NumFOCUS Contributor Diversification & Retention Research

Hello All,

Please consider participating in the following:

Stan is working with NumFOCUS on a research project funded by the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation to understand the barriers to participation that contributors, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups, face in the open-source software community. Previously you might have heard about this research in this post. This time, the research team would like to talk to new contributors, project developers and maintainers, and those who have contributed in the past about their experiences joining and contributing to Stan.

Interested in sharing your experiences?

Please complete this brief “Participant Interest” form which contains additional information on the research goals, privacy, and confidentiality considerations. Your participation will be valuable to the growth and sustainability of diverse and inclusive open-source software communities. Accepted participants will participate in a 30-minute interview with a research team member.

Kind regards,


P.S. I’ll be posting this in both the Developers and Leaders group.


I have volunteered to participate in this survey.

FWIW, I believe that the barriers to participation are primarily economic - contributing to OSS software requires on of two things: either the luxury of time, or employment in an enterprise which values and depends on the particular OSS project and therefore is willing to sanction working on Stan during work hours. as the tech workforce is overwhelmingly male and white and/or asian, so is the developer pool - especially as women in tech are still shouldering the burden of caring for family and housework, so they don’t have evenings and weekends free.

that said, I also believe that to the degree that a project is seen as “high-status”, then a small percentage of the contributors may well be hostile towards members of URGs because “those people” just aren’t qualified - fill in whatever evolutionary biology nonsense you like. this problem is pernecious and I see no way to legislate or adjudicate this one away. nonetheless, she persisted.


I volunteered too! @mitzimorris sentiments are mine as well.


I just realized we don’t have any contributors from India. Considering that’s world’s major tech labor source with many talented devs, is there any system cause behind that?

Here’s a paper for the academically inclined. You’ll see there are ten times as many people from the U.S. on GitHub than from India. That was 20 times back when Stan started. I think that means “lives in India”, which may not be what @yizhang meant.

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