Getting started as a TAG Environmental Sustainability Contributor

Getting started as a TAG Environmental Sustainability Contributor

TAG Environmental Sustainability Logo

If you are reading this blog it might be that you are interested in contributing to the cloud native sustainability domain. This blog will help you and guide you through the different possibilities that are available for you, like joining the The Technical Advisory Group Environmental Sustainability, or one of its associated working groups.

Starting to contribute to open source and cloud native communities may often seem challenging and scary for beginners, but there are many ways you can embark on this journey. One way to engage with the community is to contribute to one of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation Technical Advisory Groups (CNCF TAG).

The TAG ENV, consists of individuals that focus on a specific area of the CNCF landscape by providing guidance, addressing challenges from the community and establishing domain-specific standards and best practices.

If you are curious about the TAG and play with the ideas to contribute you likely ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are the goals of the TAG ENV and how do they work with each other?
  • How does my contribution help with sustainability efforts?
  • Which projects does the TAG ENV has and how can I contribute to them?
  • How can I share ideas, improvements and any other suggestions to the TAG ENV?

Introducing the CNCF TAG Environmental Sustainability

The TAG ENV operates as part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) alongside several other TAGs.

Drawing inspiration from international frameworks such as the Paris Climate Accords, the TAG ENV sets out with a clear agenda: work with the cloud native community to tackle global environmental challenges by identifying ways to reduce the environmental footprint of steadily growing data centers and expanding the cloud native technologies landscape.

You can find more information about the TAG ENV’s mission in the charter document.

The primary goals of the TAG ENV are:

  • Identify, define, and support existing (or develop minimal) tooling to assess and refine environmental sustainability approaches.
  • Quantify the energy consumption of individual cloud native applications and their typical integration patterns.
  • Recommend energy-efficient strategies for the entire lifecycle of cloud native applications, from development to deployment and operation.
  • Collaborate with other environmental or sustainability entities, even those outside of CNCF’s purview.

If the TAG’s goals resonate with your own,keep on reading to learn more about why YOU should join the TAG and how to get involved.

TAG Environmental Sustainability needs YOU - but WHY?

Open source transcends mere lines of code; it epitomizes a global collaboration uniting individuals worldwide to craft free and accessible software. By integrating technical and environmental considerations, the TAG ENV engages in a diverse array of cloud native projects. Our commitment lies in transforming concepts into tangible initiatives that positively impact both the environment and the tech industry.

1. Why should you contribute to open source?

Getting involved in open source is an incredible way to collaborate with diverse individuals worldwide to develop free and accessible software. It’s an opportunity to contribute to innovative projects, share valuable insights, and nurture successful initiatives while learning from a vibrant community of developers and enthusiasts.

2. Why should you contribute to the cloud native sustainability domain?

At TAG Environmental Sustainability, we thrive on collaboration by connecting you with CNCF projects, including working groups and projects, to create innovative solutions for a greener tech future. We serve as a knowledge hub for sharing insights and fostering eco-friendly innovations. Your contributions help nurture successful open source projects focused on sustainability. We provide resources and support, ensuring you don’t have to start from scratch. TAG ENV, as a Technical Advisory Group, collaborates with the open source community, working towards defining environmental sustainability factors for the cloud native landscape. Our mission includes incubating open source projects to measure and reduce carbon footprints in cloud native infrastructure. We aim to raise awareness of environmental sustainability in open source and support projects that promote energy-efficient solutions, positively impacting the community.

Overview of TAG Environmental Sustainability structure and Working Groups

Join us and let’s make a difference together!

Making a meaningful impact as part of the CNCF TAG Environmental Sustainability

Visualization of different ways how one can contribute to the TAG Environmental Sustainability

With the mounting challenges our planet faces, efforts from all corners are essential. Here you can find some of the suggested actions that will help you get started:

  1. Detailed Contributor Guide: Still curious about how you can contribute more meaningfully? Explore our contributor guide and the contributor-ladder for in-depth details.

  2. Explore TAG ENV GitHub repo: Your journey with the TAG Environmental Sustainability can begin at its GitHub repository. Familiarize yourself with the ongoing projects, issues, and the larger objectives of the group. If what you see sparks interest, dive deeper!  Please look through the available information and feel free to add to it.  We always are looking for help, suggestions, and more knowledge.

  3. Attend TAG ENV Regular Meetings: These meetings offer a 360° view of what’s happening within the TAG: latest news, latest projects, newcomers. You can introduce yourself and let us know what brought you here! Can’t wait to hear your story!

  4. Engage on Slack: For a more informal setting, join the #tag-environmental-sustainability, #tag-env-wg-comms and #tag-env-wg-green-reviews channels on CNCF Slack. Say hello to the community, engage in discussions, and comment on posts that pique your interest. This platform allows you to foster connections with other contributors and stay updated on day-to-day happenings.

  5. Contribute to the TAG ENV Working Groups: If you can’t wait to make a hands-on difference, this is your avenue.

  6. All the details about the Working Groups goals, non-goals and ongoing activities can be found here: Right now we have two working groups:

    • Green Reviews. This group aims to design a strategic approach to aid CNCF projects in tracing and improving their environmental sustainability footprint. Intrigued? Dive into the specifics by checking out the charter.

    • Communications. Effective communication is as crucial as the technical work itself, as it ensures that the impactful actions of our working group are understood and appreciated by a wider audience. The working group charter will be published soon, but for now you can find additional details in following PR:

  7. Tackle GitHub Issues: If you have a knack for addressing specific challenges or if you’re seeking a shorter commitment, GitHub issues might be your calling. Browse through them and identify where you can contribute. If you feel lost and you don’t know where to start, a good starting point is always an issue with the “Help wanted” label.

  8. Events & Meetups: If you lean more towards communications and networking, you’re in for a treat! The TAG ENV meets in-person at major conferences like KubeCon+CloudNativeCon and Open Source Summit. In addition TAG ENV organizes global events like the Cloud Native Sustainability Week where both a virtual mini conference and local cloud native meetups were organized by a larger, international community. If you have ideas or want to organize an event dedicated to the cloud native sustainability where you live, the TAG ENV community would be thrilled to help you out and support you in making it happen!

Every individual, irrespective of their expertise or background, has something valuable to offer. If the topic of environmental sustainability resonates with you, the TAG ENV awaits your unique touch. Dive in, and together, let’s make a difference!

Can YOU help shape the future of the TAG Environmental Sustainability?

Yes! The TAG ENV is a community-driven group, and everyone’s input is highly valued and appreciated. If you have an idea that you would like to propose to the TAG ENV, the first step is to check if this idea already exists as a project or otherwise. You can check the issues page for closed and open issues where you discuss your idea or reopen an old discussion.

Scope your idea and refer to the first-time contributors quick start from our contributor guide. It is advisable to refer to the governance folder to get a better understanding of different processes in the TAG.

Your idea can be phrased in the form of a detailed proposal, a blog post, or even a presentation. It may be a message in Slack or a GitHub issue. You can write a full-fledged proposal from the beginning and once your idea is documented, you can  share it with the group in #tag-environmental-sustainability channel on CNCF Slack, where the TAG actively discusses new ideas.

Another way to bring your proposals to the TAG ENV community is by participating in TAG’s working groups. These are groups of experts and enthusiasts who focus on specific topics, such as performing sustainability footprint reviews of CNCF projects or driving marketing and communication.

By joining one of the working groups, you can collaborate with like-minded individuals and contribute to ongoing discussions and projects. Working groups are an excellent opportunity to receive feedback on your proposals and work collaboratively to bring them to fruition.

To ensure that your contributions are in line with TAG’s standards and expectations, TAG has a “Contribute” section on the website, which provides detailed information on how to get involved and contribute to different areas of the organization. It also includes a technical guide that outlines TAG’s technical specifications and guidelines for creating documentation and code.

The TAG ENV community encourages and welcomes contributions from anyone. If you have an idea that you believe can make a positive impact on the industry, don’t hesitate to share it with the TAG ENV community. Together, we can shape the idea into something actionable for the benefit of the TAG and the cloud native community as a whole.

Join us and spread the word

Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm, those are invaluable. We hope that this article is a good resource that enables you to clarify some of the recurring doubts when joining an open source project. Feel free to reach out directly in one of the many channels highlighted in this guide, we will be happy to hear from you and welcome you on board.

We appreciate any  amplification of our message by sharing this article and participating in our meetups and projects. While we’ve provided some starting points, your unique journey and insights are what truly enriches our collective effort. We eagerly await your contribution and look forward to collaborating with you!