NumFOCUS stakeholders came together over the weekend in early November for the annual NumFOCUS Summit, a gathering focused on promoting sustainability for our open source scientific computing projects. The event was hosted in New York City by Microsoft, a NumFOCUS Platinum Corporate Sponsor.
The NumFOCUS Summit was made possible in part by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
NumFOCUS provides travel support for up to two representatives from each of our projects to attend the Summit. We thank the Sloan Foundation for helping to ensure this important event is accessible to all NumFOCUS open source project leaders.
The program for this year’s Summit focused on two themes: Funding and Project Leadership.
Participants had the opportunity to attend presentations like the following:
- Funding Sources Deep Dive
- Attracting Funding: Key Ingredients for Success
- Money and Open Source Culture: How Funding Can Affect Your Project
- New Business Models and Non-Traditional Funding Options
- How to Get Users to Donate to Your Project (aka “How to Raise A Thousand Dollars”)
- NumFOCUS Demystified: Where does the money go?
- Best Practices in Open Leadership
- Metrics and Tooling for Project Impact and Health
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Summit participants at the welcome reception
In addition to the planned program, attendees had the option to propose and attend unconference sessions.
Some of the topics generated were:
- Codes of Conduct
- Project Websites
- How to Reward New Contributors
- User Survey Discussions
- Incubating Projects at NumFOCUS
- Outreachy & Diversifying Your Community
Astropy Project leaders confer during the break
Many attendees enjoyed the chance to talk at length with developers from other projects
Approximately 92% of participants surveyed agreed that their takeaways from the Summit will make a positive impact on their project over the next year. (The other 8% were neutral.)
Over and over again, participants highlighted how important and valuable it was to meet with their NumFOCUS-affiliated peers in person.
“What was the most valuable aspect of the NumFOCUS Summit for you/your project?”
- “Interfacing with other projects, to glean lessons from their experiences and learn where shared/pooled resources might be most valuable.”
- “Networking and discussions with other projects”
- “The opportunity to talk to other project leads, and learn from them. I’m very happy about the term I learnt during the weekend, for a phenomenon that bothers me for a long time but had no good way to describe it: ‘code dump’, and learn about ways how other projects face and handle such situations.”
- “meeting up with other project maintainers and industry leaders”
- “Spending face-to-face time with other leaders from my project”
- “Unconference discussions with other open source project developers”
- “Meeting the NumFOCUS team and the team members of the other open-source projects”
- “Networking with other projects, and having a better understanding of how NumFOCUS works.”
We also heard great feedback about the overall vibe of the event:
- “As a new person, I was impressed with how positive and friendly the group was — both the project people and the NumFOCUS staff.”
- “Thanks a lot for all the work putting it together, it was a really great experience and very valuable, and perfectly planned and executed.”
- “Keep up the good work, I’m excited to be part of the community and I can’t say this enough but I really enjoyed the summit and I’m super excited to collaborate on all the ideas that we discussed with so many cool projects. I mean we fixed the conda package for our project on the first day, just by getting some insights from another project.”
- “Most sincere thanks to all the NF Staff and Volunteers who poured time and energy into organizing this. I come away energized and excited to be a part of the OS community.”
Approximately 90 people attended the 2019 NumFOCUS Summit
We also presented a number of awards to members of the community; we invite you to read about them in full in our prior blog post.