Open edX Core Committers

Who are Core Committers (CC)?

Core Committers are individuals with merge and ownership rights to (parts of) the Open edX codebase. They are essential contributors to the Open edX ecosystem with demonstrated influence on the technical upkeeping and direction of the platform.

Currently, only edX engineers and contractors have these rights. This document describes a phased program for expanding these rights to other members of the Open edX community.


We believe having a more inclusive Core Committers group will lead to a more vibrant platform ecosystem that fosters:

  • stronger innovative collaboration with the Open edX community

  • increased developer velocity that accelerates platform advancement

  • increased developer capacity to own and maintain the platform


Initiation and rollout of a CC program will need to ensure that we:

  • Continue to remain in compliance with edX’s security (PCI, etc), privacy (GDPR, etc), and a11y commitments.

  • Do not regress in the forward movement we are concurrently making on technical ownership. For each Core Committer contribution, we will need to ensure:

    • edX Product accepts future maintenance costs of new/enhanced features in the platform.

    • edX Engineering owning team acknowledges acceptance of ownership of changes.

  • Support CCs who are at varying levels of technical expertise, though they must demonstrate excellent judgment and accountability.

  • Be transparent and open about the existence and eligibility of the CC program.

  • Constrain CC’s relationship to the Open edX (public) codebase, without exposing edX-confidential business or data.

  • Hold an equal bar for both edX engineers and community engineers, in the long-term. In the future, for instance, edX engineers might earn merge rights just as other contributors to the platform.

  • Respect edX’s right to modify and terminate the CC program.

CC Rights and Responsibilities




Be an individual CC regardless of organization affiliation 

Sign individual (and, if needed, entity) contributor agreements, per edX legal requirements

Renew annual continued interest in being an individual CC 

Complete annual training for security, privacy, a11y, and architecture


Merge to master, using defensive CI/CD techniques such as feature toggles

Ensure approved review process is upheld and be on-call to address issues with recently merged PRs

(for Pilot) 2 designated edx-internal champions to support CC with on-call issues

Retain strong communication with the champions, including visibility into expected merges and time availabilities


Review PRs and suggest technical changes in designated repositories

Learn and advocate for clean code, quality, and architecture principles and practices (per repository’s definition of done)

Co-establish technical direction of designated repositories1

Documenting and reviewing decisions in ADRs (and OEPs) and maintaining READMEs, HowTos, etc

Co-maintain prioritized backlog of needed technical improvements of designated repositories.

Negotiate and allocate a regular percentage of time toward technical upkeep, including refactorings and other items listed in this column.

(in Future) Co-own designated repositories

Ongoing upgrade and feature maintenance and other ownership costs of designated repositories


Vote in the selection process for future CCs

Train new/young developers2 to help hone their own judgment and skills, while following our code of conduct

Co-establish the selection process for CCs

Lead by example


1 Sharing insights into product goals and roadmap will enable us to be successful in establishing technical direction.
2 Each CC uses their own experience and judgment to determine how best to train new folks. For example, investing time in scaffolded constructive reviews on both code PRs and design/decision PRs can have a multiplicative effect.