How to contribute to open source without having to code!

Community post by Catherine Paganini, Cloud Native Glossary Maintainer

The CNCF Cloud Native Glossary was officially launched at KubeCon NA 2021 with the goal of explaining complex technical terms in simple words. With only 50 published terms, this is just the beginning. In this blog, you’ll learn what the glossary is about, why you should use it, and how to contribute.

Why now

As cloud native adoption rises, increasingly more people are seeking to understand what cloud native technologies, approaches, and concepts mean. This includes more and more people without a technical background such as executives, sales and marketing professionals, or individuals curious about current technology trends. However, most content on these topics is written specifically for technologists, assuming a lot of context — sometimes, even challenging to follow for engineers new to the cloud native world.

Whether someone is searching for a service mesh definition or trying to understand what CI/CD is, they need a trusted source with definitions anyone can understand — even without a computer science degree. 

How the glossary helps

The glossary aims at explaining cloud native technologies, approaches, and concepts in simple words and with real-world examples. These are often complex concepts and, by avoiding buzzwords and technical jargon, these terms become much easier to grasp, even for engineers. 

Researching and understanding complex terms in a foreign language is challenging. That’s why we are also aiming at translating the glossary into multiple languages, making these terms more accessible to anyone, anywhere. We currently have teams working on translations into Korean, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian and volunteers for Nepalese and German seeking more contributors. 

How you can help

Now that the foundation is there, we need your help! Contribute new terms, improve existing ones, or help translate the glossary into your native language. 

We launched the glossary with 50 terms but there are so many more! Did you look for a term that isn’t included? Or, maybe you stumbled across a term that is incomplete or doesn’t fully comply with our simplicity goal.  Do a little research, draft a new definition or update an existing one, submit a PR, and congrats, you’ll be an official glossary contributor!  

If English is not your native language, how about helping localize the glossary? We already have some localization initiatives going on and would love to expand those efforts. 

How to get started

To update a term or contribute a new one, follow these steps. If you have any questions, just hop on the #glossary channel on the CNCF Slack to ask for help. To help with the localization effort, whether starting a new localization team or joining an existing one, hop on the #glossary-localizations channel (also on the CNCF Slack) and say hi. You can also join our monthly Glossary Working Group on the first Thursday of every month. Look for the meeting details on the CNCF calendar

We look forward to meeting you

If you’re excited about helping others understand all the cool things that cloud native is enabling, join our global team today! Help us expand and improve the glossary and/or translate it into a bunch of languages making cloud native globally accessible — no matter your level of expertise or the language you speak. It is fun, exciting, and rewarding! We look forward to meeting you soon!