Joining in Apache Derby: Removing the Obstacles
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Over the last decade, the amount of commercial interest in Open Source has been growing rapidly. This has led to commercially driven Open Source projects. Those projects have problems keeping their newcomers and needs ways to ease the joining process. Therefore we ask these research questions: RQ1: Which obstacles are encountered by Newcomers to Apache Derby when Joining? RQ2: What can be done to ease the Joining process? There has been very little research on what the OSS projects can do in this area. As a consequence it is hard to find good reliable theory to cross-reference this research. If the research is successful, it can contribute to the literature on joining in OSS projects. This literature will then contain all obstacles encountered by newcomers to OSS projects and ways to mitigate these. In this master's thesis Canonical Action Research was used to study the Open Source project Apache Derby. Canonical Action Research is a qualitative research method where the researchers enters the environment they are researching to extract the data needed. We have three contributions in this thesis. The first contribution is a list of obstacles in the joining process of Apache Derby. The second contribution is suggestions on how a project can mitigate the contribution barriers we found. The third contribution is a refined version of CAR to use when studying Open Source Software Development. The list of obstacles is a contribution specific to the Apache Derby project, and it is very unlikely that other non Apache projects will benefit from it. Our suggestions on how a project can mitigate contribution barriers are potentially generalizable. Different projects have different structures, and some of the contribution barriers might therefore not apply to them all. The refined CAR model is general for all research on OSS projects. This is the result we think can have the biggest impact on the research community if proven successful.