Open Source-Style Collaborative Development Practices in Commercial Projects Using GitHub

TitleOpen Source-Style Collaborative Development Practices in Commercial Projects Using GitHub
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKalliamvakou, E, Damian, D, Blincoe, K, Singer, L, German, D
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary Title2015 IEEE/ACM 37th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering
Date Published05/2015

Researchers are currently drawn to study projects
hosted on GitHub due to its popularity, ease of obtaining data,
and its distinctive built-in social features. GitHub has been found
to create a transparent development environment, which together
with a pull request-based workflow, provides a lightweight mechanism
for committing, reviewing and managing code changes.
These features impact how GitHub is used and the benefits it
provides to teams’ development and collaboration. While most of
the evidence we have is from GitHub’s use in open source software
(OSS) projects, GitHub is also used in an increasing number of
commercial projects. It is unknown how GitHub supports these
projects given that GitHub’s workflow model does not intuitively
fit the commercial development way of working. In this paper, we
report findings from an online survey and interviews with GitHub
users on how GitHub is used for collaboration in commercial
projects. We found that many commercial projects adopted
practices that are more typical of OSS projects including reduced
communication, more independent work, and self-organization.
We discuss how GitHub’s transparency and popular workflow can
promote open collaboration, allowing organizations to increase
code reuse and promote knowledge sharing across their teams.

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