Four KubeCon Highlights from the Developer Experience Team

Posted by Joep Weijers on March 26, 2024

The Developer Experience team in front of the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2024 sign.

Last week, a delegation from the Platform Layer of our Development department attended the KubeCon+CloudNativeCon in Paris. The hundreds of sessions, loads of vendor booths and thousands of attendees provide great ways to catch up to the latest and greatest in the Cloud Native space. Here are four interesting topics that we learned about this KubeCon.

Platform engineering is booming

The Developer Experience Team at TOPdesk enables developers to more effectively deliver software to our customers. We do this by providing a standardized platform that abstracts away parts of the overhead of managing software. Thereby reducing the cognitive load for our developers, so they can focus on delivering business value. This practice is part of platform engineering.

TOPdesk is definitely not the only company with a platform engineering team. And it shows, because this year KubeCon had a co-located event dedicated to Platform Engineering. It was a day with sessions to improve developer experience. We had tips on providing a golden path for developers to follow and learned about tools that can improve the self-sufficiency of developers. Several vendors demonstrated their Internal Developer Platform offerings that enable developers to have access to all information and resources they need. It was great to interact and share ideas with fellow practitioners.


When we test our product TOPdesk, we execute an automated End-to-End test suite. To ensure test isolation, each system under test runs in its own local k3s Kubernetes cluster. This means that we have several Kubernetes clusters running on a build server. This has overhead compared to running one single cluster. The tool KCP introduces the concept of Workspaces to a Kubernetes cluster. These Workspaces are virtual Kubernetes clusters that are isolated, but can share the underlying physical Kubernetes cluster. An interesting premise that may improve our test setup. An interesting topic to try out on one of our Apekooien (10%) days.


Teams would like insight into how compliant their software products are. We created an internal tool that automatically verifies the adherence to several Minimum Quality Requirements. It provides an overview so teams know where their software meets the requirements and where improvements are needed. This overview can also provide an insight into the releasability of software. A project with high test coverage that follows the best practices and releases frequently is more likely to have a lower Time To Recovery than a project that needs to be manually tested and approved before going to production. We see that several Internal Developer Portals have adopted this concept of score cards. That makes the portals an option to get rid of a self developed internal tool and use an industry standard framework instead.

Internal tool with Score cards for Development Teams at TOPdesk
TOPdesk’s internal Score Card tool

Power usage monitoring

TOPdesk has a strong sense of Corporate Social Responsibility (Dutch version). We actively try to reduce our carbon emissions. Also on this topic, we are not the only company trying this. There is an industry-wide trend to reduce the power usage of the data centers that power the IT infrastructure of the world. To know if and how we reduced our power usage, we first need to measure it.

We can measure at several levels. Ideally you plug in a power consumption meter in the socket that provide power to your server rack. With infrastructure as a service, that is impossible to do. Instead we can measure at Hypervisor, VM or Kubernetes level. The higher the abstraction, the more of an approximation the power usage becomes. But we don’t care about an exact power consumption, an approximation is enough. For Kubernetes we saw several tools to measure power usage, for example Kepler.

These 4 highlights are a small glimpse of what made KubeCon interesting for us. It was a great event where we learned a lot. We can’t wait to see what next year’s KubeCon will bring!

About the author: Joep Weijers

Joep is a Developer Experience Engineer at TOPdesk with a keen interest in delivering quality software continuously. He loves playing around with Jenkins Pipelines, GitLab CI, Selenium, Docker, Kubernetes and keeps in touch with his inner developer by educating his colleagues on testable Java code.

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