Participating in the Community

Absolutely everyone is welcome to join our community at any time! We are a friendly and inclusive group and we’d love to have you. We have three roles in the Athens community:

  • Community member
  • Contributor
  • Maintainer

Read on to find out more!

Community Members

Community members are folks who decide they want to get involved with our community. Absolutely anyone can do that whenever they want. If you want to get involved, that doesn’t mean you have to commit to being involved, but we hope our community is welcoming and the work is interesting enough to convince you to stay :)

We’ll provide all the support we can possibly provide to help you contribute in any way you’d like. If you’re considering joining us, here are some ideas for how you can get involved:

  • Comment on an issue that you’re interested in
  • Submit a pull request (PR) to fix an issue, or to improve something that doesn’t have an issue
  • Review a PR that you’re interested in
  • Join us at office hours (or more than one!)
    • See here for recordings of all our past meetings
  • Come chat with us in the gophers slack in the #athens channel
  • … and anything else that’s appropriate for you!


As you participate in the community more and more, you’ll have the opportunity to become a contributor. Here’s what being a contributor means, and what you should do to become one.

What Being a Contributor Means

Contributors have read access to the Athens repository on Github. This means that as a contributor, you’re able to have issues assigned to you and you’ll be requested to review pull requests (PRs) via the Github pull request review system.

We rely heavily on the Github PR review system, which means that if you review a PR as a contributor, you can help decide when that PR is ready to be merged. Don’t worry that you don’t know enough, the final approval and merge will be by one or more maintainers.

How to Become a Contributor

To become a contributor, the core maintainers of the project would like to see you:

  • Attend our development meetings regularly1
  • Comment on issues with your experiences and opinions
  • Add your comments and reviews on pull requests (anyone can do this as a community member)
  • Contribute PRs to fix issues
  • Open issues as you find them

Contributors and maintainers will do their best to watch for community members who may make good contributors. But don’t be shy, if you feel that this is you, please reach out to one or more of the contributors or maintainers.


After you become a contributor, you’ll have the opportunity to become a maintainer. Here’s what being a maintainer means and how to become one.

Note: We sometimes refer to maintainers as “core maintainers,” but they’re the same thing.

What Being a Maintainer Means

As a maintainer, you’ll be doing the same things as a contributor with a few extras:

  • Help organize our development meetings (i.e. help organize the agenda)
  • Promote the project and build community (e.g. present on it where possible, write about it, …) when possible2
  • Triage issues (e.g. adding labels, promoting discussions, finalizing decisions)
  • Organize and promote PR reviews (e.g. prompting community members, contributors, and other maintainers to review)
  • Help foster a safe and welcoming environment for all project participants. This will include enforcing our code of conduct. We adhere to the Contributor Covenant, if you haven’t read it yet you can do so here (english version).

How to Become a Maintainer

To become a maintainer, we would like you to see you be an effective contributor, and show that you can do some of the things maintainers do. Maintainers will do their best to regularly discuss promoting contributors. But don’t be shy, if you feel that this is you, please reach out to one or more of the maintainers.

The End

The above descriptions lay out roughly what each role is and how you can move into each of them. Folks all have different strengths, live in different places, and so on. We’re a diverse group, and we want to keep it that way!

So, everything in this document is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule. If you are really good at something, or can’t do something else, talk to one of the maintainers and let us know what’s up. We will accommodate everyone the best we can.

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