And it was one of the best trips in my life. It was the first time I went to a conference, and even more so, I went there as a speaker.

It all began with my participation in Google Summer of Code 2019. For those who didn’t know, Google Summer of Code is an annual program for undergrad and grad students. Students will work remotely, receive mentorship and get paid to complete a certain open-source project. I worked with Jenkins and my project was Remoting over Apache Kafka with Kubernetes features.

After successfully completed the project, I was honored to get a chance to go to the DevOps World — Jenkins World conference in Lisbon and speak about my GSoC project there. This is the biggest conference about Jenkins and one of the biggest ones about DevOps.

Not only the experience of speaking at a world-class conference was amazing but the whole experience of traveling and attending it was a pleasure as well. As such, I would like to highlight some of the best moments I have had there.

Other than me, there were also two other GSoC students from India: Parichay Barpanda and Abhyudaya Sharma. We met each other just one day before the event. The hotel we stayed in was Novotel Lisboa which is 15 minutes away from the conference venue and there were multiple shuttle buses provided by the organizer. The main conference actually only took two days, however, we arrived way earlier to participate in the Hackfest and the Contributor Summit.

Day 1: Hackfest

hackfest

The Hackfest was a chance for Jenkins contributors to meet each other in real life. After short introductions, we began hacking on some tasks for Jenkins project and presented our work in the afternoon. This was the first time I met so many great software engineers and core contributors of Jenkins. I met Oleg Nenashev who is a technical advisor of my GSoC project. I also had the chance to talk to Mark Waite and many other Jenkins contributors and users from different parts around the world. Soon after that, I joined some interesting conversations with Jenkins X evangelists because I was interested in using Kubernetes for CI/CD. After presenting our work and finishing up, we went out for dinner. It was a pleasure having food surrounded by smart people. We talked about a great lot of things on the table, ranging from Jenkins usage in the industry to different cultures and cuisines. It was the first day and I already made some cool friends. I was really looking forward to the following days.

Day 2: Contributor Summit

name card
I was also an intern at Amazon during the conference time

Second day, I missed the last shuttle bus so I had to take a local bus. It was great seeing the everyday lives in Lisbon. After arriving, I checked in and got my speaker badge. There were way more people attending the Contributor Summit compared to the day before. This day was reserved for Jenkins open-source communities. In the afternoon, we divided ourselves into different subject interests and discussed them around each table. There were different circles like Cloud Native, Configuration-as-Code,… and I joined the Jenkins X group. There are also Jenkins training sessions going on as well.

Evening comes when the event started to heat up, as the Expo Hall opened. Expo Hall was where the DevOps companies such as JFrog, Sonatype, Google Cloud,… have their own booths to promote their products. I wandered around the expo, listened and learned about various DevOps tools and got some dope swags. I also had one photo together with Kohsuke Kawaguchi — Jenkins creator — while he was cutting the hugely delicious Jenkins cake.

photo with jenkins creator
jenkins cake

EURODOG (European DevOps Group) threw a party after the pre-conf expo. We went to the party and network with tons of people from CloudBees and other companies as well. Afterward, I and Parichay went out and grabbed some late-night kebab before heading home.

Day 3: Conference First Day

My third day and also the first day of the main event began with a Keynote session. There, the most important things involving Jenkins and DevOps ecosystem are announced. After seeing Keynote, I went on listening to talks about Kubernetes and CloudBees. I spent the session breaks at the Community Booth in the Expo Hall. The lunch buffet was delicious as always.

talk

In the evening, we got another party, this time held by Sonatype. The party was a quirky but nonetheless incredibly fun one. There were superheroes and robot cosplayers and games and little interesting things everywhere.

people trying vr
People trying Virtual Reality

I knew that a tech conference would be pretty informal but I didn’t expect to see this much parti-ness and fun vibe. We ended the evening by the ping-pong table where I lost a lot.

people trying vr
You can play ping-pong with Superman here

Day 4: Conference Second Day

The conference participants organize a short run in the early morning. I did register for the run but in the end, I slept through it.

The format of the second day is almost similar to the first day with one minor difference: It was the presentation day for GSoC students! While preparing, we were really nervous and Parichay got some bugs with the demo on his laptop. However, eventually, everything was sorted out and we one-by-one delivered our speeches without trouble. It was the first time I speak before so many people and I definitely learned a ton from it.

me speaking about my gsoc project

After that, we still had the afternoon to attend the remaining sessions. On my way to the auditorium, I stumbled across a really cool graffiti. This conference had never ceased to surprise me.

devops tool graffiti
Can you recognize all the logos in the picture?

I wished I could stay longer to go to the farewell dinner with Oleg and the students but I had to take a flight back early that evening. I said goodbye to everyone and that concluded my amazing trip to Lisbon, with tons of memorable moments and learnings.

gsoc group photo

When I first started with GSoC, I didn’t imagine that I would one day present my work in a big international conference. It wouldn’t have happened if not thanks to my mentors Pham Vu Tuan, Andrey Falko and my technical advisor Oleg for guiding and helping me throughout the summer. I would also like to give special thanks to the Jenkins project and CloudBees for not only inviting me to the DevOps World — Jenkins World conference but also sponsoring my travel. Also, thanks Abhyudaya for the photos you took!

Join Jenkins in Google Summer of Code 2020

Organizations list for GSoC 2020 has been announced and Jenkins is once again selected as one of the mentoring organizations. My experience with Jenkins project has been awesome and the open-source community was extremely hospitable and supportive. I would recommend any student to try applying to GSoC because not only you get to do a cool open-source project and get mentorship from experienced engineers, you could also be part of a great community and that would carry you much further even after the program ended.