Turn Contributors into Maintainers with TAG Contributor Strategy


Authors:   Josh Berkus, Catherine Paganini


Tips for keeping contributors motivated and encouraged to contribute to a project
  • Clearly communicate goals and expectations to contributors
  • Minimize steps and use tools to reduce difficulty of contributing
  • Create a welcoming community and make one-on-one connections with contributors
  • Develop recognition programs and offer mentoring and swag to contributors
  • Formal governance and contributor rules can lower risk and difficulty of contributing
The speaker shared about a recognition program at Linkerd where the community nominates a hero each month and maintainers select based on merit. The program is designed to be fun and engaging, with heroes featured on the website and a blog post written about them. The program recognizes contributions in code, content, and help, which is especially valued as it takes a lot of time. The speaker emphasized the importance of recognizing and encouraging non-code contributors as well.


TAG Contributor Strategy focuses on writing guides and templates to help CNCF maintainers build successful projects and communities. In this session, we will walk you through how to use a contributor ladder along with governance documentation to provide a structure for turning contributors into maintainers. This is done through a gradual process where contributors gain increased responsibility within a project jointly with governance documentation that defines the decision making process, values, and principles. The primary topics for this session will include: Promoting and recognizing contributors using a ladder framework The role of governance in contributor promotion and value communication Evolving these concepts as projects move from sandbox to incubating to graduated The audience will walk away with tools, templates, and best practices for building successful CNCF projects and communities.


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