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  1. With the emergence of social coding platforms, collaboration has become a key and dynamic aspect to the success of software projects. In such platforms, developers have to collaborate and deal with issues of collaboration in open-source software development. Although collaboration is challenging, collaborative development produces better software systems than any developer could produce alone. Several approaches have investigated collaboration challenges, for instance, by proposing or evaluating models and tools to support collaborative work. Despite the undeniable importance of the existing efforts in this direction, there are few works on collaboration from perspectives of developers. In this work, we aim tomore »investigate the perceptions of open-source software developers on collaborations, such as motivations, techniques, and tools to support global, productive, and collaborative development. Following an ad hoc literature review, an exploratory interview study with 12 open-source software developers from GitHub, our novel approach for this problem also relies on an extensive survey with 121 developers to confirm or refute the interview results. We found different collaborative contributions, such as managing change requests. Besides, we observed that most collaborators prefer to collaborate with the core team instead of their peers. We also found that most collaboration happens in software development (60%) and maintenance (47%) tasks. Furthermore, despite personal preferences to work independently, developers still consider collaborating with others in specific task categories, for instance, software development. Finally, developers also expressed the importance of the social coding platforms, such as GitHub, to support maintainers, and contributors in making decisions and developing tasks of the projects. Therefore, these findings may help project leaders optimize the collaborations among developers and reduce entry barriers. Moreover, these findings may support the project collaborators in understanding the collaboration process and engaging others in the project.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  2. Software developed in different platforms has different characteristics and needs. More specifically, code changes are differently performed in the mobile platform compared to non-mobile platforms (e.g., desktop and Web platforms). Prior works have investigated the differences in specific platforms. However, we still lack a deeper understanding of how code changes evolve across different software platforms. In this paper, we present a study aiming at investigating the frequency of changes and how source code changes, build changes and test changes co-evolve in mobile and non-mobile platforms. We developed linear regression models to explain which factors influence the frequency of changes inmore »different platforms and applied the Apriori algorithm to find types of changes that frequently occur together. Our findings show that non-mobile repositories have a higher number of commits per month compared to mobile and our regression models suggest that being mobile significantly impacts on the number of commits in a negative direction when controlling for confound factors, such as code size. We also found that developers do not usually change source code files together with build files or test files. We argue that our results can provide valuable information for developers on how changes are performed in different platforms so that practices adopted in successful software systems can be followed.« less
  3. In globally distributed software development, many software developers have to collaborate and deal with issues of collaboration. Although collaboration is challenging, collaborative development produces better software than any developer could produce alone. Unlike previous work which focuses on the proposal and evaluation of models and tools to support collaborative work, this paper presents an interview study aiming to understand (i) the motivations, (ii) how collaboration happens, and (iii) the challenges and barriers of collaborative software development. After interviewing twelve experienced software developers from GitHub, we found different types of collaborative contributions, such as in the management of requests for changes.more »Our analysis also indicates that the main barriers for collaboration are related to non-technical, rather than technical issues.« less