Open source software (OSS) relies on volunteers’ and newcomers’ contributions to survive. Open source development is a socio-technical process which forces newcomers to have both technical and social skills for their success. Many newcomers face social and technical challenges while they contribute to OSS projects. Such challenges may lead to some discontinuing their contributions. This paper investigates the newcomers’ success and the reputation achieved in a social coding platform, by analyzing initial activities carried out by them in an open source community. By applying exploratory data analysis on GitHub data, we found the important role of social skills in newcomers’ reputation across the OSS community. Result of this exploration shows the concurrent contribution to multiple projects increases the chance of popularity in this social coding environment. Also, we have analyzed the main project attributes that successful newcomers contributed to, during the early stages of their involvement. The research outcomes of this study are useful for newcomers to make better decisions and for project leaders to be more supportive.
Bayati, Shahab and Peiris, K. Dharini Amitha, "Road to Success: How Newcomers Gain Reputation in Open Source Community" (2018). PACIS 2018 Proceedings. 285.