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Who is going to Mentor Newcomers in Open Source Projects? by G. Canfora, M. Di Penta, R. Oliveto and S. Panichella

pubblicato 2 ago 2012, 13:56 da Gerardo Canfora
When newcomers join a software project, they need to be properly trained to understand the technical and organi- zational aspects of the project. Inadequate training could likely lead to project delay or failure.
In this paper we propose an approach, named Yoda (Young and newcOmer Developer Assistant) aimed at identifying and recommending mentors in software projects by min- ing data from mailing lists and versioning systems. Can- didate mentors are identified among experienced developers who actively interact with newcomers. Then, when a new- comer joins the project, Yoda recommends her a mentor that, among the available ones, has already discussed topics relevant for the newcomer.
Yoda has been evaluated on software repositories of five open source projects. We have also surveyed some developers of these projects to understand whether mentoring was actu- ally performed in their projects, and asked them to evaluate the mentoring relations Yoda identified. Results indicate that top committers are not always the most appropriate mentors, and show the potential usefulness of Yoda as a rec- ommendation system to aid project managers in supporting newcomers joining a software project.
International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (SIGSOFT 2012 / FSE-20)
Gerardo Canfora,
2 ago 2012, 13:57