Maintainers Circle Working Group

Connect with other maintainers, share best practices, commiserate and grow.

Once a month, we welcome you to a maintainers circle: a peer group that will meet with scheduled topics, ample discussion, and networking time for fellow reviewers, approvers, maintainers, and other core leaders of CNCF projects. This is a time for you to stay connected, learn from and with each other, and discuss topics that are close to you. We’ll have a 100 person capacity for each event and depending on demand, may re-run the session. The capacity is set to make sure everyone that wants an interactive experience vs a lecture can have one.

The only contract of the members of each circle is to abide by the CNCF Code of Conduct, be kind, open as you’d like, and committed to hearing others out. Everyone will have a chance to participate in whatever activity is set forth in that meeting.


  • Collaborate on strategic issues; tackling size:L OSS challenges together
  • Listen (to build better programs, relationships, and sustainability efforts)
  • Share best practices
  • Participate in peer coaching and seek guidance
  • Highlight successes

Who is a maintainer?

There are a lot of meanings within the community. A maintainer is anyone recognized as a maintainer or in a core role of a CNCF project by that project's standards and governance. You can maintain code, docs, policy and more, but you are making decisions.

Relevant CNCF project examples:

  • containerd lists maintainers and code reviewers as key role
  • Prometheus lists maintainers in a file
  • Kubernetes doesn’t use the word maintainer but uses an OWNERs file method for ownership by listing reviewers and approvers

We recognize the term does not apply across the board perfectly. Maintainers is an umbrella succinct term that covers many of your roles and inclusivity.

Important note: CNCF has a pool of listed maintainers for each project that vote on behalf of their project in TOC elections. Some projects have more maintainer roles than this and the Circle welcomes all decision makers.


Meetings are scheduled ad-hoc when we have a topic and speaker. Join the our mailing list or our #maintainers-circle channel in the CNCF Slack to be notified of the next event.


For the most up-to-date information on upcoming events, and to review past events, visit the Maintainer's Circle README.

General Circle Structure

  • :35 - meeting kicks off with a welcome, announcements, and how breakouts work
  • :40-:00 - first speaker (academic, expert, other OSS maintainer)
  • :00-:20 - first breakout session (max: 10 rooms, 20 people in each) with a round of short intros [name/project name] before discussion
  • :25-:45 - second speaker (most likely a CNCF maintainer)
  • :45-:05 - second breakout session
  • :10-:15 - wrap up

To suggest future topics, file an issue in our repo. If you have something to share with the group, reach out to us on slack directly