The Birth of Cloud-Native Wales | Katacoda Blog

Read about how Katacoda helped launch the Cloud-Native Wales meetup

While delivering Kubernetes training at NDC London 2018, Ben Hall, founder of Katacoda, met Lewis Denham-Parry and after one or two beers the discussion of a lack of Cloud-Native meetups in Wales came up!

Post-conference, Lewis and co-organiser Salman Iqbal decided to organise a meetup to see to test the local interest. The foundations of Cloud-Native Wales (CNW) was born!

From their own experiences of attending talks on technologies, they realised that most meetups had the problem of keeping everyone focussed on a topic for over an hour. Lewis and Salman decided to shake things up a little bit and run a three-hour workshop in Cardiff rather than just provide the usual styled talks.

The workshop focused meetup was broken down into 3 segments:

  • Talk

  • Coding Workshop

  • Demo / Presentation

Many people attending the workshop would little knowledge of Kubernetes, as well as attendees having a vast range of skill sets. This caused an issue with hosting a workshop, as there was no specific skill set in the room, with attendees ranging from C#, Java, Go and Python backgrounds to name a few.

CNW contacted Katacoda to ask if it they could use our service to host their workshop and we were able to provide the following:

  • A custom URL and dedicated resources to ensure the service was available to everyone attending.

  • Pre-built scenarios hosted within the workshop.

As you may know, Katacoda is an interactive learning platform for software developers to learn Cloud-Native technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes directly from the browser. Katacoda was born with the idea to remove that barrier to new technologies and skills while providing live interactive demos and training environments. Perfect for the workshop environment!

The Workshop

Doors we’re open 15 mins prior to the talk, From CNW own experiences, they found it could be a daunting experience attending a workshop if you don’t know many people there, so they spoke to as many attendees as possible prior to the talk, introducing themselves and other attendees to each other. This helped break the ice and got everyone talking to one another, essentially creating workshop teams but most importantly there was that real feel vibe of inclusion that everyone was bouncing off.

To start things off there was a 40-minute talk that introduced the room to Kubernetes. CNW discussed the core concepts and architecture, terms like kubectl were discussed but with little focus on actual code. Katacoda was then introduced to the room with a shared URL that allowed access to the Cloud Native Wales hosted environment. There was then a 10-minute break to allow people to get setup, sign up to Katacoda, refill their drinks and get food prior to the coding workshop.

The first 3 scenarios focused on the core concepts of getting up and running with Kubernetes, the next 3 scenarios focused on some specific aspects of Kubernetes with the final 3 scenarios deploying end to end applications, showing the USPs of Kubernetes.

When the attendees started to use Katacoda, the room became quiet. This was due to attendees trying to figure out what Katacoda was offering. After reassuring everyone that Katacoda isn’t a fake terminal with JS wizardry CNW asked the room ‘Either silence is golden or you’re all on fire, if you’re on fire, please put your hand up’. No hands went up but they did rustle up a cheap laugh.

CNW found that teams were forming within the room, some attendees were talking together pair programming whilst others listened to the speaker. It was great to see attendees working together and coming up with ideas and solutions whilst learning Kubernetes. To finish the workshop, they let attendees pick the Kubernetes scenario that was relevant to them at the end as CNW prepared the final section of the workshop.

You can try Katacoda at https://katacoda.com/. Create your free account and have a look for yourself at the wide range of training courses on our platform. You will be working directly from a live system in your browser without having to worry about the hassle of downloads or configuration. You will be able to experiment with the latest technologies with a guided pathway consisting of step by step scenarios alongside a live, interactive environment configured with the required technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes.

Make sure you do not miss the next Cloud Native Wales meetup on Thursday 10th of May, make sure you grab a seat before they are all gone at https://www.meetup.com/Cloud-Native-Wales/.

We wish Lewis and Salman the best of luck! Expect to see at an event in the near future! If we can be of any help with your local meetup then please contact us by emailing [email protected]