Knative community roles

This document describes the set of roles individuals might have within the Knative community, the requirements of each role, and the privileges that each role grants.

See also notes on roles.

Role Summary

The following table lists the roles we use within the Knative community. The table describes:

  • General responsibilities expected by individuals in each role
  • Requirements necessary to join or stay in a given role
  • How the role manifests in terms of permissions and privileges.
Role Responsibilities Requirements Privileges Scope
Member Regular active contributor in the community

Has made multiple contributions to the project

Member of the GitHub Knative org

Member of the Knative Slack workspace

Edit access to team drive

GitHub Organization
Approver

Approve contributions from other members

Highly experienced and active reviewer and contributor to an area Entry in one or more OWNERS files in GitHub, and write permissions on one or more repos allowing PRs to be merged GitHub Directory
Working Group Technical Lead

Set priorities for a functional area and approve proposals

Triage incoming issues, set milestones, repo labels

Roadmap alignment with top-level backlog

Mentor new contributors, project members, and approvers

Succession - identifying next steps for members of the working group

Responsible for technical health of their functional area

Sponsored by the technical oversight committee as documented here Write permissions on one or more repos allowing issues to be manipulated Working Group
Working Group Execution Lead

Run their working group: Meetings, notes, roadmap, report

Responsible for the holistic health of the working group

Work organization, planning, high-level execution

Triage incoming issues, set milestones, repo labels

Ensure all required skills are present within the working group

Mentor new contributors, project members, and approvers

Sponsored by the technical oversight committee as documented here Write permissions on one or more repos allowing issues to be manipulated Working Group
Scribe

Ensure important information is represented in working group notes

Post WG recordings to team drive

Sponsored by a working group execution or technical lead. Write permissions to team drive and team calendar Working Group

Member

Established community members are expected to demonstrate their adherence to the principles in this document, familiarity with project organization, roles, policies, procedures, conventions, etc., and technical and/or writing ability.

Members are continuously active contributors in the community. They can have issues and PRs assigned to them, participate in working group meetings, and pre-submit tests are automatically run for their PRs. Members are expected to remain active contributors to the community.

All members are encouraged to help with the code review burden, although each PR must be reviewed by an official Approver.

When reviewing, members should focus on code quality and correctness, including testing and factoring. Members might also review for more holistic issues, but this is not a requirement.

Requirements

  • Has made multiple contributions to the project or community. Contributions might include, but are not limited to:

    • Authoring and reviewing PRs on GitHub.

    • Filing and commenting on issues on GitHub.

    • Contributing to working group or community discussions.

  • Subscribed to knative-dev@googlegroups.com.

  • Actively contributing to 1 or more areas.

Responsibilities and privileges

  • Responsive to issues and PRs assigned to them.

  • Active owner of code they have contributed (unless ownership is explicitly transferred).

    • Code is well tested.

    • Tests consistently pass.

    • Addresses bugs or issues discovered after code is accepted.

Members who frequently contribute code are expected to proactively perform code reviews and work towards becoming an approver for the area that they are active in.

Approver

Code approvers are able to both review and approve code contributions. While code review is focused on code quality and correctness, approval is focused on holistic acceptance of a contribution including: backward / forward compatibility, adhering to API and flag conventions, subtle performance and correctness issues, interactions with other parts of the system, etc. Approver status is scoped to a part of the codebase.

Requirements

The following apply to the part of the codebase for which one would be an approver in an OWNERS file:

  • Reviewer of the codebase for at least 3 months.

  • Primary reviewer for at least 10 substantial PRs to the codebase.

    • One path for getting the necessary reviews is to add yourself to the reviewers section of the OWNERS file. Note that this does not give you any additional privileges. By having yourself listed in this section in OWNERS file means that you will get PRs assigned to you for code review. Getting added to reviewers section is at the discretion of an approver after enough evidence of quality contributions.
  • Reviewed at least 30 PRs to the codebase.

  • Nominated by an a WG lead (with no objections from other leads).

Responsibilities and privileges

The following apply to the part of the codebase for which one would be an approver in an OWNERS file:

  • Approver status can be a precondition to accepting large code contributions.

  • Demonstrate sound technical judgment.

  • Responsible for project quality control via code reviews.

    • Focus on holistic acceptance of contribution such as dependencies with other features, backward / forward compatibility, API and flag definitions, etc.
  • Expected to be responsive to review requests as per community expectations.

  • Mentor new contributors and project members.

  • Approve code contributions for acceptance.

Working Group Leadership Roles

We differentiate here between two key roles, WG Execution Lead and WG Technical Lead. In small working groups, often these roles will be performed by one person; in larger working groups it might be best to have different individuals performing these roles. There is no ‘formula’, it is up to the working group leadership to determine what is best for their working group.

Working Group Technical Lead

Working group technical leads, or just ‘tech leads’, are approvers of an entire area that have demonstrated good judgement and responsibility. Tech leads accept design proposals and approve design decisions for their area of ownership, and are responsible for the overall technical health of their functional area.

Requirements

Getting to be a tech lead of an existing working group:

  • Recognized as having expertise in the group’s subject matter.

  • Approver for a relevant part of the codebase for at least 3 months.

  • Member for at least 6 months.

  • Primary reviewer for 20 substantial PRs.

  • Reviewed or merged at least 50 PRs.

  • Sponsored by the technical oversight committee.

Additional requirements for leads of a new working group:

  • Originally authored or contributed major functionality to the group's area.

Responsibilities and privileges

The following apply to the area / component for which one would be an owner.

  • Design/proposal approval authority over the area / component, though escalation to the technical oversight committee is possible.

  • Technical review of feature tracks.

  • Perform issue triage on GitHub.

  • Apply/remove/create/delete GitHub labels and milestones.

  • Write access to repo (assign issues/PRs, add/remove labels and milestones, edit issues and PRs, edit wiki, create/delete labels and milestones).

  • Capable of directly applying lgtm + approve labels for any PR.

  • Expected to work to holistically maintain the health of the project through:

    • Reviewing PRs.

    • Fixing bugs.

    • Identifying needed enhancements / areas for improvement / etc.

    • Execute pay-down of technical debt.

  • Mentoring and guiding approvers, members, and new contributors.

Working Group Execution Lead

Working group execution leads, or just ‘execution leads’, are responsible for the overall health and execution of the working group itself. Execution leads work with tech leads to ensure that the working group is making progress toward its goals, is aligned with the project roadmap, etc. The execution lead may also be the tech lead in a smaller working group, but they are distinct roles.

Requirements

  • Participant in the working group for at least 3 months, for example as scribe or approver.

  • Recognized as having expertise in the group’s subject matter.

  • Sponsored by the technical oversight committee.

Responsibilities and privileges

  • Run their working group as explained in the Working Group Processes.

    • Meetings. Prepare the agenda and run the regular working group meetings.

    • Notes. Ensure that meeting notes are kept up to date. Provide a link to the recorded meeting in the notes. The lead may delegate note-taking duties to the scribe.

    • Roadmap. Establish and maintain a roadmap for the working group outlining the areas of focus for the working group over the next 6 months.

    • Report. Report current status to the TOC meeting every 6 weeks.

  • Holistic responsibility for their working group's feature tracks: tracking, health, and execution.

  • Perform issue triage on GitHub.

  • Apply/remove/create/delete GitHub labels and milestones.

  • Write access to repo (assign issues/PRs, add/remove labels and milestones, edit project, issues, and PRs, edit wiki, create/delete labels and milestones).

  • Expected to work to holistically maintain the health of the working through:

    • Being a good role model

    • Be an advocate for the working group inside and outside of the community

    • Foster a welcoming and collegial environment

    • Mentoring and guiding approvers, members, and new contributors.

Scribe

One of the most underrated roles in open source projects is the role of note taker. The importance and value of this role is frequently overlooked and underestimated. Since one of the core project values is transparency, we have an explicit scribe role to recognize these types of contributions. Working group scribes assist the Working Group leads with the mechanical processes around Working Group meetings.

Requirements

  • Participant in the working group for at least 1 month.

  • Pattern of attendance and note-taking during working group meetings and one-offs.

  • Sponsored by a working group execution or technical lead.

Responsibilities and privileges

  • Attend working group meetings and one-offs whenever possible.

  • Ensure that important information from meetings makes it into the WG notes.

  • Post WG recordings to the team drive.

Notes

The steering committee is working to define the terms under which someone may be removed from a role. In the interim, you may contact knative-steering@googlegroups.com if there is a situation related to role execution that you want to raise.


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