As an open source project Gerrit has a large community of people driving the project forward. There are many ways to engage with the project and get involved.

Supporter

Supporters are individuals who help the Gerrit project and the Gerrit community in any way. This includes users that provide feedback to the Gerrit community or get in touch by other means.

There are many possibilities to support the project, e.g.:

  • get involved in discussions on the repo-discuss mailing list (post your questions, provide feedback, share your experiences, help other users)

  • attend community events like user summits (see community calendar)

  • report issues and help to clarify existing issues

  • provide feedback on new releases and release candidates

  • review changes and help to verify that they work as advertised, comment if you like or dislike a feature

  • serve as contact person for a proprietary Gerrit installation and channel feedback from users back to the Gerrit community

Supporters can:

  • post on the repo-discuss mailing list (Please note that the repo-discuss mailing list is managed to prevent spam posts. This means posts from new participants must be approved manually before they appear on the mailing list. Approvals normally happen within 1 work day. Posts of people who participate in mailing list discussions frequently are approved automatically)

  • comment on changes and vote from -1 to +1 on the Code-Review label (these votes are important to understand the interest in a change and to address concerns early, however maintainers can overrule/ignore these votes)

  • download changes to try them out, feedback can be provided as comments and by voting (preferably on the Verified label, permissions to vote on the Verified label are granted by request, see below)

  • file issues in the issue tracker and comment on existing issues

  • support the design-driven contribution process by reviewing incoming design docs and raising concerns during the design review

Supporters who want to engage further can get additional privileges on request (ask for it on the repo-discuss mailing list):

  • become member of the gerrit-verifiers group, which allows to:

    • vote on the Verified and Code-Style labels

    • edit hashtags on all changes

    • edit topics on all open changes

    • abandon changes

  • approve posts to the repo-discuss mailing list

  • administrate issues in the issue tracker

Supporters can become contributors by signing a contributor license agreement and contributing code to the Gerrit project.

Contributor

Everyone who has a valid contributor license agreement and who has contributed at least one change to any project on gerrit-review.googlesource.com is a contributor.

Contributions can be:

Contributors have all the permissions that supporters have. In addition they have signed a contributor license agreement which enables them to push changes.

Regular contributors can ask to be added to the gerrit-verifiers group, which allows to:

  • add patch sets to changes of other users

  • propose project config changes (push changes for the refs/meta/config branch

Being member of the gerrit-verifiers group includes further permissions (see supporter section above).

It’s highly appreciated if contributors engage in code reviews, design reviews and mailing list discussions. If wanted, contributors can also serve as link#mentor[ mentors] to support other contributors with getting their features done.

Contributors may also be invited to join the Gerrit hackathons which happen regularly (e.g. twice a year). Hackathons are announced on the repo-discuss mailing list (also see community calendar).

Outstanding contributors that are actively engaged in the community, in activities outlined above, may be nominated as maintainers.

Maintainer

Maintainers are the gatekeepers of the project and are in charge of approving and submitting changes. Refer to the project homepage for the list of current maintainers.

Maintainers should only approve changes that:

  • they fully understand

  • are in line with the project vision and project scope that are defined by the engineering steering committee, and should consult them, when in doubt

  • meet the quality expectations of the project (well-tested, properly documented, scalable, backwards-compatible)

  • implement usable features or bug fixes (no incomplete/unusable things)

  • are not authored by themselves (exceptions are changes which are trivial according to the judgment of the maintainer and changes that are required by the release process and branch management)

Maintainers are trusted to assess changes, but are also expected to align with the other maintainers, especially if large new features are being added.

Maintainers are highly encouraged to dedicate some of their time to the following tasks (but are not required to do so):

  • reviewing changes

  • mailing list discussions and support

  • bug fixing and bug triaging

  • supporting the design-driven contribution process by reviewing incoming design docs and raising concerns during the design review

  • serving as mentor

  • doing releases (see link#release-manager[release manager])

Maintainers can:

  • approve changes (vote +2 on the Code-Review label); when approving changes, -1 votes on the Code-Review label can be ignored if there is a good reason, in this case the reason should be clearly communicated on the change

  • submit changes

  • block submission of changes if they disagree with how a feature is being implemented (vote -2 on the Code-Review label), but their vote can be overruled by the steering committee, see Project Governance

  • nominate new maintainers and vote on nominations (see below)

  • administrate the mailing list, the issue tracker and the homepage

  • gain permissions to do Gerrit releases and publish release artifacts

  • create new projects and groups on gerrit-review.googlesource.com

  • administrate the Gerrit projects on gerrit-review.googlesource.com (e.g. edit ACLs, update project configuration)

  • create events in the community calendar

  • discuss with other maintainers on the private maintainers mailing list and Slack channel

In addition, maintainers from Google can:

  • approve/reject changes that update project dependencies (vote -1 to +1 on the Library-Compliance label), see Upgrading Libraries

  • edit permissions on the Gerrit core projects

Maintainers can nominate new maintainers by posting a nomination on the non-public maintainers mailing list. Nominations should stay open for at least 14 calendar days so that all maintainers have a chance to vote. To be approved as maintainer a minimum of 5 positive votes and no negative votes is required. This means if 5 positive votes without negative votes have been reached and 14 calendar days have passed, any maintainer can close the vote and welcome the new maintainer. Extending the voting period during holiday season or if there are not enough votes is possible, but the voting period should not exceed 1 month. If there are negative votes that are considered unjustified, the engineering steering committee may get involved to decide whether the new maintainer can be accepted anyway.

To become a maintainer, a contributor should have a history of deep technical contributions across different parts of the core Gerrit codebase. However, it is not required to be an expert on everything. Things that we want to see from potential maintainers include:

  • high quality code contributions

  • high quality code reviews

  • activity on the mailing list

Engineering Steering Committee Member

The Gerrit project has an Engineering Steering Committee (ESC) that governs the project, see Project Governance.

Members of the steering committee are expected to act in the interest of the Gerrit project and the whole Gerrit community. Refer to the project homepage for the list of current committee members.

For those that are familiar with scrum, the steering committee member role is similar to the role of an agile product owner.

Steering committee members must be able to dedicate sufficient time to their role so that the steering committee can satisfy its responsibilities and live up to the promise of answering incoming requests in a timely manner.

Maintainers can become steering committee member by election, or by being appointed by Google (only for the seats that belong to Google).

Mentor

A mentor is a maintainer or contributor who is assigned to support the development of a feature that was specified in a design doc and was approved by the steering committee.

The goal of the mentor is to make the feature successful by:

  • doing timely reviews

  • providing technical guidance during code reviews

  • discussing details of the design

  • ensuring that the quality standards are met (well documented, sufficient test coverage, backwards compatible etc.)

The implementation is fully done by the contributor, but optionally mentors can help out with contributing some changes.

Maintainers and contributors can volunteer to generally serve as mentors, or to mentor specific features (e.g. if they see an upcoming feature on the roadmap that they are interested in). To volunteer as mentor, contact the steering committee or comment on a change that adds a design doc.

Community Manager

Community managers should act as stakeholders for the Gerrit community and focus on the health of the community. Refer to the project homepage for the list of current community managers.

Tasks:

  • act as stakeholder for the Gerrit community towards the steering committee

  • ensure that the mentorship process works

  • deescalate conflicts in the Gerrit community

  • constantly improve community processes (e.g. contribution process)

  • watch out for community issues and address them proactively

  • serve as contact person for community issues

Community members may submit new items under the Community component backlog, for community managers to refine. Only public topics should be issued through that backlog.

Sensitive topics are to be privately discussed using this mailing list. This is a group that remains private between the individual community member and community managers.

The community managers should be a pair or trio that shares the work:

  • One Googler that is appointed by Google.

  • One or two non-Googlers, elected by the community if there are more than two candidates. If there is no candidate, we only have the one community manager from Google.

Community managers must not be steering committee members at the same time so that they can represent the community without conflict of interest.

Nomination process, election process and election period for the non-Google community manager are the same as for steering committee members.

Release Manager

Each major Gerrit release is driven by a Gerrit maintainer, the so called release manager.

The release manager is responsible for:

  • identifying release blockers and informing about them

  • creating stable branches and updating version numbers

  • creating release candidates, the final major release and minor releases

  • announcing releases on the mailing list and collecting feedback

  • ensuring that releases meet minimal quality expectations (Gerrit starts, upgrade from previous version works)

  • publishing release artifacts

  • ensuring quality and completeness of the release notes

  • cherry-picking bug fixes, see Backporting to stable branches

  • estimating the risk of new features that are added on stable branches, see Development in stable branches

Before each release, the release manager is appointed by consensus among the maintainers. Volunteers are welcome, but it’s also a goal to fairly share this work between maintainers and contributing companies.