Understanding and Supporting the Choice of an Appropriate Task to Start with in Open Source Software Communities
2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) (2015)
Jan. 5, 2015 to Jan. 8, 2015
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.
Interviews, Communities, Encoding, Open source software, Joining processes, Electronic mail
I. Steinmacher, T. U. Conte and M. A. Gerosa, "Understanding and Supporting the Choice of an Appropriate Task to Start with in Open Source Software Communities," 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), HI, USA, 2015, pp. 5299-5308.