Contributing to Mesos: Where to begin

Nov 11, 2015

Michael Park


3 min read

This post was written by Michael Park and Joris Van Remoortere of Mesosphere.
The Apache Mesos project has been growing as a community over the past year. On the developer side, there are about 80 new contributors since last year, as well as 4 new committers in the last 4 months. However, the process of contributing to any open source project can be intimidating, and Mesos has its own set of challenges.
On October 8 and 9, the first-ever MesosCon Europe took place in the home of Guinness: Dublin, Ireland. At the conference, we presented a talk entitled "Contributing to Mesos: Where to Begin," a few key points of which we highlight here.
Reviewers and shepherds: 3 things to remember
From the outset, there will generally be a reviewer and a shepherd working with you in the contribution process. A reviewer is typically a senior contributor who can help you directly review the patches. A shepherd is a Mesos committer who can ultimately commit the patch for you.
Here are our 3 tips to working with them:
  1. Reviewers and shepherds are people too! This means they also have full-time jobs, go on vacation, have families and other considerations. They may be unresponsive for a period of time, but that does not mean that your contribution is unappreciated.
  2. Nobody is out to get you! Everyone involved wants the project, and you, to succeed. Don't take review comments personally: iron out the disagreements and move forward.
  3. Build a relationship and trust. This one cannot be emphasized enough. The review process is much smoother when there is trust among those involved. Discuss your thoughts and design on IRC, introduce yourself at meetups and conferences, and show the shepherd that your work is aligned with their goals. Most importantly, show a history of driving tasks to completion and being responsive. This way you'll both know there won't be wasted effort or time.
If you'd like to learn more, watch the video of the full presentation below. You can also check out the "Contributing to Mesos" section of the official Apache Mesos documentation.

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