How open development data benefits your project and your community

von Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona (Bitergia)

Understanding the inner life of free / open source software projects is of fundamental importance to developers, users and decision makers. Gaining this needed knowledge is a specialized, time-consuming and error-prone tasks. Fortunately, the understanding process can be improved by the availability of data and the use of tools for analysis and visualization. This leads to a new step in project transparency: the availability of open development data in formats and ways adapted to most common uses.

Software development analytics may help to gain knowledge of a project, by highlighting interesting aspects of the analyzed projects, tracking relevant patterns, and assisting in the early identification of problems and detection of trends. It can be used to study the structure of a community and its likely evolution, to detect bottlenecks in a code review process, to evaluate the impact of policies trying to improve bug fixing, to understand company participation in large projects, or to assist in due diligence when free / open source software is an important asset. Having this data available publicly allows any interested party to do their own analysis, thus generating trust by transparency.

The talk will show how the open development nature of most free / open source software projects produce a wealth of data which can be retrieved, analyzed and visualized. These processes can be assisted with specific tools such as software development dashboards. These visualizations can be useful for developers, community managers, software integrators, technology forecasters, and in general for any stakeholder interested in the whereabouts of OSS projects, using real-world cases. The talk will also present some examples of software development dashboards for real free / open source software projects, and lessons learned from them.

The presentation will be based on the Grimoire technology, which will be used as an excuse to discuss software development analytics, and open development data, in general.

Über den Autor Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona:

Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona enjoys teaching and researching in the LibreSoft team at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain). He is also one of the founders of Bitergia, the software development analytics company, and one of the contributors to MetricsGrimoire and vizGrimoire, the software to retrieve information from software development repositories, analyze, and visualize it.

He started to be involved in libre (free, open source) software back in 1991. Since then, he contributed to several working groups, developed some research lines, and started training programs on the matter. He has also collaborated with several libre software projects and associations, and consulted for companies and public administrations on issues related to their strategy on these topics. His main research line during the last 10 years has been quantitative empirical analysis of libre software development.