SciPy 2023

What happens when the main maintainer of a project takes a step down?
07-14, 13:15–13:45 (America/Chicago), Amphitheater 204

Once a maintainer of a project decides to step down of a project, the community needs to quickly adapt to this decision. This situation can be devastating for small projects and lead to their extinction. This talk demonstrates, based on the case of poliastro, that the community is a key factor for a software to survive no matter who is leading it.

Free and open source software is made by the community, for the community, off the community. The community is made out of amazing people who are human beings. The Python community would not be what it is without people.

Some people of these people are maintainers of projects. They devote a significant amount of their time to guarantee the health of a project, review new contributions, solving questions... The community recognizes their effort and usually evolves around them.

However, what happens when a maintainer steps down of a project? How does the community react to this situation? What about for tiny projects?

This talk presents some key concepts for building a healthy community around a project to guarantee its survival over time. These key concepts include not only good coding practices like documentation but also the creation of community meetings for everyone, promotion of software, financial support, and tons of passion among others.

As an example, the case of "poliastro" is used.

Aerospace engineer and software developer interested in computational astrodynamics. In his free time, Jorge maintains various open source scientific projects including poliastro and the whole PyAnsys ecosystem.

Github account: jorgepiloto