12.16.31 – UPDATE: A second anonymous donor has stepped up and offered to match all donations up to our $5,000 goal between now and Dec. 31st!
Make your gift now and TRIPLE your impact!

Lorena Barba

by Lorena Barba, NumFOCUS Board Member

Who wrote that open-source software you’re using? Give them thanks.

I use open-source tools in my work almost daily. And you? I teach courses in numerical computing to engineering students, relying 100% on open-source libraries. Python libraries like NumPy, Matplotlib, SymPy, IPython, and of course Jupyter notebooks are integral to both my research and teaching roles.

Are you a data scientist? Well, you’re likely using Julia, rOpenSci, pandas, AstroPy, or PyTables. These are all open-source projects that exist thanks to the volunteer effort of coders, individual donations, and contributions from employers who pay the salary of coders.

In addition to the volunteer or employer-contributed time of developers, these open-source projects do need paid professional software engineers, and they need cloud resources, compute time and storage. The devs sometimes need to travel to conferences to present their progress and participate in hackathons. And we all benefit when they can hire an intern to help write those docs.


Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry are also NumFOCUS projects. They play a vital role in scientific research by providing training to teach fundamental computing and data management skills and techniques to researchers.

​So, as you go through your end-of-year tax planning or down your shopping list for the holidays, add one more thing: a donation to NumFOCUS—the non-profit organization that serves as the legal, financial and governance umbrella for these open-source projects.
Your donation to the NumFOCUS general fund will be used to support specific needs of our sponsored projectsprograms an