Understanding and supporting the choice of an appropriate task to start with in open source software communities

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

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Open Source Software (OSS) projects leverage the contribution of outsiders. In fact, the sustainability of many projects relies on retaining some of these newcomers. Usually these communities do not coordinate the work of the newcomers, who go to the issue trackers and self-select a task to start with. We found that 'finding a way to start' was reported as an important issue by practitioners. To further investigate this specific barrier, we conducted a qualitative analysis with data obtained from semi-structured interviews with 36 subjects from 14 different projects, including newcomers and experienced members. We used procedures of Grounded Theory - open and axial coding - to analyze the data. We found that newcomers are not confident enough to choose their initial task and they need information about the tasks or direction from the community to support choosing a task more suitable for them. We also present a set of strategies identified in the literature, interviews, and state-of-the-practice that can provide newcomers with such information, enabling them to be more confident when choosing their first tasks and collaborate with the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2015
EditorsTung X. Bui, Ralph H. Sprague
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages5299-5308
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781479973675
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2015 - Kauai, United States
Duration: Jan 5 2015Jan 8 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume2015-March
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKauai
Period1/5/151/8/15

Keywords

  • Coordination
  • Joining process
  • New developer
  • Newcomers
  • Onboarding
  • Open source software
  • Task selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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