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Performance and Participation in Open Source Software on GitHub

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


ACM SIGCHI, Volume Extended Abstracts, p.139-144 (2013)


A few studies have attempted to provide metrics of success in open source software (OSS) projects but the role a code hosting workspace plays in how performance is viewed and measured is little examined. We conducted qualitative, exploratory research with lead and core developers on three successful projects on GitHub to understand how OSS communities on GitHub measure success. These results were obtained in connection with a larger project that is designed to understand the structure of code hosting platforms in relation to participation and performance. We report two main findings. First, lead and core members of the projects we interviewed display a nuanced understanding of community participation in their assessment of success. Second, they attribute increased participation on their projects to the features and usability provided by GitHub.