Community-based production of open-source software: What do we know about the developers who participate?
AbstractThis paper seeks to close an empirical gap regarding the motivations, personal attributes and behavioral patterns among free/libre and open-source (FLOSS) developers, especially those involved in community-based production, and considers the bearing of its findings on the existing literature and the future directions for research. Respondents to an extensive web-survey's (FLOSS-US 2003) questions about their reasons for beginning to work FLOSS are classified according to their distinct "motivational profiles" by hierarchical cluster analysis. Over half of them also are matched to projects of known membership sizes, revealing that although some members from each of the clusters are present in the small, medium and large ranges of the distribution of project sizes, the mixing fractions for the large and the very small project ranges are statistically different. Among developers who changed projects, there is a discernable flow from the bottom toward the very small towards to large projects, some of which is motivated by individuals seeking to improve their programming skills. It is found that the profile of early motivation, along with other individual attributes, significantly affects individual developers' selections of projects from different regions of the size range.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.
Volume (Year): 20 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549
Open-source software FLOSS projects Community-based peer production Population heterogeneity Micro-motives Motivational profiles Web-cast surveys Hierarchical cluster analysis;
Other versions of this item:
- Paul David & Joseph Shapiro, 2008. "Community-Based Production of Open Source Software: What Do We Know About the Developers Who Participate?," Discussion Papers 08-003, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
- L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
- L39 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Other
- P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
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