The resilience of the Cloud Native community was emphasized this morning as Priyanka Sharma, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) gave the Keynote Address and opening remarks at KubeCon CloudNativeCon North America 2022.

She began her talk by applauding the ways in which the community has continued to thrive despite the tumultuous nature of the last few years.

“Both the humans and the technology have shown incredible resilience,” Sharma said. “That resilience has been reflected in our numbers, which keep climbing up… And today, we are at 176,362 contributors worldwide.”

Her talk focused heavily on the importance of maintainers in the Kubernetes space and the ways in which their contributions and time sacrifices are essential to the success of the billion dollar companies that they work for.

Sharma welcomed Yuan Tang, maintainer of Argo and founding engineer at Akuity, and Heba Elayoty, bug triage lead for Kubernetes release 1.25, multiple SIG contributor, main maintainer of Virtual Kubelet, and software engineer at Microsoft to the stage in order to dive deeper into the knowledge maintainers can share with the community.

They discussed topics such as a maintainer’s key challenges, how to solve them, how CNCF has been helpful throughout their journeys, and how organizations can better support their maintainers.

Sharma explained that one way CNCF is helping to support maintainers is through the company’s new initiative to strengthen digital safety.

“Starting today, all maintainers will have access to a platform called Tall Poppy which is a digital safety platform that will help them secure their online presence and avoid needless harassment and bullying,” she said.

Additionally, Sharma mentioned ContribFest, an event taking place at KubeCon CloudNativeCon 2022 that allows participants to hack on projects, get the help that they need, and assist maintainers.

She also explained that no company on CNCF’s governing board has any plans to cut back on upstream commitments, stating that several of them have gone above and beyond in their efforts.