When students become contributors: Leveraging OSS contributions in software engineering courses

Clarice Ferreira, Cleice Souza, Gustavo Pinto, Igor Steinmacher, Paulo Meirelles

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

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traditional Software Engineering courses commonly prioritize the teaching of methodologies and concepts in small and controlled environments. This decision is partly justified by the difficulty of bringing real software projects to the classroom. The ubiquity of Open Source Software (OSS) projects contributes to mitigating this problem. Several instructors already make use of contribution to OSS as part of the teaching and evaluation process in their courses. However, little is known about how students perceive the approach of contributing to OSS projects in the context of a Software Engineering course. This paper aims to uncover challenges and benefits from the students' perspective. To achieve this, we conducted14 semi-structured interviews with students who attended to this kind of courses in five different Brazilian universities, resulting in findings not so well known. For example, we noticed that, although instructors point to the projects that students are required to contribute to, students (and the project community) are involved in the process of choosing projects and tasks (issues). We also identified that students' contributions vary in terms of number of lines added and removed in commits, as well as the use of different programming languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCBSOFT 2018 - Proceedings of the 32nd Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2018
EditorsThiago Gottardi
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages260-269
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450365031
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event32nd Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2018 - Sao Carlos, Brazil
Duration: Sep 17 2018Sep 21 2018

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference32nd Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2018
Country/TerritoryBrazil
CitySao Carlos
Period9/17/189/21/18

Keywords

  • Comunidades
  • Educação
  • Engenharia de software
  • Software livre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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