Indeed’s FOSS Contributor Fund: 2021 Updates


foss contributor fund logo


Indeed’s FOSS Contributor Fund is now live for 2021. The program enables Indeed employees who make open source contributions to nominate and vote for projects to receive a donation from the fund. We’re proud that the fund has introduced more Indeedians to the open source community. This post shares updates for those interested in adopting a fund of their own. 

What’s new with Indeed’s FOSS Fund

As we enter year three of running the program, we’re excited to announce a few updates for how it will operate in 2021:

  • Previously, we selected one project per month. For 2021, we’ll select three projects each quarter, each receiving $10,000 USD. We are making this change as a way to streamline the operations of running the fund and to improve the overall experience for our open source contributors. We believe a quarterly voting cadence will open up some thoughtful conversations about nominations, eligible projects, and impact.
  • To be eligible to vote on which projects will be selected, Indeed employees will need to participate in open source initiatives during the previous quarter. 
  • For our first quarter in 2021, nominations for the fund will be open through March 31. Our first round of voting will begin on April 15. Anyone at Indeed can nominate a project. 

Updates to our GitHub repo

Indeed Open Source also launched a new FOSS Fund GitHub Pages site. Here, you can find information on how we organize our FOSS Fund and suggestions on how your company can integrate the program. We will continue to update this resource as our fund evolves.

Contact us

If you are interested in joining the community of FOSS Fund adopters, want more information, or would like to join a session, please email us at

Learn more about Indeed’s open source program.

Indeed’s FOSS Contributor Fund: 2021 Updates—cross-posted on Medium.

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Indeed + Hacktoberfest 2020: By The Numbers

logo for Hacktoberfest 2020

Indeed + Hacktoberfest 2020 is in the books! We’re thrilled to share our results.

External focus Internal focus
As a Hacktoberfest Community Partner, we engaged directly with the external community.

  • 1 external landing page
  • 1 case study
  • 6 supported open source projects tagged with the ‘hacktoberfest’ label
  • 11 virtual office hours
  • 437 commits into our supported repos
To build on our strong base of internal contributors, we focused on flexibility.

  • 29 virtual study halls hosted in 4 time zones
  • 11 open source ambassadors with weekly check-ins
  • 65 new open source participants
  • 100 total Hacktoberfest participants
  • 2,229 activities—pull requests opened, issues filed, comments posted, and code reviews conducted
  • 328 submitted pull requests 

Our focus is on open source sustainability. To help us understand what this means, we use the oceanic ecosystem as a model.

The ocean requires clean water, all sizes of fish, reefs for congregating, critters to clean up, and plankton to let bigger animals thrive. Similarly, our open source ecosystem is varied and interrelated. We support all sizes of projects, events for contributors to congregate, and an emphasis on cleaning up to help projects thrive. Our objective with this mindful approach: release open source projects that benefit interested adopters and contributors.

September was Prep-tember

September was a busy month of preparation. Indeed’s Open Source Program Office (OSPO) identified six projects to work with and promote during Hacktoberfest. Our qualifying criteria for the projects: Indeed actively uses the project and at least one of the project’s maintainers is an Indeed employee.

Our program office shared the Hacktoberfest guidelines with project maintainers. We asked them to tag repos and issues within their projects that they wanted help with. We requested a three-day turnaround time for responding to comments or opening pull requests (PRs). We then worked with maintainers to schedule and publicize open office hours. Manager buy-in was crucial, so we worked with maintainers and their managers to dedicate time towards Hacktoberfest during the work week.

Engaging with the external community

Office hours and timely PR merges helped us make sure that the experience of Hacktoberfest participants was positive.

The maintainers scheduled multiple office hours. These were times during which anyone, Indeed employee or not, could join a video call and ask project-specific questions. Our program office coordinated the publicity through the Hacktoberfest Event Board, Indeed’s Hacktoberfest landing page, and on each project’s page.

Expanding our internal reach

Virtual study halls—internal office hours that were not project specific—allowed us to help as many Indeed employees as possible. Instead of standing meeting times, the program office and our open source ambassadors hosted these events on an as-needed basis, resulting in more than one study hall every workday in October.

We invited mentors and mentees to our new mentorship program. We paired people by timezone and their experience with open source: from brand new to needing help finding issues to needing guidance closing a “reach” issue to expand technical capabilities.

The study hall events and mentorship programs were great. It felt like there was an involved community and lots of support and encouragement throughout the month. —Technical Business Analyst

Leveraging Indeed’s open source projects

For Hacktoberfest, we leveraged our existing tools to share open issues in projects that Indeed is dependent on. First, we used Mariner (open sourced by our OSPO in 2019) to identify beginner-friendly issues recently opened in open source projects. For 2020, we open sourced Mariner Issue Collector—a version of Mariner that runs as a GitHub Action. Since August 2019, we’ve been using Mariner output to produce a weekly internal blog post highlighting contribution opportunities for everyone at Indeed.

We generated the list of Indeed employees who participated in Hacktoberfest using Starfish (open sourced by our program office in 2019). We used Starfish because it gives us accurate contributions over a period of time, no matter the date in which we receive a GitHub ID. We also use Starfish to compile the list of employees who are eligible to vote in our FOSS Contributor Fund.

Encouraging open source sustainability

We’re happy with the great results from Hacktoberfest 2020. We can only reach our open source sustainability goals if we create and maintain a habit of using and contributing to open source projects. Events like Hacktoberfest help us motivate and inspire Indeedians to get involved in supporting the open source software they use every day. One way we measure program success is by counting the number of people who contribute to open source on two or more days throughout the quarter. We refer to this metric as active recurring participants (ARPs). Compared to previous months, we saw an increase of over 200% of ARPs in October.

I’ve had it as a goal for, let’s be honest, years to commit to OSS [open source]. And I went from 0 to 5 PRs this week. So thanks for the motivation and support to finally get me committing to open source. —Senior Quality Assurance Automation Engineer

To build on our Hacktoberfest 2020 momentum, we’re continuing to post open issues that Indeed has dependencies on. We’ve surveyed our 100 participants so that we can meet Indeed employees where they are.

We believe the best time to start to contribute to open source is now. And the best open source ecosystem is sustainable.

Indeed + Hacktoberfest 2020—cross-posted on Medium.

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k8dash: Indeed’s Open Source Kubernetes Dashboard

So you’ve got your first Kubernetes (also known as k8s) cluster up and running. Congratulations! Now, how do you operate the thing? Deployments, replica sets, stateful sets, pods, ingress, oh my! Getting Kubernetes running can feel like a big enough challenge in and of itself, but does day two of operations need to be just as much of a challenge?

Kubernetes is an amazing but complex system. The learning curve can be steep. Plus, the standard Kubernetes dashboard has limited features. Another option is kubectl, which is extremely powerful but also a power user tool. Even if you become a kubectl wizard, can you expect everyone in your organization to do the same? And with kubectl it’s difficult to gain visibility into the general health and performance of the entire cluster all at once.

Enter k8dash—pronounced Kate Dash (/kāt,daSH/)—Indeed’s open source Kubernetes dashboard.

k8dash deployment dashboard

Since k8dash’s release in March of 2019, it’s received over 625 Github stars and been downloaded from DockerHub over 1 million times. k8dash is a key component of Kubernetes operations for many organizations.

In May of 2020, the Indeed Engineering organization adopted the k8dash project. We’re excited about the visibility this brings to the project.

Benefits of managing your Kubernetes cluster with k8dash

Here are a few of the benefits of k8dash.

Quick installation

Low operational complexity is a core tenet of the k8dash project. As such, you can install k8dash quickly with a couple dozen lines of YAML. k8dash runs only a single service. No databases or caches are required. This extends to AuthN/AuthZ via OIDC. If you’re already using OIDC to secure your cluster, k8dash makes extending this to your dashboards easy: configure 2-3 environment variables and you’re up and running. No special authenticating proxies or other complicated configurations are required.

Cluster visualization and management

k8dash helps you understand the current status of all of your cluster’s moving parts: namespaces, nodes, pods, deployments. Real-time charts show poorly performing resources. The intuitive interface removes much of the behind-the-scenes complexity and helps flatten your Kubernetes learning curve.

You can manage your cluster components via the dashboard and leverage k8dash’s YAML editor to edit resources. k8dash uses the Kubernetes API and provides context-aware API docs. With k8dash you can view pod logs and even SSH directly into a running pod via a terminal directly in your browser, with a single click.

k8dash also integrates with Metrics Server, letting you visualize CPU/RAM usage. This visualization helps you understand how well your services are running. As Kubernetes simplifies the complexity of running hundreds or even thousands of microservices across an abstract compute pool, it brings the promise of improved resource utilization through bin packing. However, for many organizations this promise goes unrealized because it can be difficult to know which services are over- or under-provisioned. k8dash’s intuitive UI takes the guesswork out of understanding how well services are provisioned.

k8dash visualization of CPU/RAM usage for easier display of the provision of services

Real-time dashboard

Because k8dash is a real-time dashboard, you don’t need to refresh pages to see the current state of your cluster. Instead, you can watch charts, graphs, and tables update in real time as you roll out a deployment. You can watch as nodes are added to and removed from your cluster, and know as soon as new nodes are fully available. Or, simply monitor a stream of Kubernetes cluster-wide events as they happen.

Because k8dash is mobile optimized, you can monitor—and even modify—your cluster on the go. If you’re getting paged about a troublesome pod just as your movie is about to start, with k8dash you can restart the pod directly from your phone!

The k8dash project: How to contribute

k8dash is made up of a lightweight server and a client, and we’re always looking for core contributors.

The server—built in Node.js and weighing in at ~150 LOC—is predominantly a proxy for the front end to the Kubernetes API server. The k8dash server makes heavy use of the following npm packages:

  • express (web server)
  • http-proxy-middleware (proxies requests to Kubernetes API)
  • @kubernetes/client-node (official Kubernetes npm module. Used to discover Kubernetes API location)
  • openid-client (fantastic npm module for OIDC)

The client is a React.js application (using create-react-app) with minimal additional dependencies.

If you would like to contribute, see the list of issues in GitHub.

About the author

Eric Herbrandson is a staff software engineer and member of the site reliability engineering team at Indeed. Eric has used orchestration frameworks, including ECS, Heroku, Docker Swarm, Hashicorp’s Nomad, DCOS (Marathon/Mesos), and Kubernetes. While finding Kubernetes to be the clear winner in the orchestration space, Eric recognized that existing visualization options were lacking compared to other frameworks. In an effort to better understand the Kubernetes API and to create a solution that contained all of the features he needed, Eric developed k8dash over a three-week period.

k8dash—cross-posted on Medium.

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