On the Relationship between Newcomer Motivations and Contribution Barriers in Open Source Projects

Title: On the Relationship between Newcomer Motivations and Contribution Barriers in Open Source Projects

Authors: Christoph Hannebauer:Universitat Duisburg-Essen; Volker Gruhn:Universitat Duisburg-Essen

Abstract: There has been extensive research on the the factors that motivate software developers to contribute to an Open Source Software (OSS) project. Contribution barriers are the counterside to motivations and prevent newcomers from joining the OSS project. This study searches for relations between motivations and contribution barriers with a web-based survey of 117 developers who had recently contributed their first patch to either Mozilla or GNOME.

The results substantiate the hypothesis that newcomers’ motivations mirror their mental models of the OSS project they are going to contribute to, and that the mental model determines the impact of contribution barriers. More generally, we propose a new model for the joining process to an OSS project that takes social properties, motivations, and contribution barriers
into account.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2017 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

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