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How to become a core contributor

Thanks for your interest in joining the Lightning team! We’re a rapidly growing project which is poised to become the go-to framework for DL researchers! We’re currently recruiting for a team of 5 core maintainers.

As a core maintainer you will have a strong say in the direction of the project. Big changes will require a majority of maintainers to agree.

Code of conduct

First and foremost, you’ll be evaluated against these core values. Any code we commit or feature we add needs to align with those core values.

The bar for joining the team

Lightning is being used to solve really hard problems at the top AI labs in the world. As such, the bar for adding team members is extremely high. Candidates must have solid engineering skills, have a good eye for user experience, and must be a power user of Lightning and PyTorch.

With that said, the Lightning team will be diverse and a reflection of an inclusive AI community. You don’t have to be an engineer to contribute! Scientists with great usability intuition and PyTorch ninja skills are welcomed!


The responsibilities mainly revolve around 3 things.

Github issues

  • Here we want to help users have an amazing experience. These range from questions from new people getting into DL to questions from researchers about doing something esoteric with Lightning Often, these issues require some sort of bug fix, document clarification or new functionality to be scoped out.

  • To become a core member you must resolve at least 10 Github issues which align with the API design goals for Lightning. By the end of these 10 issues I should feel comfortable in the way you answer user questions Pleasant/helpful tone.

  • Can abstract from that issue or bug into functionality that might solve other related issues or makes the platform more flexible.

  • Don’t make users feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. We’re here to help and to make everyone’s experience delightful.

Pull requests

  • Here we need to ensure the code that enters Lightning is high quality. For each PR we need to:

  • Make sure code coverage does not decrease

  • Documents are updated

  • Code is elegant and simple

  • Code is NOT overly engineered or hard to read

  • Ask yourself, could a non-engineer understand what’s happening here?

  • Make sure new tests are written

  • Is this NECESSARY for Lightning? There are some PRs which are just purely about adding engineering complexity which have no place in Lightning. Guidance

  • Some other PRs are for people who are wanting to get involved and add something unnecessary. We do want their help though! So don’t approve the PR, but direct them to a Github issue that they might be interested in helping with instead!

  • To be considered for core contributor, please review 10 PRs and help the authors land it on master. Once you’ve finished the review, ping me for a sanity check. At the end of 10 PRs if your PR reviews are inline with expectations described above, then you can merge PRs on your own going forward, otherwise we’ll do a few more until we’re both comfortable :)

Project directions

There are some big decisions which the project must make. For these I expect core contributors to have something meaningful to add if it’s their area of expertise.


Lightning should reflect the broader community it serves. As such we should have scientists/researchers from different fields contributing!

The first 5 core contributors will fit this profile. Thus if you overlap strongly with experiences and expertise as someone else on the team, you might have to wait until the next set of contributors are added.

Summary: Requirements to apply

The goal is to be inline with expectations for solving issues by the last one so you can do them on your own. If not, I might ask you to solve a few more specific ones.

  • Solve 10+ Github issues.

  • Create 5+ meaningful PRs which solves some reported issue - bug,

  • Perform 10+ PR reviews from other contributors.

If you want to be considered, ping me on Slack.