How the Kubernetes Release Process is Different From Other Open Source Projects

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The Kubernetes 1.11 release became generally available on June 27, providing users of the container orchestration with multiple new features and continued performance improvements.

While Kubernetes releases were originally all led by Google staffers, that has changed in the last two years, with a rigous release management Special Interest Group (SIG) that has mandated that there be a new leader for each release. For the 1.11 release, the role of release lead was held by Red Hat’s Josh Berkus, who is well known in the open-source community for his work helping to lead PostgreSQL database releases.

“What’s similar is the role of the release lead: marshaling all of the independent teams and contributors required to put out a release, including developers of each feature, documentation, release notes, PR, builds, and bug fixing,” Berkus said. “Being a release lead is like playing pinball with 8 balls, and you’re the flipper; it’s not your job to actually fix anything, it’s your job to keep everything in motion and progressing. There’s a lot of nagging involved.”

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