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About Ben

My name is Benjamin Elder, though I am frequently known as Ben / BenTheElder. I enjoy hiking, reading, gaming, and building things. I love my wife and my dog. I want machines to help people do more and focus on what really matters.

I am an open source software developer. I help maintain Kubernetes and the project’s infrastructure. KIND is my favorite and probably my most popular project. I love working with the community.

a group photo of Kubernetes contributors in Barcelona

Ben & Friends at KubeCon EU 2019 ♥️

Experience

I am currently a Senior Software Engineer at Google working on Kubernetes.

Below is a timeline highlighting some notable moments in my career.

May 2020
Technical Lead, Kubernetes SIG K8s Infra
I was nominated for the Tech Lead role in the Kubernetes K8s Infra Special Interest Group along with Arnaud Meukam and Mahamed Ali. SIG K8s Infra manages the cloud credits and asset hosting infrastructure used to host the Kubernetes project itself, e.g. registry.k8s.io.

I am currently a Tech Lead in SIG K8s Infra and SIG Testing having promoted new Tech Leads and Chairs to SIG Testing and stepped down from the SIG Testing Chair role (which split into Chair & Tech Lead). I am continuing to work on succession and sustainability in the project.
October 2022
Elected Member, Kubernetes Steering Committee
I was honored to be elected to a two-year term in one of the three open seats on the seven-member Kubernetes Steering Committee in the 2022 election. From The Steering Committee Charter:
The Kubernetes Steering Committee is the governing body of the Kubernetes project, providing decision-making and oversight pertaining to the Kubernetes project bylaws, sub-organizations, and financial planning. The Steering Committee also defines the project values and structure.
The Steering Committee are also the official representatives from the project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
August 2022
Senior Software Engineer, Anthos Kubernetes Kernel Team, Google
After 5+ years of work on GKE / Kubernetes Engineering Productivity teams I transferred to a new role on the Kubernetes Kernel Team under Anthos Engineering to focus more on Kubernetes core.
November 2020
This award recognizes excellence in technical contributions to CNCF and its hosted projects. The CNCF Top Committer has made key commits to projects and, more importantly, contributes in a way that benefits the project as a whole. CNCF Maintainers (committers) voted for the Top Committer [...]
Previous Winners: Fabian Reinartz (2016), Tim Hockin (2016), Clayton Coleman (2017), Jordan Liggitt (2018), Frederic Branczyk (2019)
October 2020
Promoted to Senior Software Engineer, Google
For work like continuing to develop KIND enabling additional use cases in Anthos and more Cloud Native open source projects like Istio and Knative, Co-Leading SIG Testing, and Reducing Kubernetes Build Maintenance, amongst other things.
May 2020
Chair, Kubernetes SIG Testing
I was nominated for and took on a Co-Chair role in the Kubernetes Testing Special Interest Group along with Aaron Crickenberger and Steve Kuznetsov. SIG Testing owns the infrastructure, frameworks, and tools used to test the Kubernetes project (amongst others).
April 2020
Team Lead, Kubernetes Engineering Productivity, Google
After our previous Team / Tech Lead moved on to another opportunity I stepped into the semi-official lead role on the Kubernetes subteam of GKE Engineering Productivity.
October 2018
Promoted to Software Engineer III, Google
For work like creating KIND, amongst other things.
July 2017
Software Engineer II, Google
I started my first full-time job on the GKE-Kubernetes Engineering Productivity Team.
May 2017
Graduated BSCS, Georgia Tech
With "threads" (specialization) in "Intelligence" (machine learning) and "Devices" (hardware/software, robotics, embedded etc.). I studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering before switching to Computer Science.
May 2015
Google Summer of Code Student Participant, Kubernetes
Implemented iptables kube-proxy proxier mode under Tim Hockin's mentorship while taking summer classes at Georgia Tech. This is still the default mode since v1.2 and widely used by most Kubernetes clusters.

Speaking

I’ve moved my talks to their own page.

In short: I’ve given a number of public talks and some internal (company) talks on things related to my work. You can find a complete listing on my speaking page.