Barriers Faced by Newcomers to Software-Crowdsourcing Projects

Alexandre Lazaretti Zanatta, Igor Steinmacher, Leticia Santos MacHado, Cleidson R.B. De Souza, Rafael Prikladnicki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Crowdsourcing distributes a task to a large network of people-the crowd-through an open call. Newcomers (those attempting to make their first successful contribution) are especially important because they are a source of new ideas and promote a sustainable number of developers. So, newcomers should be encouraged to be active participants in software crowdsourcing. However, newcomers can have difficulty winning algorithm competitions. In addition, six types of barriers can hinder them: lack of documentation, poor task management, problems understanding code structure or architecture, information overload, poor platform usability, and the language barrier. Fortunately, ways exist to minimize the barriers, including consistent documentation, well-structured source code, recommending tasks that are appropriate for newcomers, and assigning tasks to newcomers that let them derive more benefits for themselves. This article is part of a special issue on Crowdsourcing for Software Engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7888391
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Software
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Topcoder
  • crowdsourcing
  • software crowdsourcing
  • software development
  • software engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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