Docker’s 2nd Birthday, By the Numbers

May 4 2015

2nd Birthday

Back in March, we invited you to be a part of Docker’s first-ever open-source-a-thon to celebrate the project’s 2nd birthday and work towards a good cause. Now that over a month of events and online contributions have come to a close, we wanted to show off all the hard work our community has put in, and the amazing feat they’ve accomplished.

Over 1,200 people attended birthday events across the world, between 17 open-source-a-thons organized by Docker and 7 run completely by community members.

Participants learned Go, mentored beginner contributors, made their first open source pull requests, updated docs, wrote blog posts, and much, much more. It’s been pretty crazy.

Time to adopt a whale!

In planning for this event, we pledged to donate $50 to the Oceanic Society for every community contributor (non-Docker employee) who made a contribution to the Docker project during the open-source-a-thon, which ran from March 22 to April 22. Learn more about the Oceanic Society’s mission to conserve marine mammal habitats in this blog post.

We are thrilled to announce that the Docker project had over 250 community contributors during this time period who made over 750 contributions. 171 (69%) of the contributors were new to the Docker project, having never made a contribution prior to the open-source-a-thon. 42% of the community contributors made more than one contribution during the time frame. In addition to these contributions, 100 mentors volunteered at the birthday events to support the open-source-a-thon.

With the overwhelming number of contributions we received, we were able to donate $25,000 to the Oceanic Society for two of their major programs. The first, “Blue Habits,” was recently launched by the Oceanic Society in partnership with Stanford University behavioral scientists to find best practices for motivating lasting, pro-ocean behaviors. The second program benefits the Oceanic Society’s Blackbird Caye Field Station in Belize, where marine mammal and coral reef experts from around the world are helping to monitor and understand dolphins, manatees, and other keystone species to protect the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve.

On top of that, we’ve adopted and named a blue whale! Meet Molly Dock.


N2-10, BM1

Molly is a female blue whale who was first spotted by researchers in 1992 about 25 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Since, she’s been seen over 70 times, thanks in part to her trademark curved dorsal. She’s also a mother, having been identified with two separate calves since 2001. She was spotted most recently off the coast of Crescent City, California in November 2013.

New contributors, more commits

One of our main goals in throwing the open-source-a-thon was to introduce people to the Docker project and help them make their first commit to an open source project. And it worked!

Here’s a quick overview of stats we saw during from March 23rd through April 23rd, during the birthday month:

  • Community contributors to the project: 257
  • Commits from the community: 779
  • First-time community contributors: 107
  • First timer community commits: 171

What do these numbers mean in context? During the time frame of the Birthday events, we saw a huge increase in both the number of first-time contributors, as you can see in the pretty graphs below.

Community Contributors

We saw similar upward trends in the overall community contributors and commits they made to the project as well:

Community 1st Timers


Community Commits

Thanks to the community

This all brings home to us the importance of giving people opportunities to learn about and contribute to open source for the first time. The number of attendees at each event who had never submitted a pull request before (or even written a line of Go) was staggering — especially considering just how enthusiastic they were to get started. It was also great to see many experienced community members stepping up to mentor for the very first time.

With all this interest, we could never have pulled it off without the countless community organizers, Docker staff, Go mentors, and hosts who got involved. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who dedicated their time and expertise to make these events a success. We can’t wait to do it again.

Let the learning continue

The open-source-a-thon was a learning experience for everyone involved, and us included. We got some great insight into how to improve the Docker contribution experience for beginners and vets alike, which we’ll use to refine our contributor resources and organize more (and more regular) educational events in the future.


Even though the birthday celebrations have wrapped up, we encourage everyone to keep contributing to Docker and other open source projects. We’re leaving the beginner contributor resources up on the birthday site, and will be available to help newcomers to the project on the Docker’s gitter channel. You can also dive right into our contributing guide on Github and the #dockerdev channel on freenode. Hope to see you there!

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