UBC Theses and Dissertations
An exploratory study of socio-technical congruence in an ecosystem of software developers Azad, Deepak
Software is not built in isolation but builds on other software. When one project relies on software produced by another project, we say there is a technical dependence between the projects. The socio-technical congruence literature suggests that when there is a technical dependence there may need to be a social dependence. We investigate the alignment between social interactions and technical dependence in a software ecosystem. We performed an exploratory study of 250 Java projects on GitHub that use Maven for build dependences. We create a social interaction graph based on developers’ interactions on issue and pull requests. We compare the social interaction graph with a technical dependence graph representing library dependences between the projects in the ecosystem, to get an overview of the congruence, or lack thereof, between social interactions and technical dependences. We found that in 23.6% of the cases in which there is a technical dependence between projects there is also evidence of social interaction between project members. We found that in 8.67% of the cases in which there is a social interaction between project members, there is a technical dependence between projects. To better understand the situations in which there is congruence between the social and technical graphs, we examine pairs of projects that meet this criteria. We identify three categories of these project pairs and provide a quantitative and qualitative comparison of project pairs from each category. We found that for 45 (32%) of project pairs, no social interaction had taken place before the introduction of technical dependence and interactions after the introduction of the dependence are often about upgrading the library being depended upon. For 49 (35%) of project pairs, 75% of the interaction takes place after the introduction of the technical dependence. For the remaining 45 (32%) of project pairs, less than 75% of the interaction takes place after the introduction of the technical dependence. In the latter two cases, although there is interaction before the technical dependence is introduced, it is not always about the dependence.
Item Citations and Data
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada