Apache Cassandra® Catalyst Program

What is the Apache Cassandra® Catalyst Program?

Cassandra Catalysts are individuals who invest in the growth of the Apache Cassandra® community by enthusiastically sharing their expertise, encouraging participation, and creating a welcoming environment. Catalysts are trustworthy, expert contributors with a passion for connecting and empowering others with Cassandra knowledge.

Cassandra Catalysts must be able to demonstrate strong knowledge of Cassandra such as production deployments, educational material, conference talks or other ways.

What does a Cassandra Catalyst do?

The ways that Catalysts can get involved in the community and be recognized for their work can be broadly grouped into two areas: Contribution and Promotion. Everyone is applicable including existing committers.

Contribution is engaging with the Cassandra project and community:

  • Responding to questions in Cassandra community spaces

  • Welcoming new people into Cassandra community spaces

  • Engaging in JIRA tickets

  • Outstanding contributions to Cassandra in the areas of code, documentation, design, and others that grow the core project

Promotion is telling others about Cassandra, both online and offline:

  • Promoting Cassandra on social channels and in other communities

  • Publishing a blog, video or other content on relevant websites

  • Publishing a use case on the Apache or Planet Cassandra sites

  • Speaking about Cassandra at an event

  • Organizing a Cassandra-focused meetup or event

Cassandra community spaces include the Cassandra mailing lists (dev@, user@), Cassandra channels in the ASF Slack, questions tagged with ‘Cassandra’ on Stack Overflow and DBA Stack Exchange.

Anyone can nominate an individual to become a Catalyst or apply themselves.


Responding to community questions

Cassandra users ask questions in community spaces every day. Catalysts who engage in this activity will be on hand to respond to people as their questions arise. This could mean providing the answer they are seeking, or it could be connecting them with someone else in the community who can provide an answer.

Welcoming new community members

As new people join Cassandra community spaces, Catalysts can help out by creating a clear sense of belonging. This can involve sending newcomers a message to introduce themselves, engaging with them in some discussion about how they use Cassandra, and generally making them feel welcome in the community. Documentation on best practices and how to do this effectively will be co-created by Catalysts, including templates for predefined messages.

Engaging in JIRA tickets

JIRA is the primary platform for discussion about Cassandra development. Engagement on JIRA means providing meaningful input on tickets and submitted code that moves the work forward and helps to improve the Cassandra user experience.

Outstanding contributions to the Cassandra project

As an open source project, Cassandra relies on contributions from the community in many areas - code, documentation, design, marketing, and others. Getting involved in these areas is a great way to have a real impact on the project and community. Catalyst recognition is awarded to committers and contributors alike. Contributors recognised as a Catalyst, because of their contribution work, are likely already being considered to be invited as committer. The Catalyst program is never used as a substitute for official committership. Becoming a committer is by invite only, and can happen before or after any Catalyst award.


Promoting on social channels

Consistent promotion on social channels and within other communities is a great way to grow the Cassandra project. Catalysts can promote the project in this way, provided it is intentional and significant.

Publishing Cassandra content

Creating content about Cassandra is a great way to contribute to the ongoing growth of the community and project, and it is one of the primary ways that people find out more about how Cassandra can be used and implemented. This can include any kind of text, video, or audio content. Blogs and use cases are published on the Apache Cassandra website and syndicated on Planet Cassandra.

Speaking about Cassandra

Events are a vital part of community engagement and growth. As such, speaking at them is a great way to spread the word about Cassandra. These events can be in-person or virtual and could be organized by the Cassandra community (e.g. monthly Town Halls) or external events that are relevant to the interests of the Cassandra project.

Organizing Cassandra events

In addition to speaking at events, Catalysts can also organize Cassandra events. This could be a meetup group that is fully focused on Cassandra, or it could be an event within another community that is relevant to the Cassandra project. Catalysts may also host or assist with Cassandra Town Halls or Contributor Meetings (open to all community members).

Benefits for Catalysts

All Catalysts will be formally recognized as a ‘Cassandra Catalyst’. This comes with the following benefits:

  • Being listed on the Cassandra site as an Catalyst

  • Announced at Cassandra Summit and/or other community events

  • A digital badge

  • Inclusion in the ASF Slack for networking, and sharing best practices and resources with other Catalysts.

  • Occasional swag/giveaways (dependent on community funding)

Catalysts will be recognized for their ongoing work to foster a more collaborative and robust Cassandra community. New Catalysts will be announced as they are confirmed and Catalyst status will be reviewed every 12 months.

ASF Compliance

Catalyst vs. ASF Committer and PMC roles

The Catalyst award is not to be confused with the project’s committership or being on its PMC, roles that involve project participation and contributions. The Catalyst program is recognition for effort of any type around the project, and is not a position or title within the project or the ASF.

Becoming a Catalyst

Individuals can become Catalysts by applying through an online form where their nomination will be reviewed by the Catalyst committee and endorsed by the PMC. They will need to submit proof and details of their activity in the Apache Cassandra community. Nominations will be open every 12 months and will be announced on all Apache Cassandra channels.