How I became a Linkerd Hero?

Sergio Méndez
3 min readMay 13, 2021

Hi, Medium community this is my first post, and I want to share how I became a Linkerd Hero. This is more or less a large story, let me introduce myself first. I am Sergio Méndez. I was born in Guatemala, I represent that part of underrepresented technology groups, actually, I am working as a DevOps Engineer at Yalo, and I am also an Operating Systems professor at USAC, Guatemala.

I remember that this story started when I talked at the 2018 OSCON conference, in that moment I was starting to experiment with Cloud Native technologies, some months before that, I was working for a Telco company here in Guatemala, I was building a tool to create custom chatbots using Kubernetes and OpenFaaS. I was a novice at that time and for sure it wasn’t my best experience talking in a conference, but it was challenging, me giving a talk in English outside my country, who would have imagined. As I mentioned it wasn’t my best experience. After that, I tried to prove to myself that I could do it better, so I was looking for another opportunity.

Next year, influenced by one of the organizers of O’Reilly, the one who pushed me to talk for the first time, I decided to send a talk proposal to KubeConEU 2020, and by my surprise, my talk was selected. My talk was about how to implement canary deployments using OpenFaaS and Linkerd. I remember that the creator of OpenFaaS contacted me and introduced me to the CTO of Buoyant, Buoyant is the company behind Linkerd.

Later 2020 I decided to include Linkerd in the final project of my course, and give the challenge to my students to build a basic distributed system using Kubernetes and Linkerd, I also mentioned this project to the Linkerd people, because I was moving a lot of service meshes topics Linkerd invited me to their Anchor Program to tell other what I was doing part of that was to participate on one of their Linkerd Community calls to share about our project.

At the beginning of January 2021, we presented the project to the Linkerd community with my students with the challenge to speak in another language but it was a really nice experience. I felt that we broke the language gap at that moment. A month later the Linkerd community nominated me to be the Linkerd Hero of February and by my surprise, I won.

Linkerd opened a lot of doors to be visible to the cloud native world. I really appreciate that, I love Linkerd is a really special community.

Things that I Learned:

  • Be ready when the moment and the opportunity comes
  • You won’t be successful all the time but you have to persist
  • Help others around to break technology frontiers
  • Diversity and inclusion matters
  • Nothing it’s impossible if you are working to build it

And my final thought is:

Contribute is not just coding it could be teaching, speaking and create content for people in other languages, don’t get frustrated

Do you want to see the moment when we present the project with my students?

Here is it:

Linkerd realtime simulator using Kubernetes and Linkerd

And if you like the academic side feel free to contribute to our repo:

Thanks, Medium Community, I hope you enjoy my first post.



Thanks to Justin Dorfman of Curiefense for reviewing this post.



Sergio Méndez

CNCF Meetup Organizer, CKA/K8s/K3s, Service Mesh/Linkerd Hero, MLOps/Argo, OS Professor, DevOps at Yalo & Speaker.