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Announcing Kubernetes Community Group Annual Reports

Introducing brand new Kubernetes Community Group Annual Reports for Special Interest Groups and Working Groups.
Community annual report 2020

Given the growth and scale of the Kubernetes project, the existing reporting mechanisms were proving to be inadequate and challenging. Kubernetes is a large open source project. With over 100000 commits just to the main k/kubernetes repository, hundreds of other code repositories in the project, and thousands of contributors, there's a lot going on. In fact, there are 37 contributor groups at the time of writing. We also value all forms of contribution and not just code changes.

With that context in mind, the challenge of reporting on all this activity was a call to action for exploring better options. Therefore inspired by the Apache Software Foundation’s open guide to PMC Reporting and the CNCF project Annual Reporting, the Kubernetes project is proud to announce the Kubernetes Community Group Annual Reports for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Working Groups (WGs). In its flagship edition, the 2020 Summary report focuses on bettering the Kubernetes ecosystem by assessing and promoting the healthiness of the groups within the upstream community.

Previously, the mechanisms for the Kubernetes project overall to report on groups and their activities were devstats, GitHub data, issues, to measure the healthiness of a given UG/WG/SIG/Committee. As a project spanning several diverse communities, it was essential to have something that captured the human side of things. With 50,000+ contributors, it’s easy to assume that the project has enough help and this report surfaces more information than /help-wanted and /good-first-issue for end users. This is how we sustain the project. Paraphrasing one of the Steering Committee members, Paris Pittman, “There was a requirement for tighter feedback loops - ones that involved more than just GitHub data and issues. Given that Kubernetes, as a project, has grown in scale and number of contributors over the years, we have outgrown the existing reporting mechanisms."

The existing communication channels between the Steering committee members and the folks leading the groups and committees were also required to be made as open and as bi-directional as possible. Towards achieving this very purpose, every group and committee has been assigned a liaison from among the steering committee members for kick off, help, or guidance needed throughout the process. According to Davanum Srinivas a.k.a. dims, “... That was one of the main motivations behind this report. People (leading the groups/committees) know that they can reach out to us and there’s a vehicle for them to reach out to us… This is our way of setting up a two-way feedback for them." The progress on these action items would be updated and tracked on the monthly Steering Committee meetings ensuring that this is not a one-off activity. Quoting Nikhita Raghunath, one of the Steering Committee members, “... Once we have a base, the liaisons will work with these groups to ensure that the problems are resolved. When we have a report next year, we’ll have a look at the progress made and how we could still do better. But the idea is definitely to not stop at the report.”

With this report, we hope to empower our end user communities with information that they can use to identify ways in which they can support the project as well as a sneak peek into the roadmap for upcoming features. As a community, we thrive on feedback and would love to hear your views about the report. You can get in touch with the Steering Committee via Slack or via the mailing list.