Position Overview

The primary role of the Open Source Developer Advocate is to represent and support developers of NumFOCUS open source projects by serving as a link to internal and external stakeholders as well as the global user community. You will generate attention and support by applying your technical knowledge, passion for open source data science, and excellent communication skills. 

The person in this role helps to ensure smooth communication between NumFOCUS staff and representatives from our 30+ open source projects by serving as the primary point of contact. In this capacity, you will coordinate, on behalf of NumFOCUS, Google Summer of Code, Google Season of Docs, and other similar programs. You will provide support to our open source projects requesting technical and infrastructure services and help the projects to implement best practices for their long-term sustainability, such as improvements to documentation, governance, etc.

You will serve as the Project Manager and Qualitative Lead for the Diversifying Open Source Contributor Communities Grant. Your leadership of this grant will impact projects through the identification of effective methods to recruit a more diverse contributor community and which practices most influence the retention of those new contributors.

The Developer Advocate will work with our Community and Communications Manager to relay the needs of our projects and the core role they play in scientific innovation and research. In addition to participating in conferences and events, you will also help to communicate this message through case studies and blog posts. 

*Applicants must hold US citizenship or a legal equivalent to work in the US*

About NumFOCUS

NumFOCUS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes open practices in research, data, and scientific computing by serving as a fiscal sponsor for open source projects and organizing community-driven educational programs. We are global in scope but operate out of our headquarters in Austin, TX. 

You will be working with a small team of friendly and dedicated nonprofit professionals. NumFOCUS staff supports the international community of researchers and data scientists whose work accelerates life-changing research and scientific discoveries for a better world. Our community is made up of lots of incredibly smart and passionate people!

More information on our mission and programs is available on our website: www.numfocus.org

Our Core Values are the guiding principles by which NumFOCUS makes decisions and defines our culture.  

  • Inclusivity: Commitment to diversity and a welcoming, friendly community.
  • Transparency: Open access creates a collaborative community in which the best ideas can come forward.
  • Curiosity: Passion for learning and commitment to scientific inquiry. 
  • Collaboration: The best ideas come from a diverse group of individuals working together.

What Makes This Job Awesome

Our team works together closely, and we support one another to do our best. We enjoy generous benefits (medical/dental/vision) and paid time off (including parental leave). Work-from-home days are supported and encouraged. Our office vibe is casual and friendly. We value diversity and have staff members from a variety of walks of life and many different passions and pursuits.

The Open Source Developer Advocate enjoys opportunities to travel and can expect to spend around 10 days per year traveling to conferences and events.

Full-time remote work is also a possibility for the right candidate.

You won’t find a friendlier or more passionate bunch than the NumFOCUS community. The people whose work you’re supporting are doing incredibly exciting things with open source technology.

About You

You are passionate about the value of open source software and are comfortable writing code using open source tools. You are able to use GitHub and understand the culture and typical functioning of an open source software community. You are also an excellent communicator, able to find just the right words and images to convey your message. If you don’t know how something works, you proactively find the answers and can teach it to yourself well enough to be able to explain it to an unfamiliar audience.

You are patient; you are willing to invest the time necessary to understand where someone is coming from and communicate their needs and perspective to whoever needs to hear it. You are able to see both sides of an issue and find productive ways to address problems and smooth any ruffled feathers. You hate to leave anyone hanging and diligently respond to incoming messages promptly. You communicate proactively so that everyone has the information that they need without having to ask for it. You are always careful to craft your communications with the appropriate audience(s) in mind.

You have experience working in complex organizations with diverse stakeholders. You are comfortable with ambiguity and the roll-up-your-sleeves ethos of a startup-type culture. You love to share your passion with others and exhibit good judgment in selecting strategic opportunities to do so. You don’t just want to be part of the open source movement, you want to be out front leading it.


  • Work closely with internal stakeholders from our open source projects to identify areas of need and determine how or if NumFOCUS can meet those needs.
  • Serve as the Project Manager and Qualitative Lead for the Diversifying Open Source Contributor Communities Grant, overseeing work on the grant to ensure all processes and procedures are documented and grant outcomes are met
  • Help NumFOCUS projects to develop and/or improve great documentation, community management, diversity and inclusion practices, and governance systems
  • Work with the Community Communications Marketing Manager to help projects understand how to market themselves, where they can improve their messaging, and how to signal that they are mature enough to handle significant funding
  • Represent NumFOCUS at key events to raise awareness of our work and educate attendees about our projects and our mission
  • Support other NumFOCUS functions as needed 

Required skills

  • At least 3 years of experience in open source software. (We are open to practitioners who use any language: Python, R, Julia, or otherwise.)
  • Must be detail-oriented, task-driven, reliable, and able to complete work on time. We will depend on you to independently complete work that is essential to the success of our organization.
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills, both oral and written. You’re comfortable interacting with a wide variety of people on a daily basis. You can explain things (including technical concepts) in ways people understand and by which they are inspired. You are able to work cooperatively with and gain the respect of, open source software maintainers.

Preferred qualifications (nice-to-have, not required)

  • Experience working with a distributed/remote team
  • Familiarity with some of our open source communities and tools
  • Understanding of the diversity and inclusion challenges facing the open source community, along with knowledge of strategies and tools to address it


$70-$80K + benefits, but will be evaluated based on professional background and qualifications. This is a full-time position located in Austin, Texas. Full-time remote work is also a possibility for the right candidate. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. 

Application Instructions

Email your cover letter and resume to with the subject line, “Open Source Developer Advocate.”