Volunteers' involvement in online community based software development

TitleVolunteers' involvement in online community based software development
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsXu, B, Jones, DR, Shao, B
Secondary TitleInformation & Management
Pagination151 - 158
ISSN Number0378-7206
Keywordsage, developers, effectiveness, function points, ideology, leadership, MOTIVATION, scm, sourceforge, status, Survey, team size, Volunteers

We sought to gain understanding of voluntary developers' involvement in open source software (OSS) projects. Data were collected from voluntary developers working on open source projects. Our findings indicated that a voluntary developer's involvement was very important to his or her performance and that involvement was dependent on individual motivations (personal software needs, reputation and skills gaining expectation, enjoyment in open source coding) and project community factors (leadership effectiveness, interpersonal relationship, community ideology). Our work contributes theoretically and empirically to the body of OSS research and has practical implications for OSS project management.


"Data were collected through an online survey and by searching project archives. On Sourceforge.net, each developer was uniquely identified with a user account, and the developer’s performance was assessed through the number of function points accepted by the project in a certain time period, obtained through conversion and calculation from the project’s code repository. Data for other constructs were obtained from the developers’ response to the online survey. "
"a developer’s performance was measured by the number of function points made and accepted into the project during the observed time period."

project age, development status, license type, number of developers

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