Like many open source projects, we have a community dashboard at GitLab and one of the metrics that a few of us were occasionally checking on was the number of Contributors. This is the number of wider community members who had merge requests (MRs) merged with the
Community contribution label across all projects at GitLab. There were some virtual high fives a few weeks ago when the number crossed the 3,000 threshold. There is probably a tendency to place oversized importance on nice round numbers, because if you really think about it the GitLab community wasn't any different at 2,999 vs. 3,000 contributors. However, it was a great occasion to celebrate the continued growth of the wider GitLab community.
Community dashboard screenshot from April 23, 2020
The past few months have been a challenging time due to Covid-19, and there was talk in open source circles about the pandemic's potential impact on contributions to open source projects. As people were trying to sort out many new challenges in life, it was reasonable to expect that open source contributions might fall lower on the list of priorities. We actually did see a decline in wider community contributions during the last few weeks of March (125 MRs submitted) compared to the previous two weeks (143 MRs submitted). However, the GitLab community seemed to roar back relatively quickly, and the best evidence of that is from our most recent Hackathon when my inbox got innundated with 240 MRs submitted over two days.
First and foremost, I'm very glad most of the wider community members are doing ok and adjusting to the strange new normal. Moreover, I am grateful that new people are continuing to join and helping to grow the GitLab community with their contributions and enthusiasm even during these challenging times.
What all these contributors bring are not just MRs but more importantly valuable feeback and insight that help us improve our product and the community. Some of you may have seen our latest 2020 Global DevSecOps Survey results, and one figure that caught my attention was that more than 17% of the respondents actually contribute to GitLab. I hope to see that trend continue.
Exciting additions to the Core Team
Many of you may already be familar with the GitLab Core Team, but if not, Core Team members are community members who made sustained contribution to GitLab over the years and serve as representatives of the wider contributor community. In keeping with the growth in contributor numbers, I'm happy to report that we are also adding to the GitLab Core Team.
From the wider community, I'm excited to introduce Lee Tickett as a new Core Team member. If you ever posted a question in the Contributors room on Gitter, Lee may have been one of the first to help with your question. Lee has also been very active with code contributions and participating in issues. Lee's contribution to GitLab as someone who's been using GitLab for his own company since 2017 has been extremely valuable. When Lee isn't working, contributing, sleeping or eating, you'll likely find him spending time with his family or kicking back in his home bar with some Pac-Man, a game of pool and an ice cold pint.
Welcome Lee and Natalia to the Core Team!
Interested in learning how you can contribute?
A good place to start is the Contributing to GitLab page, where you can learn how you can contribute to GitLab's code, documentation, translation, and UX design.
If you have any questions, you are always welcome to email me.
Read more about our GitLab contributors:
New tools make contributing to GitLab easier
Community contributions in 2019
What's a GitLab Hackathon really like?