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Doutorado: "Engagement in Open Source Software Projects via Summer of Code Programs"
Terça-feira 03 Dezembro 2019, 11:00
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Candidato: Jefferson de Oliveira Silva

Orientador: Prof. Dr. Marcos Gerosa

 

Abstract

SILVA, J. O. Engagement in Open Source Software Projects via Summer of Code Programs. 2019. 122f. Tese (Doutorado) - Instituto de Matemática e Estatística, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, 2019.


Several Open Source Software (OSS) projects need a constant influx of newcomers, as member disengagement poses sustainability challenges. A significant hurdle for OSS projects is to discover ways to attract and retain newcomers. Some OSS projects expect to onboard newcomers and receive contributions by participating in Summer of Code programs. Such programs aim at fostering software development by matching OSS projects with students (typically). Nevertheless, despite their growing popularity, there is little information about the engagement process in OSS via such programs and how it can contribute to OSS projects. Summer of Code programs are typically laborious and time-consuming, and several OSS projects do not have enough empirical evidence to make a well-informed decision about the actual costs of the engagement, which could hinder the projects’ capacity to address their needs timely. In this thesis, our goal is to reveal and explain the engagement process in OSS projects via Summer of Code programs. We focused on Google Summer of Code as our case study, as it is best-known, with lots of developers from across the globe, and in operation for more than a decade. We employed multiple empirical methods such as interviews, surveys, and quantitative analysis of data mined from source code repositories. We claim two main novel contributions: the empirical identification of factors that influence students’ motivation to engage in OSS via Summer of Code programs, and; the empirical identification of the tasks that OSS projects accomplish to motivate students in such programs. With our theory, OSS projects have a concise and structured description of the engagement process; new students can benefit from
former students’ experiences, and; researchers have a theoretical foundation to devise methods and models. In this way, we believe that OSS projects can ultimately gain more contributions from students interested in short and long-term collaboration.


Keywords: Summer of Code · Open Source Software · Process Theory · Newcomer · Retention·
Sustainability · Joining Process.

 

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