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April’s Spinnaker Gardening #CommunityHack is Going Virtual!

April’s Spinnaker Gardening #CommunityHack is Going Virtual! hero graphic

Mar 11, 2020 by Rosalind Benoit

Guess what?! Our Hackathon is going fully online! “Spinnaker Gardening Days #CommunityHack” happens in one month, and we’re gearing up for an international open-source work-from-home extravaganza! Via Zoom, Slack, and Github, we’ll empower you to move the needle on continuous delivery projects. Teams will hack, newcomers will train, and champions will share Spinnaker secrets. Click here to register and get your free tickets for the hackathon, training track, lunchtime learnings, or all three.

 Join other Spinnaker users and companies to learn and let your skills shine at this collaborative event. We’ll address open-source feature requests, extend the ecosystem, and have lots of fun. Thanks to our generous sponsor Salesforce, all logged-in participants will score prizes, premium swag, and lunch on us! Hack through the workday, or check out our noontime lightning talks. Visit the Spinnaker Gardening repository for the schedule and details.

Salesforce logoThe Armory Tribe celebrates the support of Salesforce and, in particular, Edgar Magana, a Spinnaker champion and Cloud Operations Architect. We recently sat down to discuss the Ops SIG, modeling and standardizing Spinnaker, and his ideas for hackathon projects. Read the full article here.

A relative newcomer to the Spinnaker community, but a veteran in matters of cloud computing, networking, and OSS projects like OpenStack, Edgar recently founded the Operations SIG (Special Interest Group). Just as he recognized that “the community needed a place to discuss how to operate Spinnaker better,” he also urges us to jump-start the Spinnaker community. He’s recommended improvements to the contributor experience, and persuaded Salesforce to sponsor this first-ever Spinnaker hackathon.

Of course, we touched on his most pressing open-source Spinnaker initiatives in our chat. Next up? Gather a team! 

“We really want to come to the hackathon with goals, and to put extra motivation for folks to address them as a community,” Edgar explains their sponsorship.

From Salesforce and the Ops SIG perspective, Edgar has two features stories to focus on at the hackathon:

  • “Run any OSS source code scanning software against Spinnaker microservices, and you’ll find a number of vulnerabilities in the libraries that Spinnaker leverages. We’d like to minimize and solve those as much as possible.” 
    • I’m pumped about this one because a) in many instances, this is a low-barrier-to-entry task that newer contributors can make a huge dent in, and b) every ops freak knows that fixing OSS dependencies is probably the most important security measure we touch. 
  • “Cloud driver scalability is another key initiative in progress. The dynamic account system works, but performance can be improved drastically for those using a large system with 800-1000 Kubernetes accounts. There was a bugfix in 1.17, but it still takes lots of time for clouddriver to cache new accounts, and this means a long startup time.”
    • Edgar would like to see new accounts dynamically appended to the cache instead of triggering another cache of all accounts, and has been collaborating with Armory engineers on a solution. Another excellent project goal for Community Gardening!

Here on Armory’s Community team, we second Edgar’s suggestion to make Spinnaker more “beginner-friendly” and welcoming to new contributors. Our top goals for the first half of 2020 revolve around improving the contributor experience, from promoting issue triage in SIGs, to creating and organizing documentation around Spinnaker development environment, release cycle, and contribution guidelines so that newcomers know where to find answers and how to get started. Expect to see a contributor experience project from us at the hackathon!

In the meantime, the Plugin Framework for Spinnaker that Armory and Netflix are building is maturing fast. This work will make Spinnaker more welcoming to contributors in another way: it provides clear extension points in the codebase, along with an easy way to load extensions to a running Spinnaker instance. With the Spinnaker Gardening Days, we want encourage you to build extensions. Moreover, we know that many teams using Spinnaker in production have already built custom tooling around it; we’re encouraging those teams to leverage the plugin framework to quickly share their work with the OSS community (sounds like a stellar hackathon project!). We’re better together, and with a widely adopted project like Spinnaker, you can feel sure that paying it forward will reap big dividends for you and your organization. Check out the Plugin Creators Guide and Plugin Users Guide to learn more!

Calling Edgar and all other incredible Spinnaker developers: it’s time to add your fantastic Spinnaker Gardening ideas to the Project Ideas Wiki, create a slack channel for your project, and start prepping for the most exciting online event of 2020! Don’t forget to register here and reserve your ticket : )

spinnaker-hackathon gardening readme

Learn more in the spinnaker-hackathon/gardening README

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