Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


Contributor Experience 201

Supporting social infrastructure in FOSS projects

Becoming an open source volunteer contributor has changed the entire course of my professional career. In hindsight, I realize how lucky I was that the first FOSS project I contributed had a welcoming to newcomers culture. In this presentation, we will discuss how to build a thriving contributor community around a FOSS project.

And what about the “201” in the title? Just like in a University course catalog, it means we are going to examine the topic beyond the basics. I will share insights and case studies from the work of our team supporting contributors to the 4 foundational libraries in the Scientific Python ecosystem, NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and pandas.

I will also introduce (and invite you to join!) the Contributor Experience Project, a new community of practice and an open source community-led project dedicated to developing best practices for onboarding and supporting contributors to open source. Our goal is to provide a space to reflect, engage, and offer advancements in the work of effective transfer of knowledge, contributor hospitality and support, project leadership, and social infrastructure development for the entire open source ecosystem.


Photo of Inessa Pawson Inessa Pawson