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Highlights from the DigitalOcean Kubernetes Challenge

Posted: February 10, 20223 min read

We are excited to share the results of our first DigitalOcean Kubernetes Challenge!

The goal of the 2021 DigitalOcean Kubernetes Challenge was to give people an opportunity to try DigitalOcean Managed Kubernetes and explore a CNCF backed technology that is part of the Kubernetes ecosystem. We wanted people with any level of Kubernetes experience – total beginners to experts –  to be able to participate, so we crafted a wide range of challenge prompts like “Deploy a scalable SQL or noSQL database cluster in a Kubernetes cluster” to “Deploy a full GitOps CI/CD implementation.”

In order to take part in the program, participants selected their challenge, created a repo, and let us know. Then we applied credits to their DigitalOcean account so they could spin up a Kubernetes Cluster and start hacking on their project. Once a participant completed their challenge, they published a write up describing how to reproduce their work. The final step was to submit a PR against our Kubernetes Challenge Github Repo so we had all the projects in one place.

Anyone who submitted a complete project was awarded three prizes: $150 to donate to open source projects through Open Collective, a $100 gift card to be used at the DigitalOcean Swag Store, and a $50 gift card to be used at the CNCF Store.

We had a tremendous amount of participation for our inaugural DigitalOcean Kubernetes Challenge with 209 people submitting completed projects and earning the prizes. 

The Community  

Like Hacktoberfest and our Navigators Program, a supportive community was at the heart of the Kubernetes Challenge. We had an active Discord room where participants helped each other out when someone had a technical issue and cheered each other on when their project was finished.  We also loved seeing people share their work on social media, like this tweet from Arpan Adhikari showing that he’d used his Open Collective credits to donate to the Vue project

Projects We Loved 

Here are some Kubernetes Challenge Projects that we thought were exceptional. 

Dustin Shargool deployed an EFK (Elasticsearch Fluentd Kibana) log monitoring system that he then used to visualize his personal Strava Data. Check out his GitLab repo

David Howell spun up a DigitalOcean Managed Kubernetes cluster with Terraform and then set up a policy enforcement system with Kyverno. His blog post is here: DO Managed Kubernetes and Kyverno Policies.

Sudhanva Narayana created a DigitalOcean Managed Kubernetes cluster with Terraform and then installed the machine learning platform, Kubeflow. You can find his instructions here: Install Kubeflow on Digital Ocean Managed Kubernetes (with Terraform).

Sathyajith Bhat set up a GitOps CI/CD pipeline with Argo and Tekton and deployed a Wordle-like application to test the system. You can read more about his process here: Taking on the DigitalOcean Kubernetes Challenge - GitOps CI/CD with Argo CD and Tekton.

Looking Ahead

We are grateful that so many of you decided to join the DigitalOcean Kubernetes Challenge. We’re reflecting on what went well and what we can do better next time so we can improve these events. Keep an eye on our Twitter account and the Kubernetes Challenge Page for our next challenge. 

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