Social barriers faced by newcomers placing their first contribution in open source software projects

Igor Steinmacher, Tayana Uchôa Conte, Marco Aurélio Gerosa, David F. Redmiles

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

126 Scopus citations

Abstract

Newcomers' seamless onboarding is important for online communities that depend upon leveraging the contribution of outsiders. Previous studies investigated aspects of the joining process and motivation in open collaboration communities, but few have focused on identifying and understanding the critical barriers newcomers face when placing their first contribution, a period that frequently leads to dropout. This is important for Open Source Software (OSS) projects, which receive contributions from many one-Time contributors. Focusing on OSS, our study qualitatively analyzed social barriers that hindered newcomers' first contributions. We defined a conceptual model composed of 58 barriers including 13 social barriers. The barriers were identified from a qualitative data analysis considering different sources: A systematic literature review; open question responses gathered from OSS projects' contributors; students contributing to OSS projects; and semi-structured interviews with 36 developers from 14 different projects. This paper focuses on social barriers and its contributions include gathering empirical evidence of the barriers faced by newcomers, organizing and better understanding these barriers, surveying the literature from the perspective of the barriers, and identifying new potential research streams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages1379-1392
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450329224
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015 - BC, Canada
Duration: Mar 14 2015Mar 18 2015

Publication series

NameCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing

Conference

Conference18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityBC
Period3/14/153/18/15

Keywords

  • barriers
  • barriers
  • entry
  • joining
  • new contributor
  • newcomers
  • Onboarding
  • online communities
  • open collaboration
  • open source software
  • qualitative study
  • social barriers
  • socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Social barriers faced by newcomers placing their first contribution in open source software projects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this