Docker Project Enhances Structure to Address Unprecedented Growth; Announces Additional Leadership
Open source project keys in on openness, accessibility and scale
San Francisco, Calif. – January 28, 2015 – The Docker open source project, which develops the Docker open platform for distributed applications, today announced changes to the project’s operational structure to enable it to scale to address its unprecedented growth. During the course of 2014, the number of project contributors quadrupled and is currently at over 740. During the same period, the project processed over 5,000 pull requests, 50 percent of which were made by individuals who do not work for Docker, Inc. In addition to direct contribution, the project – through its open model for design, contribution, APIs and governance – has now fostered over 20,000 projects (such as UIs, management frameworks and monitoring tools) and over 85,000 Dockerized applications which are the open, composable building blocks for distributed applications.
The new operational structure for the Docker project was established in the same way project features are; through its open design process and documented in a pull request (PR) – PR #9137 – that has been commented on, modified and ultimately merged into the project. The changes were structured in a way to allow the project to scale 10X and beyond, with the objectives being to:
- Make the project more open and accessible;
- Make the project more scalable;
- Do this in an incremental way, without unnecessary refactoring.
The primary driver behind the modification of organizational structure is to distribute critical responsibilities across a strong team of three leaders with distinct responsibilities. These roles are chief architect, chief maintainer and chief operator. In addition to the leadership roles, the new structure also defines the day-to-day work of individual contributors working in each one of these areas.
“The Docker project is thriving through a level of unparalleled growth and expectations and to continue to reach new heights we needed to evolve our structure. A structure that creates the opportunity for additional world-class talent to join the team to help us as we support and grow our community,” said Solomon Hykes, founder of Docker.
Solomon, as the founder of Docker, was previously responsible for overseeing architecture, operations and technical maintenance of the project. In the new structure, Solomon steps into the specific role of chief architect for the project, while continuing in his capacity as CTO of Docker, Inc. As chief architect, Solomon will steer the general direction of the project, define its design principles, and preserve the integrity of its overall architecture as the platform grows and matures.
For the role of chief maintainer, the Docker project has appointed Michael Crosby, who has been serving as a maintainer. The chief maintainer is responsible for all aspects of quality for the project including code reviews, usability, stability, security, performance, and more.
Michael started working with the project in its early days in 2013 as a community member and was one of its most active, impactful contributors. Michael is the creator of libcontainer which is a critical element of the Docker project and at the heart of why the Docker container format has become the industry standard. Michael has been a Docker, Inc. team member since August 2013 and has been a core project maintainer since that time. His leadership has been one of the reasons that the project maintainers have been able to handle the thousands of contributions made to Docker with merge response times on average (median) less than one day, far lower than the industry average.
To fill the role of chief operator, Docker has recruited Steve Francia, who served in a similar capacity as chief developer advocate at MongoDB for the past three years. Under his guidance, that open source project experienced unchartered growth in the database sector with resounding community and technology success. In his role as Docker’s chief operator, Steve is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project including: facilitating communications amongst all the contributors; tracking release schedules; managing the relationship with downstream distributions and upstream dependencies; and helping new contributors to get involved and become successful contributors and maintainers. The role is also responsible for managing and measuring the success of the overall project and ensuring it is governed properly working in concert with the Docker Governance Advisory Board (DGAB).
In addition to creating the strongest community in the NoSQL database world with thousands of projects based on MongoDB, Steve is also very active in the open source community. He is personally responsible for the single most successful community-based Go project, Hugo, which has the most contributors of any non-commercially-backed Go project on GitHub. In addition to Hugo, he has created many of the most popular Go libraries and is very active in the Go community having spoken at the first GopherCon and being an expert judge in the first international Go Hackathon.
“Steve’s incredible track record with developer communities is built on his unique ability to communicate to, coalesce and motivate strong teams, while working tirelessly to improve the contributor experience each and every day,” said Solomon. “We are thrilled to have him on board guiding the Docker project as we continue to grow at an accelerated pace.”
While serving as the chief developer advocate at MongoDB, Steve was also directly responsible for the engineering team responsible for user experience, language drivers, evangelism, integrations, support and documentation. Steve has over 15 years of engineering management experience with leadership roles at companies like OpenSky, Portero Inc., and Daimler Chrysler.
“I am excited to be working and collaborating with the great Docker community,” said Steve. “I feel very fortunate to work with two transformative projects in Docker and MongoDB which have dramatically improved the developer experience. I look forward to learning from this great community and improving how developers and users interact with the project.”
To introduce himself to the community, Steve (IRC handle: spf13), will be doing a live Q&A session today at 11 a.m. PST on IRC in #docker.
Other Recent Changes to the Docker Project
These changes are the latest in a series of modifications to the Docker project to enable it to grow and remain responsive to the needs of a large and vibrant community and ecosystems.
Other recent changes include:
- The announcement of an open API with “batteries included but swappable” model for creating plug-ins to Docker;
- Creation of an Open Docker Governance Advisory Board with representation from vendors, contributors, and users, to provide a forum to discuss the issues and formulate recommendations for those issues. More details can on the DGAB’s charter can be found here: DGAB Blog;
- Publishing statistics and establishing SLAs around Pull Requests. The latest results show that the median time to process all Pull Requests, regardless of whether they are created by Docker, Inc. employees or community members, is one day. Average processing times and merge rates are comparable for Docker, Inc. and non Docker, Inc. employees;
- Creation of open design sprint sessions involving a broad cross-section of community members for developing functionality (e.g. networking, clustering, trust and provenance) that cannot be easily handled by external, large pull requests.
About Docker, Inc.
Docker, Inc. is the company behind the Docker open source platform, and is the chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem. Docker is an open platform for developers and system administrators to build, ship, run and orchestrate distributed applications. With Docker, IT organizations shrink application delivery from months to minutes, frictionlessly move workloads between data centers and the cloud, and improve infrastructure efficiency by 50 percent or more. Inspired by an active community and by transparent, open source innovation, Docker has been downloaded 100+ million times and is used by thousands of the world’s most innovative organizations, including eBay, Baidu, Yelp, Spotify, Yandex, and Cambridge HealthCare. Docker’s rapid adoption has catalyzed an active ecosystem, resulting in more than 85,000 Dockerized applications and integration partnerships with AWS, Cloud Foundry, Google, IBM, Microsoft, OpenStack, Rackspace, Red Hat and VMware.
Docker, Inc. is venture backed by AME Cloud Ventures (Yahoo! Founder Jerry Yang), Benchmark (Peter Fenton), Greylock Partners (Jerry Chen), Insight Venture Partners (Jerry Murdock), Sequoia Capital (Bill Coughran), SV Angel (Ron Conway), Trinity Ventures (Dan Scholnick), Y Combinator.
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