2021 CoCo Election: Sipőcz Brigitta

I would like to accept the nomination for the election of the Astropy Coordination Committee.

I have been part of the project for many years, first when I was long transitioning from a research-only career path to my current research software engineer role. During this time, I have been involved in or lead many aspects of the project. To list a few, as I trust most of you are familiar with my work: For many years, I have been one of the two people, volunteering, to do the daily operational work tending to issues and pull requests. I have onboarded countless newcomers, both inside and outside of the North American astronomy circles. I have also been building infrastructural tools that help to develop and maintain reliable software products, and I have helped many affiliated packages off the ground with their infrastructural framework. I have produced releases for the core package in a timely manner for several years. I have organised and taught at workshops and gave conference talks about the project. And I have sought out funding opportunities that actually ended up being our sole grant source so far.

In the past year, my time investment has been tuned back primarily because of the pushbacks I experienced on many fronts, the continuous gatekeeping as well as the constant microaggressions I was facing as a non-native English speaker from several people in the project.

In my vision, Astropy is an ecosystem of packages as well as part of the broader scientific Python ecosystem. I care deeply about helping to build our core and coordinated packages in a sustainable manner, all the while we reuse and share the most with our upstream ecosystem. The centre point to make this achievement is our developers. All the while, the recruitment and sustainment of new maintainers is a pain point, and we have to change ways to nurture and welcome returning contributors.
I feel we can learn and adopt a lot from the experiences of other projects which expanded successfully and are operated with inclusivity in mind. I will work to build bridges for this knowledge transfer.

I strongly feel that it’s time for a fresh start in the project with a new committee. I have long advocated for transparency. On the committee, I would work towards delegating tasks and responsibilities to the groups who actually do the given tasks to maximise the project’s security, sustainability, and operational effectiveness. I will work towards having a Committee that values teamwork and helps it thrive, and that manages the project rather than rules it.