How Developers Acquire FLOSS Skills

Conference contribution
(Original article)

Publication Details

Author(s): Barcomb A, Grottke M, Stauffert JP, Riehle D
Title edited volumes: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Publishing place: Germany
Publication year: 2015
Volume: 451
Conference Proceedings Title: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2015).
Pages range: 23-32
ISBN: 9783319178363
ISSN: 1868-4238
eISSN: 1868-422X


With the increasing prominence of open collaboration as found in free/libre/open source software projects and other joint production communities, potential participants need to acquire skills. How these skills are learned has received little research attention. This article presents a large-scale survey (5,309 valid responses) in which users and developers of the beta release of a popular file download application were asked which learning styles were used to acquire technical and social skills. We find that the extent to which a person acquired the relevant skills through informal methods tends to be higher if the person is a free/libre/open source code contributor, while being a professional software developer does not have this effect. Additionally, younger participants proved more likely to make use of formal methods of learning. These insights will help individuals, commercial companies, educational institutions, governments and open collaborative projects decide how they promote learning.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Barcomb, Ann Dr.
Professur für Open Source Software
Grottke, Michael Prof. Dr.
Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Riehle, Dirk Prof. Dr.
Professur für Open Source Software

How to cite

Barcomb, A., Grottke, M., Stauffert, J.-P., & Riehle, D. (2015). How Developers Acquire FLOSS Skills. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2015). (pp. 23-32). Florence, Italy, IT: Germany: Springer Verlag.

Barcomb, Ann, et al. "How Developers Acquire FLOSS Skills." Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Open Source Systems, Florence, Italy Germany: Springer Verlag, 2015. 23-32.


Last updated on 2019-11-09 at 07:12