This paper focuses on Open Source (OS) social networks. The literature indicates that OS networks have a few nodes with a number of relationships significantly higher than the network’s average, called hubs. It also provides numerous metrics that help verify whether a node is a hub, called centrality metrics. This paper posits that higher values of centrality metrics are positively correlated with project success. Second, it posits that higher values of centrality metrics are positively correlated with the ability of a project to attract new contributions. Third, it posits that projects with greater success have a lower software design quality. Hypotheses are tested on a sample of 56 applications written in Java from the SourceForge.net online OS repository. The corresponding social network is built by considering all the contributors, both developers and administrators, of our application sample and all contributors directly or indirectly connected with them within SourceForge.net, with a total of 57,142 nodes. Empirical results support our hypotheses, indicating that centrality metrics are significant drivers of project success that should be monitored from the perspective of a project administrator or team manager. However, they also prove that successful projects tend to have a significantly lower design quality of software. This has a number of consequences that could be visible to users and cause negative feedback effects over time.
Barbagallo, Donato; Francalenei, Chlara; and Merlo, Francesco, "The Impact of Social Netowrking on Software Design Quality and Development Effort in Open Source Projects" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 201.