Apr 17, 2019 - Ray Paik    

Updates from the GitLab contributor community

Here's what's happening with the wider contributor community.

I joined GitLab in June 2018, and it's been exciting to work with our wider community of contributors. One of the first things I did when I started was to look into community metrics to get a better understanding of the community, and here are a couple of numbers I'd like to share:

Since 2016, about 15 percent of merged MR for the GitLab Community Edition were contributed by community members (see the chart below). In addition, we had over 200 first-time contributors to GitLab between the 11.5 and 11.9 releases, and it's been fun seeing people celebrate their first merged MRs on Twitter.

Community contribution to CE

It's definitely fun being part of a growing community, and I wanted to provide a quick update on a number of items that we have been working on.

Core Team updates

Monthly calls

The Core Team consists of individuals who have made sustained contributions to GitLab and their mission is to represent the wider GitLab community. I started scheduling a regular call with Core Team members and I've been very impressed with the quality of discussions we have each month. Core Team members helped improve responsiveness to community contributions, Hackathons, and even revamped the Core Team page itself. Everyone is welcome to join the call, and the logistics, notes, slides, etc. are available on the Monthly Core Team meeting page. If you want to watch recordings of previous meetings, you can check out the Core Team meeting playlist.

GitLab Core Team

New additions to the team

There have also been changes to the Core Team composition. To provide additional support, there will be up to two GitLab company team members forming part of the Core Team. So, I'm excited to share that Rémy Coutable and Winnie Hellmann are now members of the Core Team. Winnie was actually a Core Team member prior to joining GitLab, and Rémy has been working with Core Team members for the past several years, so they're perfect additions to the team.

In addition to the two GitLab team-members, Ben Bodenmiller and George Tsiolis joined the Core Team in the past several months. As you will see in the next section, both Ben and George were two of the top code contributors in 2018.

Recognizing regular contributors

In addition to the Core Team members, we also have dozens of members of the wider community making regular contributions to GitLab. In order to recognize their work, I started a top contributors page and plan to update this each year to highlight regular contributors. Following examples from other open source communities, we now have badging for three different levels of contributions. Shortly, we will be sending out special GitLab merchandise to these contributors so they can celebrate their accomplishments. My hope is that we will see an increase in the number of regular contributors in the years to come. In addition to the number of contributors, I also want to improve the diversity of regular contributors – whether it's gender, geography, occupation, etc. – and will start a conversation on this topic in various forums, including the Core Team meeting.

Contributor badges

"Contribute for prize" issues

If you participated in the Q1 Hackathon, you probably remember that we highlighted an issue in each product stage to encourage people to contribute for a special hackathon prize. Following the success of this in the Hackathon, we created a new label Contribute for prize to encourage community members to work on priority issues on an ongoing basis. You can find more information in the contributor program handbook page and I encourage everyone to search for issues with the label Contribute for prize to start working on them.

How do I get started with contributing?

A good place to start is the Contributing to GitLab page, where you can learn how you can contribute to GitLab code, documentation, translation, and UX design.

If you have any questions, you are always welcome to reach me at rpaik@gitlab.com.

"Gitlab application screengrab" by Pankaj Patel on Unsplash

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