Choosing an Appropriate Task to Start with in Open Source Software Communities: A Hard Task

  • Igor Steinmacher
  • Marco Aurélio Gerosa
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8658)


Open Source Software (OSS) projects leverage the contribution of outsiders. Usually these communities do not coordinate the work of the newcomers, who go to the issue trackers and self-select a task to start with. We found that “finding a way to start” is recurrently reported both by the literature and by practitioners as a barrier to onboard to an OSS project. We conducted a qualitative analysis with data obtained from semi-structured interviews with 36 subjects from 14 different projects. We used procedures of Grounded Theory – open and axial coding – to analyze the data. We found that newcomers are not enough confident to choose their initial task and they need information about the tasks or direction from the community.


Open Source Software coordination task selection newcomers onboarding new developer joining process 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Steinmacher
    • 1
  • Marco Aurélio Gerosa
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de ComputaçãoFederal University of Tecnology-Paraná (UTFPR)Brazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Matemática e EstatísticaUniversity of São Paulo (USP)Brazil

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