Documents

DOI

The pull-based development model is an emerging way of contributing to distributed software projects that is gaining enormous popularity within the open source software (OSS) world. Previous work has examined this model by focusing on projects and their owners-we complement it by examining the work practices of project contributors and the challenges they face. We conducted a survey with 645 top contributors to active OSS projects using the pull-based model on GitHub, the prevalent social coding site. We also analyzed traces extracted from corresponding GitHub repositories. Our research shows that: contributors have a strong interest in maintaining awareness of project status to get inspiration and avoid duplicating work, but they do not actively propagate information; communication within pull requests is reportedly limited to low-level concerns and contributors often use communication channels external to pull requests; challenges are mostly social in nature, with most reporting poor responsiveness from integrators; and the increased transparency of this setting is a confirmed motivation to contribute. Based on these findings, we present recommendations for practitioners to streamline the contribution process and discuss potential future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICSE 2016 - The 38th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages285-296
Number of pages12
Volume14-22-May-2016
ISBN (Electronic)9781450339001, 9781450342056
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 May 2016
Event2016 IEEE/ACM 38th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2016 - Austin, United States

Conference

Conference2016 IEEE/ACM 38th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2016
CountryUnited States
CityAustin
Period14/05/1622/05/16

Research areas

  • Distributed software development, GitHub, Open source contribution, Pull request, Pull-based development

ID: 9302654