Newcomers Withdrawal in Open Source Software Projects: Analysis of Hadoop Common Project

Steinmacher, I.Wiese, I.S.Chaves, A.P.Gerosa, M.A.

Collective production communities, like open source projects, are based on volunteers collaboration and require newcomers for their continuity. Newcomers face difficulties and obstacles when starting their contributions, resulting in a large withdrawal and consequent low retention rate. This paper presents an analysis of newcomers withdrawal, checking if the dropout is influenced by lack of answer, answers politeness and helpfulness, and the answer author. We have collected five years data from the developers mail list communication and task manager (Jira) discussions of Hadoop Common project. We observed the users' communication, identifying newcomers and classifying questions and answers content. For the study conducted, less than 20% of newcomers became long term contributors. There are evidences that the withdrawal is influenced by the respondents and by the type of response received. However, the lack of answer was not evidenced as a factor that influences newcomers withdrawal in the project.

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