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Announcing the Confluent Community Catalyst Program

A technology community is made up of people. Without people writing code, writing tutorials, welcoming newcomers, giving presentations, and answering questions, what we have is not a community, but just a set of Git repositories. We’re grateful that the Apache Kafka® and Confluent communities are composed of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who are constantly doing all of these things.

These inspiring people not only move the code itself forward, but also give freely of their time and energy to ensure that the community is a vibrant and rewarding one. These individuals have provided great value to the technology and the community, and we would like to recognize them for their exceptional contributions. Thus, we are very excited to launch the Confluent Community Catalyst Program.

What does it take to be a Confluent Community Catalyst?

A Confluent Community Catalyst is a person who invests their time and energy relentlessly in the Apache Kafka and Confluent communities. They make it a habit of contributing knowledge, enthusiasm, support, encouragement, mentoring, and code to one of the most innovative communities on earth. Catalysts will form a “community within a community” made up of the most active contributors who multiply and empower the wider developer landscape and share the goodness of event streaming platforms with others.

All Confluent Community Catalysts have:

1. Expertise

You know things. You have a proven record showing mastery of Apache Kafka and/or the Confluent Platform. You are able to provide a short description of your experience in a specific area, whether it is production deployments, educational material, or conference talks.

Also, Catalysts demonstrate at least one of the following:

2a. Sharing

As a leader in the community, you spend your time sharing your knowledge and experience with other people. You are eager to help others get up to speed by writing blog posts, speaking at meetups and conferences, conducting webinars, and answering questions on Stack Overflow, Twitter, and the Confluent Community Slack.

2b. Contributing

You contribute to projects central to the life of the community, whether it’s to Apache Kafka itself or something closely related. You have answered questions on dev mailing lists, have commit rights on one or more projects, and submit PRs when you have a useful feature or bug fix to offer.

What does a Catalyst get? This:

  • Recognition among your peers
  • Direct interaction with Apache Kafka contributors and the Confluent founders at special events
  • Unique opportunities to interact with some of the most active Kafka experts in the world
  • Special swag
  • Access to the private MVP Slack channel
  • Massive bragging rights

How do you get nominated?

If you know anyone who fits the above description, please nominate that person. You will be submitting their email address, so be sure to ask first. And yes, of course you can nominate yourself. Nominations are anonymous, so we’ll never know.

The selection process for the 2020 class will end on August 15, 2019, after which you will begin to hear from us. All 2020 Confluent Community Catalysts will be officially announced at Kafka Summit San Francisco in September 2019. We would love to see you in person for the Summit, but you do not need to be present to win.

The seat lasts for one year from the announcement at Summit, and nominations for the next class will reset back to zero thereafter, so if you are missing one of the requirements, you have time to work on it for next year’s nominations!

We invite you to nominate someone whom you think is an amazing community member. We know they’re out there, so help us find them!

For any questions regarding the program, please contact the Confluent Community Team at

Tim Berglund is a teacher, author and technology leader with Confluent, where he serves as the Senior Director of Developer Experience. He can frequently be found at speaking at conferences in the U.S. and all over the world. He is the co-presenter of various O’Reilly training videos on topics ranging from Git to distributed systems, and is the author of “Gradle Beyond the Basics.” He tweets as @tlberglund and lives in Littleton, CO, U.S., with the wife of his youth and their youngest child, the other two having mostly grown up.

Ale Murray is currently the senior global community manager of Confluent, where she has been a major force for establishing a vibrant, collaborative and vast Confluent community in all five continents, helping developers to make the most of Apache Kafka and other open source technologies. Previously, she was the EMEA community manager at DataStax, where she helped to establish Cassandra as a key technology within the open source landscape. In her career, Ale has led the planning of over 800 meetups and community events as well as MVP programs for the technology communities. When not planning meetups or supporting community collaboration, Ale works with children’s charities from her hometown in Colombia, particularly Children Change Colombia, which focuses on helping children at risk in underprivileged areas of the country.

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