Open Source barriers to entry, revisited: A tools perspective
Research has revealed that significant barriers exist when entering Open-Source Software (OSS) communities and that women disproportionately experience such barriers. However, this research has focused mainly on social/cultural factors, ignoring the environment itself — the tools and infrastructure. To shed some light onto how tools and infrastructure might somehow factor into OSS barriers to entry, we conducted a field study with five teams of software professionals, who worked through five use-cases to analyze the tools and infrastructure used in their OSS projects. These software professionals found tool/infrastructure barriers in 7% to 71% of the use-case steps that they analyzed, most of which are tied to newcomer barriers that have been established in the literature. Further, over 80% of the barrier types they found include attributes that are biased against women.