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Engagement of Developers in Open Source Projects: A Multi-Case Study
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. (software engineering)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. (software engineering)
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

 In the present world, the companies on using the open source projects have been tend to increase in the innovation and productivity which is beneficial in sustaining the competence. These involve various developers across the globe who may be contributing to several other projects, they constantly engage with the project to improve and uplift the overall project. In each open source project, the level of intensity and the motivation with which the developers engage and contribute vary among time.

Initially the research is aimed to identify how the engagement and activity of the developers in open source projects vary over time. Secondly to assess the reasons over the variance in engagement activities of the developers involved in various open source projects.

Firstly, a literature review was conducted to identify the list of available metrics that are helpful to analyse the developer’s engagement in open source projects. Secondly, we conducted a multi-case study, that involved the investigation of developer’s engagement in 10 different open source projects of Apache foundation. The GitHub repositories were mined to gather the data regarding the engagement activities of the developers over the selected projects. To identify the reasons for the variation in engagement and activity of developers, we analysed documentation about each project and also interviewed 10 developers and 5 instructors, who provided additional insights about the challenges faced to contribute in open source projects.

The results of this research contain the list of factors that affect the developer’s engagement with open source projects which are extracted from the case studies and are strengthened through interviews. From the data that is collected by performing repository mining, the selected projects have been categorized with the increase, decrease activeness of developers among the selected projects. By utilizing the archival data that is collected from the selected projects, the factors corporate support, community involvement, distribution of issues and contributions to open source projects and specificity of guidelines have been identified as the crucial and key factors upon the success of the open source projects reflecting the engagement of contributors. In addition to this finding the insights on using open source projects are also collected from both perspectives of developers and instructors are presented.

 This research had provided us a deeper insight on the working of open source projects and driving factors that influence engagement and activeness of the contributors. It has been evident from this research that the stated factors corporate support, community involvement, distribution of issues and contributions to open source projects and specificity of guidelines impacts the engagement and activeness of the developers. So, the open source projects minimally satisfying these projects can tend to see the increase of the engagement and activeness levels of the contributors. It also helps to seek the existing challenges and benefits upon contributing to open source projects from different perspectives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 92 p.
Keyword [en]
Open Source Projects, Engagement, Metrics
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-15431OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-15431DiVA: diva2:1154524
Subject / course
PA2534 Master's Thesis (120 credits) in Software Engineering
Educational program
PAAXA Master of Science Programme in Software Engineering
Presentation
2017-05-29, J1620, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 371 79, karlskrona, 16:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-11-03 Created: 2017-11-02 Last updated: 2017-11-03Bibliographically approved

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