What does a community need to grow and thrive? To support both the collective and the individual? To be close-knit yet inclusive and expansive? These are the questions our work seeks to answer. As we approach a decade of service to open source scientific computing projects, I’m proud to report on all we’ve accomplished and everything we aim to achieve.
The theme of community impact has been a through line of our mission since 2012. NumFOCUS was founded to address the need of a critical mass of projects for a more formal support structure and to help organize this fervent community. Grass roots cannot take hold without the proper groundwork: the very support structures NumFOCUS provides to the world of open science.
Our direct support for projects, conferences, gatherings, and educational opportunities has had a discernible impact on the open source scientific community, as this report shows. Yet, as we approach our 10th anniversary, we have identified strategic areas of focus to guide our decision making and objectives: increasing engagement with stakeholders, improving organizational infrastructure to handle growth, and making the delivery and execution of project services more efficient.
These efforts have already yielded results. This year we chartered additional community-led committees to select new Affiliated Projects, awarded Small Development Grants, and initiated a Project Incubation Program. You can learn more about that in our Community Leadership section.
The accomplishments of any open source project come from the time, talent, and zeal of individuals, many of which are volunteers. They make their contributions on top of carrying the load of full-time jobs, often sacrificing their personal time to contribute to tools that others are or will depend on across all domains of science, research, and industry. We cannot honor each of those many thousands of volunteers here, but we must always keep the needs of these individuals in mind. Our project support is ultimately all about sustaining their efforts.
Ten years in and the greater NumFOCUS community is hundreds of thousands strong. It has shown resilience in the face of a global pandemic and never once receded from its mission. At our core is a dedicated staff, a committed board, a highly-engaged advisory board, and many community partners and collaborators. This 2021 Community Impact Report is a testament to what they have built. I invite you to read on, to share in our community’s enthusiasm, and get involved in any way you can.
Leah Silen, Executive Director