Herding Cats: A Case Study of Release Management in an Open Collaboration Ecosystem

TitleHerding Cats: A Case Study of Release Management in an Open Collaboration Ecosystem
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPoo-Caamaño, Germán, Singer Leif, Knauss Eric, and German Daniel M.
Secondary AuthorsCrowston, Kevin, Hammouda Imed, Lundell Björn, Robles Gregorio, Gamalielsson Jonas, and Lindman Juho
Secondary TitleOpen Source Systems: Integrating Communities: 12th IFIP WG 2.13 International Conference, OSS 2016, Gothenburg, Sweden, May 30 - June 2, 2016, Proceedings
ChapterHerding Cats: A Case Study of Release Management in an Open Collaboration Ecosystem
Pagination147–162
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Place PublishedCham
ISBN Number978-3-319-39225-7
Abstract

Release management in large-scale software development projects requires significant communication and coordination. It is particularly challenging in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) ecosystems, in which hundreds of loosely connected developers and their projects need to be coordinated to release software to a schedule. To better understand this process and its challenges, we analyzed over two and half years of communication in the GNOME ecosystem and studied developers’ interactions. We cataloged communication channels, categorized high level communication and coordination activities in one of them, and triangulated our results by interviewing developers. We found that a release schedule, influence instead of direct control, and diversity are factors that impact positively the release process in the GNOME ecosystem. Our results can help organizations build better large-scale teams and show that research focused on individual projects might miss important parts of the picture.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39225-7_12
DOI10.1007/978-3-319-39225-7_12