Why do developers take breaks from contributing to OSS projects? A preliminary analysis

Giuseppe Iaffaldano, Igor Steinmacher, Fabio Calefato, Marco Gerosa, Filippo Lanubile

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

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Creating a successful and sustainable Open Source Software (OSS) project often depends on the strength and the health of the community behind it. Current literature explains the contributors’ lifecycle, starting with the motivations that drive people to contribute and barriers to joining OSS projects, covering developers’ evolution until they become core members. However, the stages when developers leave the projects are still weakly explored and are not well-defined in existing developers’ lifecycle models. In this position paper, we enrich the knowledge about the leaving stage by identifying sleeping and dead states, representing temporary and permanent brakes that developers take from contributing. We conducted a preliminary set of semi-structured interviews with active developers. We analyzed the answers by focusing on defining and understanding the reasons for the transitions to/from sleeping and dead states. This paper raises new questions that may guide further discussions and research, which may ultimately benefit OSS communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 2nd International Workshop on Software Health, SoHeal 2019
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages9-16
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728134413
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Event2nd IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Software Health, SoHeal 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: May 28 2019May 28 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 2nd International Workshop on Software Health, SoHeal 2019

Conference

Conference2nd IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Software Health, SoHeal 2019
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period5/28/195/28/19

Keywords

  • Communities
  • Developers turnover
  • Open source
  • Project abandonment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management

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