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By | December 7, 2021

How Do You Say Thank You to Contributors? EdgeX is Trying to!

By Jim White, EdgeX Foundry TSC Chair

As I write this, it is Thanksgiving week in the United States.  A time for everyone to reflect, share some time with loved ones, and show appreciation for the year’s blessings.  I cannot think of a better time to also say “thank you” to the EdgeX Foundry community of volunteers.  We just released our 2nd release of the year (the Jakarta release which is our 9th release overall).  Saying “thank you” seems insufficient and I really wish there was a better way to express the gratitude I have to all the men and women that continually do such great work and allow us to consistently deliver EdgeX releases cycle after cycle. 

I have said it before but it bears repeating, I consider myself fortunate to be associated with such a great group of people that work on EdgeX Foundry – both our volunteers and those that assist from the Linux Foundation.  Co-founding the project and serving as the project’s leader has been the highlight of my career.  Importantly, it is the people that I have had a chance to meet and interact with through the project that has made the experience so wonderful.

As anyone that has the fortune to lead an open-source project will tell you, volunteers – that is the contributors to the project – are the lifeblood of the project.  If you don’t have enough volunteers or if you don’t have a community of people with great attitudes and willingness to work together to make something great, your project will soon flounder and fail.  Because of organizational or personal commitments, an open-source project must constantly seek out new contributors who also bring new ideas and energy to a project.  This is not easy and project leaders often have to play the role of cheerleader and recruiter to find people willing to part with their most precious commodities: time and knowledge.

That is why EdgeX Foundry is excited to announce a new program meant to thank those that contribute to the project and hopefully entice new contributors to spend time on the project.

As of  November, the EdgeX Developer Badge program will send a digital badge to contributors on two occasions:

  1. When a contributor submits their first pull request that gets accepted and merged into the EdgeX Foundry code base (via GitHub)
  2. When a contributor fixes two bugs that have been documented via GitHub issues in one of the project’s repositories

The new EdgeX Foundry Developer Badges for bug fixing (the “Bug Hunter” Badge) and first contribution (First Time Contributor Badge)

Additional badges may be awarded by the project in the future.  The badges will be automatically issued via the project’s CI/CD processes and through  Developers will receive an email notification from the project when they have made their badge-worthy contribution.   They will also receive an email from Credly that allows them to accept their digital badge and then share their verifiable credential on LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media platform of their choosing.  It is a small token of appreciation on the part of the project to say “thank you for your work” that also allows a contributor to post recognition of their effort to professional or personal media outlets.  In other words, it’s an official way to provide some “street cred” to our volunteers, which we hope will attract their peers and co-workers to seek the same.

To our knowledge, this is a first of its kind program for an open-source project.  If there is an open-source project out there that would like to copy our program, please feel free to reach out to me for more information.  We’d like to see more contributors in more open-source projects and if this can help, we would be happy to share what we have done.

While saying thanks, I’d like to thank Aaron Williams who was the LF Edge Developer Advocate until this summer for coming up with the initial program idea.  I’d also like to thank Ernesto Ojeda, our EdgeX Dev Ops Working Group Chairman, and his Intel DevOps team for implementing the program.  It’s another example of the great people and work found in the LF Edge and EdgeX communities.

On behalf of the EdgeX Foundry project, we wish everyone a joyous holiday season.