Journal of Information Processing
Online ISSN : 1882-6652
ISSN-L : 1882-6652
Magnet or Sticky? Measuring Project Characteristics from the Perspective of Developer Attraction and Retention
Kazuhiro YamashitaYasutaka KameiShane McIntoshAhmed E. HassanNaoyasu Ubayashi
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2016 Volume 24 Issue 2 Pages 339-348


Open Source Software (OSS) is vital to both end users and enterprises. As OSS systems are becoming a type of infrastructure, long-term OSS projects are desired. For the survival of OSS projects, the projects need to not only retain existing developers, but also attract new developers to grow. To better understand how projects retain and attract contributors, our preliminary study aimed to measure the personnel attraction and retention of OSS projects using a pair of population migration metrics, called Magnet (personnel attraction) and Sticky (retention) metrics. Because the preliminary study analyzed only 90 projects and the 90 projects are not representative of GitHub, this paper extend the preliminary study to better understand the generalizability of the results by analyzing 16, 552 projects of GitHub. Furthermore, we also add a pilot study to investigate the typical duration between releases to find more appropriate release duration. The study results show that (1) approximately 23% of developers remain in the same projects that the developers contribute to, (2) the larger projects are likely to attract and retain more developers, (3) 53% of terminal projects eventually decay to a state of fewer than ten developers and (4) 55% of attractive projects remain in an attractive category.

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© 2016 by the Information Processing Society of Japan
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