Measuring the Health of Your CNCF Project: Going Beyond Stars and Forks


Authors:   Dawn Foster


The presentation discusses metrics and best practices for maintaining healthy open source projects, with a focus on interpreting data and adjusting strategies based on project needs.
  • The CNCF Contributor Strategy Tag has governance and contributor growth working groups that provide guidance for maintaining healthy open source projects.
  • The TO DO group has guides for creating and managing healthy open source projects.
  • The Chaos Metrics Community has defined metrics and tools for understanding and improving project health.
  • Interpretation is key when evaluating project health, as each project is unique and metrics should be adjusted based on project needs.
  • Metrics for responsiveness can include time to first response and time to close issues and pull requests.
  • Interpreting responsiveness metrics requires considering external factors such as conferences and holidays.
  • Adjusting contributor recruitment and mentorship strategies can improve responsiveness metrics.
  • Tracking and interpreting metrics over time can help identify areas for improvement and ensure project health.
The presentation provides examples of how to interpret responsiveness metrics using data from the Envoy project. By tracking time to first response and time to close issues, project leaders can identify areas where more contributors or mentorship may be needed. Additionally, interpreting these metrics requires considering external factors such as conferences and holidays that may impact responsiveness. By adjusting recruitment and mentorship strategies and tracking metrics over time, project leaders can ensure the health of their open source projects.


You can brag about stars and forks, but these popularity measures don’t actually help you improve the health of your open source projects. A better approach is to look at some commonly used metrics as a starting point for learning about which parts of your project are doing well and identifying areas for improvement. The challenge is that there are many possible metrics, so the real value is in selecting the right metrics and interpreting them. Every CNCF project is a little different, and you’ll need to interpret your metrics in ways that make sense for your project. This talk will cover: * Finding data for some commonly used metrics, including responsiveness, contributor activity and risk, project velocity, inclusivity, and more * Things to think about when interpreting these metrics for your project * Best practices for measuring and improving project health The audience will walk away with practical advice for measuring and improving the health of their CNCF projects.


Post a comment

Related work

Authors: Nate Waddington

Authors: Rich Burroughs, Bart Farrell, Farrah Campbell, Heba elAyoty