It was May 2018 in Copenhagen, and the Kubernetes community was enjoying the contributor summit at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon, complete with the first run of the New Contributor Workshop. As a time of tremendous collaboration between contributors, the topics covered ranged from signing the CLA to deep technical conversations. Along with the vast exchange of information and ideas, however, came continued scrutiny of the topics at hand to ensure that the community was being as inclusive and accommodating as possible. Over that spring week, some of the pieces under the microscope included the many themes being covered, and how they were being presented, but also the overarching characteristics of the people contributing and the skill sets involved. From the discussions and analysis that followed grew the idea that the community was not benefiting as much as it could from the many people who wanted to contribute, but whose strengths were in areas other than writing code.
This all led to an effort called the Non-Code Contributor’s Guide.
Now, it’s important to note that Kubernetes is rare, if not unique, in the open source world, in that it was defined very early on as both a project and a community. While the project itself is focused on the codebase, it is the community of people driving it forward that makes the project successful. The community works together with an explicit set of community values, guiding the day-to-day behavior of contributors whether on GitHub, Slack, Discourse, or sitting together over tea or coffee.
By having a community that values people first, and explicitly values a diversity of people, the Kubernetes project is building a product to serve people with diverse needs. The different backgrounds of the contributors bring different approaches to the problem solving, with different methods of collaboration, and all those different viewpoints ultimately create a better project.
The Non-Code Contributor’s Guide aims to make it easy for anyone to contribute to the Kubernetes project in a way that makes sense for them. This can be in many forms, technical and non-technical, based on the person’s knowledge of the project and their available time. Most individuals are not developers, and most of the world’s developers are not paid to fully work on open source projects. Based on this we have started an ever-growing list of possible ways to contribute to the Kubernetes project in a Non-Code way!
This article originally appeared on the Kubernetes Blog.