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.

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
Collaborator Casual contributor to the project Join [knative-users@](!forum/knative-users) to get access to the team drive.

Can submit PRs

Commenting permission on the Knative Team drive

GitHub Organization
Member Regular active contributor in the community

Sponsored by two members

Has made multiple contributions to the project

Member of the GitHub Knative org

Member of the Knative Slack workspace

Edit permission on the Knative Team drive

GitHub Organization

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

Set priorities for a functional area and approve proposals

Triage incoming issues, set milestones, repo labels

Run their working group

Sponsored by the technical oversight committee as documented here. Write permissions on one or more repos allowing issues to be manipulated. Working Group
Administrator Manage & control permissions Sponsored by the technical oversight committee

Admin privileges on the GitHub Knative org and all its repos

Admin privileges on the Knative Slack workspace

Admin privileges on the Knative Team Drive

Admin privileges on the Google Search Console for

Admin privilege to the Knative email lists.

GitHub Organization

Team Drive



Individuals can be added as an outside collaborator (with READ access) to a repo in the Knative GitHub organization without becoming a member. This role allows them to be assigned issues and PRs until they become a member, but will not allow tests to be run against their PRs automatically nor allow them to interact with the PR bot.


  • Working on some contribution to the project that would benefit from the ability to have PRs or Issues to be assigned to the contributor.

  • Join knative-users@ , which grants read access to documents in the Team Drive.


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.


  • 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

  • Actively contributing to 1 or more areas.

  • 1 sponsor must have the approver role.

    • Done by adding GitHub user to Knative organization.

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.


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.


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 or merged at least 30 PRs to the codebase.

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

    • Done through PR to update an OWNERS file.

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 members and contributors.

  • Might approve code contributions for acceptance.


Working group leads, or just ‘leads’, are approvers of an entire area that have demonstrated good judgement and responsibility. Leads accept design proposals and approve design decisions for their area of ownership.


Getting to be a lead of an existing working group:

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

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

  • Member for at least 1 year or 50% of project lifetime, whichever is shorter.

  • 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.

  • An approver in the OWNERS file for the group’s code.

Responsibilities and privileges

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

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

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

  • 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.

    • Mentoring and guiding approvers, members, and contributors.


Administrators are responsible for the bureaucratic aspects of the project.


  • Assigned by technical oversight committee.

Responsibilities and privileges

  • Manage the Knative GitHub repo, including granting membership and controlling repo read/write permissions.

  • Manage the Knative Slack team.

  • Manage the Knative Google group forum.

  • Manage any additional Knative technical collaboration assets.

  • Expected to be responsive to membership and permission change requests.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.