Kubernetes graduates from CNCF University, already has a job


Kubernetes, the anchor project of CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation), has become the first graduated project of the foundation.

“The Kubernetes project is proud to graduate into a full CNCF project as well as to have helped the organization launch and grow into the industry-leading position it has today,” said Sarah Novotny, Open Source Strategy Lead, Google Cloud. “The Kubernetes community looks forward to maturing the impact cloud native development has had in the industry as a whole,”

First things first, what is graduation?

Projects enter CNCF at different maturity levels. There are three levels : inception, incubation, and graduated project. The Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) votes on a proposed project and if a project doesn’t fall under any of the three levels, it’s not accepted into CNCF. In order to get a project accepted,a two-thirds supermajority is required.

CNCF has some really stringent practices to ensure only quality projects are accepted. According to the CNCF Graduation Criteria v1.0:

“If there is not a supermajority of votes to enter as a graduated project, then any graduated votes are recounted as votes to enter as an incubating project. If there is not a supermajority of votes to enter as an incubating project, then any graduated or incubating votes are recounted as votes to enter as an inception project. If there is not a supermajority to enter as an inception stage project, the project is rejected.” This voting process is called fallback voting.”

A project doesn’t have to join CNCF as a graduated project, it can grow from incubation or inception. The criteria are simple:

  • “Have committers from at least two organizations.
  • Have achieved and maintained a Core Infrastructure Initiative Best Practices Badge.
  • Adopt the CNCF Code of Conduct.
  • Explicitly define a project governance and committer process. This preferably is laid out in a file and references an file showing the current and emeritus committers.
  • Have a public list of project adopters for at least the primary repo (e.g., or logos on the project website).
  • Receive a supermajority vote from the TOC to move to the graduation stage. Projects can attempt to move directly from inception to graduation, if they can demonstrate sufficient maturity. Projects can remain in an incubating state indefinitely, but they are normally expected to graduate within two years.”

The first graduate of the CNCF university

Kubernetes has become the first project to graduate at CNCF as it met all of those criteria. I would be surprised if it didn’t. Kubernetes is the Linux of cloud. In a very short time, it has become the most influential technology.

Major global players are already consuming Kubernetes in production. Kubernetes users include organizations like Bloomberg, Blackrock, BlaBlaCar, The New York Times, Lyft, eBay, Buffer, Ancestry, GolfNow, Goldman Sachs and many others.

Just the way Linux brought competitors together to collaborate on technologies while their sales people competed in the market, Kubernetes has brought developers of Arch rivals, AWS, Azure, Google Compute engine together as members of CNCF who are now working together to further improve this technology.

“This project and company ecosystem has changed the face of infrastructure in the cloud. The Kubernetes community looks forward to maturing the impact cloud native development has had in the industry as a whole,” said Novotny.

We have only seen the tip of the iceberg. The full potential of Kubernetes is yet to be seen as it finds new use cases all the way from machine learning and IoT devices.

Commenting on the Kubernetes graduation, Chris Aniszczyk, COO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation said, “It signals that Kubernetes is mature as an open source project and resilient enough to manage containers at scale across any industry in companies of all sizes.”

Why it matters: Projects of all maturities have access to all resources listed here, but if there is contention, more mature projects will generally have priority. If you are a graduate, you get what you want.