Hola a tothom! (Hello, everyone!) It’s your local, friendly Ellopunk coming to you fresh from DockerCon Barcelona. I have to say this conference has quickly become one of my favorites. The Docker community rolled out the red carpet and went out of their way to make everyone who attended feel like they are part of the family.
As you all know, I always say, “It’s okay to be new,” but sometimes it’s hard to practice what you preach. DockerCon ’18 was the first conference I have ever attended alone and being at one so far away from home was a scary experience. However, it seems it really is okay to be new in the Docker community — our first day even kicked off with Docker CEO Steve Singh’s keynote discussing that very subject. Steve is also new to the Docker community and during his keynote, he brought up the word “hygge,” which he said refers to a form of togetherness based on equality. I must say this feeling was not only encouraged, but nurtured throughout the conference.
As a first-time attendee, I was encouraged to join the Docker Pals program. This program helps introduce conference attendees to one another by allowing them to communicate through email and Slack before they even leave their homes. It gives attendees a built-in network they can rely on from the time they arrive in the host city. Docker Pals are also connected in smaller groups of four to five that include one seasoned Docker attendee — referred to as a “Docker Guide.” Guides help their pals figure out which sessions and activities to attend and are also familiar with after-hours conference events.
At this point, you may be wondering why I am sharing this story with you. I’m sharing it because this experience was one that really pushed me to put into practice all the ideas we have been discussing in the It’s Okay to Be New series. It would have been simple enough to forgo being part of any formalized socialization and just show up to the conference on day one, attend the talks, do my workshop, and head back to the hotel. After all, I was there to work and learn, not to socialize — right? Yes and no. Part of my work as a Technical Evangelist is being challenged to live by our mission values. One of those values is to “believe in the curiosity to learn, the vulnerability to try, the persistence to succeed, and the strength of the community.” So I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and signed up for Docker Pals. I can say I have been rewarded 10 times over for taking the chance.
My Docker Pals are now my friends and have already begun to impact my career. You will be hearing from Mohit in the coming months as we work together to expand my knowledge about container security (which I, of course, will be sharing with all of you). Ayoub, who is a Docker community leader in Algeria, has offered to help me get the Docker community up and running here in San Antonio. Jon encouraged me to start learning Swedish, which was somehow countered by Rachid (not pictured) into learning French. And j’apprends le français (I am learning French) with the goal of visiting Rashid for some conferences in Paris.
So my challenge to you all is to take a chance on not only learning new technologies but also getting involved in your community. Need ideas on how? Take a look at my previous blog post: “Tech Conferences: How to Survive When You Don’t Have a Map,” or take a small step and join the Linux Academy Slack and start sharing your experiences, plans, and knowledge. You never know whose life you may impact or who you might meet that will impact yours!