Inside scoop with Liz Rice, twice!


We had the chance to hang-out with Liz Rice twice last week! Liz is the Chief Open Source Officer with cloud-native networking and security specialists Isovalent, creators of the Cilium eBPF-based networking project. Why twice? Why not? Find out why here.

What got Liz Rice interested in open source? 

In every KBE-Insider episode we ask our guests how they got into open source and share what motivated them to contribute. Liz admits she was late to the party when it came to open source. A lot of it had to do with the early days of open source and how the tech industry was very suspicious of how people could contribute to good development practices from an open community with no organization. What got Liz into containers she recalls was when she was at a start-up where the CTO was getting very excited about Docker and she thought it would be worth it to check-out and that’s where she discovered this entire new world. Liz learned with containers there was this community of nice people who got together contributing to open source projects, and she was having a lot of fun. An added bonus was containers got her back into “hard tech”, which she describes as sparking her interest of “how things work in tech and how do we make it better”.

The importance of the TOC for the CNCF

Today, Liz is Chair of the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) where she oversees the governing technical board. The TOC’s role is to ensure there are checks and balances within CNCF and that the technological governance should be separated by the sponsored members (or vendors) so that the CNCF projects are vendor-neutral. Keeping the balance so that sponsored members or vendors don’t dominate the direction of the CNCF projects. This provides a healthy sustainable ecosystem and ensures that the projects that are brought under the CNCF umbrella are cloud-native. The list of CNCF members is massive, representing the largest cloud providers to start-ups, basically all vendors of all sizes who are interested in cloud-native. The TOC brings experienced engineers who have an understanding of real world use cases, making crucial decisions that take precedence over the future of CNCF.

What’s next for the TOC? There are open questions such as “How big should CNCF be? How many projects should be under CNCF? Do we lose cohesity as we scale? What’s the correct balance? Etc.” What do you think? Start a discussion below. 

What’s Liz looking forward to in 2022? 

Liz is hoping we can all see each other in person and catch-up with the community at KubeCon Europe in Valencia, Spain later this year and so are we (look out for updates as KBE plans to be in Valencia too!). 

Register now for KubeCon Europe and don’t forget to subscribe to KBE-Insider and keep up to date on future guests!

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