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Project Title

Undestanding the Factors of Open Source Software


Manju K. Ahuja, Indiana University

Brian Butler, University of Pittsburgh

Peter H. Gray, University of Virginia

Project Abstract

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.