CNCF Zero-To-Merge: Becoming a Contributor

CNCF Zero-To-Merge: Becoming a Contributor

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What is CNCF?

CNCF means Cloud Native Computing Foundation, it is an Open-Source Hub where you find projects around Cloud Computing and the tools surrounding Cloud Computing.

If you are a Developer that has worked with the Cloud at some point you must’ve used a project from CNCF. Some of the more popular ones include Kubernetes, Prometheus, Argo, Meshery, Containerd, Helm, Istio…

The list goes on.

You can find the CNCF Landscape here which contains a pictorial overview of all the projects.


As a Developer who began from open source, I always feel good when contributing to Open Source projects. I however noticed that it felt a bit herculean contributing to a new project. As a DevOps Engineer, I spend 80% of my time using Open-Source tools or learning how to use them and it only makes sense to contribute to them.

My major stumbling block was how to begin and that is where “CNCF: Zero-To-Merge” came in.

It is an incubator, a first of its kind that helps developers go from zero contributions to having a merged contribution which I hope would be the case for me.


So far, we have 2 classes per week which have focused on Github, Github Actions and Clotributor.

Github is the Software that would be used to contribute, Github Actions is also a way of contributing as I recently learned.

Taylor Dolezal, our very cool instructor, showed us a way to add a ci/cd that runs whenever a push is made to make sure all the links are working as expected which is quite interesting.

We have also been guided on the structure of some open-source projects like Kubernetes. Do you know Kubernetes has a whole repository that focuses on its community? {link to repository}. If you are a community contributor interested in Kubernetes, you would want to check it out.

We were also taught about how to contribute to Open Source projects and the impact joining meetings can have. Joining Open Source meetings has immersive benefits.

It can help you:

  • Understand the project better

  • Understand the priorities of the project

  • Get to know the Maintainers and Contributors of that project

"Show up and Stick Around"

This was a phrase Taylor said in our very first class and it stuck in my head.

That's what I have decided to do, I am going to show up and stick around.


Clotributor is a webpage that contains open-source issues that need help. You can search for issues based on programming language or project. It's like online shopping but for Open-Source, how fun!

You should check it out here and probably stick around.


I went through Clotributor and settled on two projects, I made some observations during my process.

  1. Everything seemed complex and difficult to understand.

The thing about contributing to open source is that you are literally reading another person’s problem in a project you are new to so it is going to be difficult to understand at first.

  1. Some projects had some activity and discussion under it and it helped in understanding the problem better.

I have decided to dive deeper into my chosen contributions with 3 more weeks to go.


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