Toward an understanding of the motivation Open Source Software developers
An Open Source Software (OSS) project is unlikely to be successful unless there is an accompanied community that provides the platform for developers and users to collaborate. Members of such communities are volunteers whose motivation to participate and contribute is of essential importance to the success of OSS projects. In this paper, we aim to create an understanding of what motivates people to participate in OSS communities. We theorize that learning is one of the motivational forces. Our theory is grounded in the learning theory of Legitimate Peripheral Participation, and is supported by analyzing the social structure of OSS communities and the co-evolution between OSS systems and communities. We also discuss practical implications of our theory for creating and maintaining sustainable OSS communities as well as for software engineering research and education.