Assessing the Characteristics of FOSS Contributions in Network Automation Projects

John Anderson, Igor Steinmacher, Paige Rodeghero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Network Automation seeks to integrate software solutions that aid in the management and maintenance of modern networks. In industry, large organizations see dedicated software engineering resources within a networking team. However, in the broader industry, it is more common to see traditional network engineers working on network automation. With the growth of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), network automation software solutions also started to adhere to this development model. However, as it is known from the literature, onboarding to FOSS projects is not a trivial task and may be more challenging for people without a software development background. In this paper, we study network automation FOSS projects, which are seeing a large number of new contributors who do not have traditional software engineering skills. We analyze a set of data collected from pull requests and issues collected from 81 GitHub projects (71 network automation projects, and 10 top-projects from other domains), to identify the characteristics that are specific to first-time project contributors in the network automation domain. Our results show that pull requests in the Network Automation domain differ from those in the Top-10 set and the existing literature. At the same time that Network Automation projects are more inclusive (rejection rate: 12% vs. 28% on Top-10), the pull request latency is longer in this specific domain, especially for first-timers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2020 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages324-335
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781728156194
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Event36th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2020 - Virtual, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: Sep 27 2020Oct 3 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2020 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2020

Conference

Conference36th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2020
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityVirtual, Adelaide
Period9/27/2010/3/20

Keywords

  • networking automation
  • onboarding
  • Open Source
  • software engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Modeling and Simulation

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