Undestanding the Factors of Open Source Software
Manju K. Ahuja, Indiana University
Brian Butler, University of Pittsburgh
Peter H. Gray, University of Virginia
This paper will draw from studies of software development, knowledge management, and knowledge sourcing behavior to (a) characterize the interplay of experience, experimentation, and knowledge sources in Open Source software settings and (b) explain how factors such as the available infrastructure, social structures (networks and communities) and individual differences (past experiences and dispositions) combine to shape how individual attempts to acquire the knowledge then need to successfully contribute code to an OSS project.
This project seeks to contribute directly to our understanding of Open Source software development, knowledge sourcing behaviors, and ultimately to our understanding of the tools, methods, structures, and dispositions that allow individuals to effectively contribute to large scale, distributed software development efforts in general.