Academia is operating on a set of constraints that makes sustained development of durable software particularly challenging, such as limited resources, frequent staff turnover and lack of training. In this presentation, I reflect on the journey of Clinica, a successful neuroimaging software project, which has been in development for 6 years and counting. First born as a side-project used internally at the Aramis Lab, Clinica has become a mature software project developed in the open and fostering a growing community of users. I will share the major lessons we have learnt during this successful journey and touch on various topics such as coding best practices, technical debt and project management. Although Clinica is developed in Python, most takeaways will be transferable to other projects written with a different software stack.