NumFOCUS is dedicated to supporting the open source scientific computing community. We work hard to achieve this goal, but one of the challenges many open source software projects face is sustainability. Like other open source software infrastructure, foundational projects in the scientific computing ecosystem tend to operate largely without significant resources, despite being incredibly important to their users.
Our projects have enormous value; they’re being used on a daily basis by millions of people, yet they do not have the appropriate resources to support and sustain critical open source scientific computing projects. Most project leads are developers with deep technical knowledge and passion, but little training or experience in the business practices required to sustain their project over time. As a result, many foundational infrastructure projects are at risk of languishing, being overburdened, or losing a central maintainer for lack of proper support.
The NumFOCUS Sustainability Program is designed to address these challenges.
The main goals of the NumFOCUS Sustainability Program are to:
- connect the NumFOCUS projects to each other to jointly develop and share information on sustainability strategies,
- connect project leads with people with relevant expertise and networks,
- provide training on skills related to open source sustainability, including business and financial planning, marketing strategies, community engagement, governance, etc.; and
- support infrastructure that would help the projects more effectively manage finances, necessary technical resources, and client and business relationships.
The NumFOCUS Sustainability Program is unique in its attention to identifying sustainability mechanisms that will be effective in both academic and industry environments.
This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
I use the tools supported by NumFOCUS almost exclusively, and it is difficult to imagine that something this meaningful can be both free and open!
Boyan Angelov, Community Member