Exploring the impact of socio-technical core-periphery structures in open source software development

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Abstract

In this paper we apply the social network concept of core-periphery structure to the socio-technical structure of a software development team. We propose a socio-technical pattern that can be used to locate emerging coordination problems in Open Source projects. With the help of our tool and method called TESNA, we demonstrate a method to monitor the socio-technical core-periphery movement in Open Source projects. We then study the impact of different core-periphery movements on Open Source projects. We conclude that a steady core-periphery shift towards the core is beneficial to the project, whereas shifts away from the core are clearly not good. Furthermore, oscillatory shifts towards and away from the core can be considered as an indication of the instability of the project. Such an analysis can provide developers with a good insight into the health of an Open Source project. Researchers can gain from the pattern theory, and from the method we use to study the core-periphery movements.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)216-229
JournalJournal of information technology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • IR-78229
  • METIS-267090

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