Motivation of Newcomers to FLOSS Projects

Title: Motivation of Newcomers to FLOSS Projects

Authors: Christoph Hannebauer and Volker Gruhn (paluno – The Ruhr Institute for Software Technology University of Duisburg-Essen)

Abstract: While the motivations of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) developers have been the subject of extensive research, the motivations for their initial contribution to a FLOSS project has received only little attention. This survey of 94 newcomers to the FLOSS projects Mozilla and GNOME identifies the motivations for the modification of the FLOSS components and for the submission of these modifications back to the FLOSS project. With the responses, we test a hypothesis based on the previous qualitative research on newcomer motivations: Most newcomers modify a component because they need the modification for themselves. Surprisingly, this is not the case for our respondents, who have a variety of primary modification motivations. Newcomer occupation is discussed as a reason for this difference to previous results.

This contribution to OpenSym 2016 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2016 proceedings on or after August 17, 2016.

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