17.07.2017 change 17.07.2017

WikiTeams - better collaboration in developer communities

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

A model of more efficient collaboration of GitHub developers and Wikipedia authors has been created by the team from of the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology under the supervision of Prof. Adam Wierzbicki. Wikipedia and GitHub are creative communities based on knowledge and competence. The efficiency of their work can be increased through better selection of projects and networking of experts.

The "WikiTeams" project explored the future of programming based on expert communities. The research concerned the work organization and management or coordination of virtual teams of Wikipedia authors or open source software developers on the GitHub platform.

Over 80% developers spend their time creating open source software to gain experience and improve their programming skills. They usually choose the GitHub platform, which has already spawned over 30 million projects. Most of them are single-person projects, with an average of three projects per developer.

Work on the platform is not distributed efficiently, because new developers choose the most popular projects. They do not gain much because their activity in a very popular project is much less noticeable.

"Research in the WikiTeams project has allowed to develop the method of recommending GitHub projects to developers who want to work on this platform" - said Prof. Adam Wierzbicki.

He explained that this method is more efficient than the individual choice made by developers, and it promotes gaining experience in the programming languages the developer prefers. The method connects the developer\'s experience with the technologies required in an active project.

Studies have shown that the proposed method can improve the efficiency of work on open source software. Programming projects on GitHub resemble those created by external, commercial development companies.

A business owner who needs software can either buy it, outsource its development or have his own employees develop software with the required functionality. One of the selection criteria between open or custom software is the quality of support for fixing bugs errors and adding new software features.

"The WikiTeams project has developed a methodology for evaluating the support provided by the OpenSource team of developers on the GitHub platform" emphasised the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology team, responsible for the project.

Models allow you to predict how quickly a GitHub developer team will fix bugs or add new functionality to the software. Furthermore, research has shown that the quality of support provided by a team of GitHub developers depends on the organization and management of the team.

Teams with fewer permanent members and more centralized work provide better support than large and decentralized teams. In addition, the quality of support is affected by the use of task management functionality provided by the GitHub platform.

Research in the WikiTeams project has also allowed to create a social network model for the Wikipedia community. Authors who frequently edit Wikipedia and discuss its articles form a network. Its structure influences the choice of administrators and the quality of articles created on Wikipedia

"The Wiki model is the hope for a substantive development of the functioning of the Internet and the exchange of knowledge and experience" - concluded its creators.

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