely be interesting to take notes and look back and see how many of the talks from this list I end up attending. I’ll try to blog about that too!

Feel free to reach out on Twitter!