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Growing Spinnaker and Preparing for the 2019 Summit

Spinnaker summit 2019

Since the Spinnaker Summit in 2018 there have been a few key developments in both the platform and the community that eagerly surrounds it.

New features have been added, larger organizations have adopted the platform, thousands more have joined the community, and a new foundation has recently received Spinnaker with the promise of extending it to an even larger user base.

If you attended the summit last year (or wanted to), you'll be glad to know the next one is already set for November 16 - 17 in sunny San Diego, California. (We're very excited about it.) What's more, the call for proposals and attendee registrations have recently opened. 

Whether you're a developer hoping to attend or an expert thinking about taking the stage, here's a brief update on what's been going on with Spinnaker to get everyone on the same page. We'll also give you a sneak peek into what's simmering behind the scenes as we prepare for Spinnaker Summit 2019.

In the news: Donating Spinnaker to the CDF

The most notable development for Spinnaker is the introduction of a governance policy and the recent donation of the CD platform to the Continuous Delivery Foundation (or CDF).

For those unfamiliar with the CDF, it's a vendor-neutral organization created by The Linux Foundation with the purpose of supporting continuous delivery collaboration between developers, end users, and vendors.

A press release on the CDF website states that the organization seeks to "evangelize CI/CD and DevOps methodologies, define/document best practices, provide guidelines, and create training materials to enable any software development team around the world to implement CI/CD best practices."

According to Andy Glover's post on Netflix TechBlog, both Netflix and Google made the decision to add Spinnaker to the nonprofit's open source club—joining Jenkins, Jenkins X, and Tekton.

Netflix also signed up to become a founding member of the CDF, allowing them to work with other leading practitioners in the CD community and bring the benefits of Spinnaker to even more teams around the globe.

What exactly does all this mean for Spinnaker? For one, the community will expand tremendously with the addition of new companies, investors, and talent banding together to help shape Spinnaker's future. As for current users of the platform, the change won't affect them, but they will eventually benefit from the stream of third-party contributions.

"This is really exciting for us," said Rob Zienert, Senior Software Engineer at Netflix. "As more organizations get involved, the more innovation we'll all be able to take advantage of; further enabling the software industry as a whole to deliver faster and safer."

Considering Spinnaker is focused on being an open source solution so more teams can deliver better software, it couldn't have found a more perfect home than the CDF. 

In the community: unrelenting growth

From the community forum and GitHub to StackOverflow and Slack, no-one could have possibly predicted the incredible level of engagement from the public DevOps community.

Slack alone boasts over 6,450 members ranging from seasoned Netflix developers and Armory experts to newly minted Spinnaker adopters. We stepped into the ever-active Slack channel to find out what the channel means to them and how they perceive the Spinnaker community.

 "I've been actively involved in the Spinnaker community for the past 1.5 years," said Benjamin W. Smith (@benjaminws), an Engineer at Datadog who has worked with the Spinnaker development team on the Kubernetes V2 provider.

When asked if the community had influenced his use of the platform, Smith replied, "Absolutely. For instance, the community guided me to making design decisions in how we deploy to Kubernetes using Spinnaker."

Justin Lee (@jlee), an enthusiastic Solutions Engineer at Armory, gave his two cents:

"I'm pretty new to the community but over the past several months I've seen it grow and I think it has so much potential. I think we've all been pleasantly surprised by how open and welcoming it has been for everybody."

Ethan Rogers (@ethanfrogers), Armory's Community Software Engineer, had a similar perspective.

"I'm actually amazed by how much the Spinnaker community has grown since day one. We've gone from a small, open source project owned by Google and Netflix to a budding, community-driven project."

Rogers also explained that his favorite thing about it was the opportunity to build collaborative relationships across organizational boundaries. He was also very excited about the growth spurt in community-driven SIGs (Special Interest Groups).

"Since announcing formal governance at last year's Spinnaker Summit, we've seen the formation of 5 SIGs that hold regular meetings to get feedback and propose new work. It's been amazing to see members of the community gather around and own one particular area of the project to make it better and fit their needs. These SIGs will be the driving force behind the roadmap for Spinnaker for years to come!"

Moving to the equally active Spinnaker community over at GitHub, we asked Armory Engineer Kathryn Lewis for her take on the community.

"The community is passionate about the product, where it's going, and are constantly looking to improve it. There's also a great sense of camaraderie in the community and its amazing to work together with people from all over the world on something so impactful."

Lewis also extended an invitation to devs on the fence about joining the community.

"Don't be shy! The #dev Slack channel is a great place to post questions and follow updates from core Spinnaker folks. Plus, the more ideas and contribution, the better."

She adds that there are plenty of beginner-friendly issues on GitHub and, generally, everyone in the community is friendly and happy to help.

Rob Zienert (@rz)—the Netflix Engineer quoted previously—offered his own incentive for curious devs,

"The room for contribution, both big and small, from new and existing developers, is nearly bottomless. If you're interested in working on a product with high and far-reaching impact, Spinnaker is a great place to start."

Want to join the Spinnaker community? Check all the available channels you can jump into here.

On Spinnaker Summit 2019

Last year's Spinnaker Summit was a full-blown success. We welcomed hundreds of attendees and awed at dozens of extraordinary talks from leaders at Google, Armory, AWS, Cisco, and (of course) Netflix—just to name a few.

There was no shortage of talent last year, and we expect to go above and beyond at this year's summit. With an estimated 500+ attendees coming together in the buzzing entertainment district of San Diego—you'll want to make sure you're in California this November.

If you like the idea of speaking in front of a multi-talented crowd in "America's Finest City", you have until May 15th to submit your idea. Both individuals and panel groups are invited to apply, and if your idea is chosen, you will be given a complimentary ticket to the summit.

On the other hand, if you'd love to mingle with top DevOps talent and hear from industry leaders, you can already get your ticket here.

Spinnaker, Continuous Delivery

J. Medeiros

Written by J. Medeiros

Jenny is an engineer turned tech writer. She has hands-on experience in VR, AR, video game development, and UX-focused web design. Nowadays, she partners with tech companies to create content that helps people understand new technologies better. In her spare time, she hangs with Netflix and pokes her Amazon Alexa.

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