While it is commonly accepted that well-engineered commercial software projects rely on a variety of activities, this not the case with open source software development. A poorly understood area of open source software is what types of activities are present and being completed day-to-day. Understanding what activities exist would give developers and project leads additional attributes of the software engineering process to modify and improve. Identifying these activities is challenging as they are often abstract in nature and activities may not be formally defined within projects, but may still be executed; for example, the way in which a project accepts feedback may be defined or simply accepted through the issue tracker with no formal declaration. In this paper I investigate alternative participation activities in a variety of open source software projects. I found that a majority of these projects have alternative participation occurring but many struggle to formally define discrete activities or provide calls to action.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Open source software--Testing; Computer software--Testing; Software failures--Prevention; Software documentation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Software Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Software Engineering (GCCIS)


J. Scott Hawker

Advisor/Committee Member

Samuel Malachowsky

Advisor/Committee Member

Christian Newman


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes