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Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

The Docker open source project is among the most successful in recent history by every possible metric: number of contributors, GitHub stars, commit frequency, etc. Managing an open source project at that scale and preserving a healthy community doesn’t come without challenges.

This post is the first of a 3-part series on how we deal with those challenges on the Docker Engine project, starting with the most important aspect of all: the people .

Open Source Culture

Do you know what Docker’s IPv6 support, user namespaces, or the recently added docker update command have in common? They have been contributed by members of community.

There are as many open source cultures as there are open source projects, and the spectrum is extremely wide ranging from “projects with open code”, to projects that foster and encourage outside participation.

One of the things that I love the most about the Docker project is how much effort maintainers put into creating a welcoming environment. One part of it is defining the right processes supported by the right tooling (more on that in the upcoming posts in this series), but far more importantly, this is about being helpful, positive, and supportive.

For every pull request, Docker maintainers  will work their best to “reach a yes”. Of course we don’t merge everything we receive, but we do merge 80% of pull requests! And an important reason for that is because whether you are unfamiliar with git, with Go, or with Docker itself, maintainers will help you get to the point where we can push the green button. We know how intimidating it can be as a first time contributor to open source because we have all been there: we hope we can encourage more people to become open source citizens this way, whether on our projects or on others.

The Shape of the Community

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that a fast-growing open source project with that much attention from the industry naturally attracts commercial interests, and that the Docker project is backed by the Docker Inc company. In that context, culture  and respect   are  essential to preserv e  a healthy community and a welcoming environment for professionals and hobbyists alike.

And the numbers are here to tell! I n the past year, 58 %  of pull requests submitted to the Docker Engine were authored by people who are neither maintainers nor Docker employees , 12% by maintainers working for other companies, and 30% by Docker employees themselves.

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Putting It All Together

This is how the Docker Engine is made:

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

So really the project would be nothing without its community, and although the 1,962 people who contributed to the project so far would deserve their picture on this post, we can start by giving a shout-out the some of our outstanding maintainers, past and present:


Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Aaron Lehmann

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Alexander Morozov

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

David Calavera

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Madhu Venugopal

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Lei Jitang

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Morgan Bauer

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Brian Goff

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Mary Anthony

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Michael Crosby

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Antonio Murdaca

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Derek McGowan

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Stephen Day

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Daniel Nephin

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Sebastiaan Van Stijn

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Doug Davis

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Tianon Gravi

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Erik Hollensbe

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Tibor Vass

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Eric Windisch

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Tonis Tiigi

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Phil Estes

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Uncle Jack

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Arnaud Porterie

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Vincent Batts

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Jessie Frazelle

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Vincent Demeester

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

John Howard

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Victor Vieux

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Justin Cormack

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Vish Kannan

Open Source at Docker, Part 1: The People

Even with the most amazing maintainers, some amount of process is required to keep things going smoothly given this huge activity, and this is what the next post in this series will be focusing on. In the meantime, if you want to join the fun, check out one of our numerous repositories , read our contributing guides , or come chat on IRC Freenode #docker-dev!

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