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Contributor Ladder

Contributor Ladder

Hello! We are excited that you want to learn more about our project contributor ladder! This contributor ladder outlines the different contributor roles within the project, along with the responsibilities and privileges that come with them. Community members generally start at the first levels of the "ladder" and advance up it as their involvement in the project grows. Our project members are happy to help you advance along the contributor ladder.

Each of the contributor roles below is organized into three sections. "Responsibilities" are tasks that a contributor is expected to do. "Requirements" are qualifications a person needs to meet to be in that role, and "Privileges" are rights contributors on that level are entitled to.


A Contributor directly adds value to the project. Contributions need not be code. Individuals at the Contributor level may be new contributors, or they may only contribute occasionally.

  • Responsibilities include:
  • Requirements (one or several of the below):
    • Report and sometimes resolve issues
    • Occasionally submit PRs
    • Contribute to the documentation
    • Attend project meetings, take notes
    • Answer questions from other community members
    • Submit feedback on issues and PRs
    • Test releases and patches and submit reviews
    • Run or helps run events
    • Promote the project in public
    • Help run the project infrastructure
  • Privileges:
    • Invitations to contributor events
    • Eligible to become an Organization Member

Owners Structure

There are two types of owners in the ORAS project hierarchy: organization owners and subproject owners. ORAS organization owners oversee the overall project and its health. Subproject owners focus on a single repository, a group of related repositories, a service (e.g., a website), or subproject to support the other subprojects (e.g., marketing or community management).

Changes in ORAS Organization owners have to be announced via an issue on the Community repository. Changes to sub-project owners are to be announced via the appropriate sub-project issue.

You can find more information on the roles of organization owners and subproject owners in the governance.


It is important for contributors to be and stay active to set an example and show commitment to the project. Inactivity is harmful to the project as it may lead to unexpected delays, contributor attrition, and a lost of trust in the project.

  • Inactivity is measured by:
    • Periods of no contributions for longer than 6 months.
    • Periods of no communication for longer than 6 months.
  • Consequences of being inactive include:
    • Involuntary removal or demotion.
    • Being asked to move to Emeritus status.

Involuntary Removal or Demotion

Involuntary removal/demotion of a contributor happens when responsibilities and requirements aren't being met. This may include repeated patterns of inactivity, extended period of inactivity, a period of failing to meet the requirements of your role, and/or a violation of the Code of Conduct. This process is important because it protects the community and its deliverables while also opens up opportunities for new contributors to step in.

Involuntary removal or demotion is handled through a vote by a majority of the current Maintainers.

Stepping Down/Emeritus Process

If and when contributors' commitment levels change, contributors can consider stepping down (moving down the contributor ladder) vs moving to emeritus status (completely stepping away from the project).

Contact the Maintainers about changing to Emeritus status, or reducing your contributor level.


  • For inquiries, please drop a message in the #oras channel in the CNCF Workspace. You can follow the instructions in the community resources to join it.