Of Experts and Apprentices: Learning from the KDE Community

Of Experts and Apprentices: Learning from the KDE Community

Christian Reinhardt (University of Innsbruck School of Management, Austria) and Andrea Hemetsberger (University of Innsbruck School of Management, Austria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-117-9.ch002
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Abstract

Free and open source software (F/OSS) communities are self-organizing, social entities that collaboratively create knowledge and innovate. Their fundamentally new approach of developing software challenges traditional principles of collaboration and learning. In contrast to well-organized and planned commercial projects, F/OSS development constitutes a continuous, iterative process of constant, incremental improvements made by various self-motivated contributors. Within such projects, organizational structures emerge that enable a large number (i.e., hundreds or even thousands) of volunteers to commit themselves to freely chosen work, yet collaboratively realize a joint enterprise. The success of F/OSS communities genuinely depends on a constant flux of new members in order to ensure the sustainability. These aspirant members must be culturally integrated and taught, in order to become expert members. This, in turn, increases complexity. Hence, these integration processes must be sophisticated, yet simple. Project coordination and new member integration, therefore, play a key role for the success of F/OSS communities. This is a challenging task, given that developers rarely meet face-to-face. New member integration takes place in online environments. It is their design and usage that are crucial for the success of such online efforts. The aim of this chapter is to discuss new member integration and learning, firstly in a theoretical manner applying a “communities of practice” perspective on F/OSS communities, and secondly by providing empirical evidence from the KDE project.

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Dedication
Table of Contents
Foreword
Walt Scacchi, Joseph Hardin
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Eirini Kalliamvakou
The open source software (OSS) development area of research presents a fresh and generous domain for analysis and study. In line with this, it is... Sample PDF
Open Source Software Basics: An Overview of a Revolutionary Research Context
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Chapter 2
Christian Reinhardt, Andrea Hemetsberger
Free and open source software (F/OSS) communities are self-organizing, social entities that collaboratively create knowledge and innovate. Their... Sample PDF
Of Experts and Apprentices: Learning from the KDE Community
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Chapter 3
Jörg Rech, Eric Ras, Björn Decker
Many software organizations have a reputation for producing expensive, low-quality software systems. This results from the inherent complexity of... Sample PDF
Riki: A System for Knowledge Transfer and Reuse in Software Engineering Projects
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Chapter 4
Christian Höcht, Jörg Rech
Developing human-engineered systems is considered as a challenge that addresses a wide area of expertise; computer scientists as well as social... Sample PDF
Human-Centered Design of a Semantically Enabled Knowledge Management System for Agile Software Engineering
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Chapter 5
Tom Butler, Joseph Feller, Andrew Pope, Ciaran Murphy
This chapter presents an action research-based case study of the development of pKADS (portable knowledge asset development system), an open source... Sample PDF
Making Knowledge Management Systems Open: A.Case.Study.of.the.Role.of.........Open.Source.Software
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Chapter 6
Christian Wernberg-Tougaard, Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz, Kristoffer Herning, John Gøtze
The use of free and open source software (F/OSS) in the public sector has been accelerating over the last ten years. The benefits seem to be... Sample PDF
Evaluating Open Source in Government: Methodological Considerations in Strategizing the Use of Open Source in the Public Sector
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Chapter 7
Ernesto Damiani, Paul G. Mezey, Paolo M. Pumilia, Anna M. Tammaro
Some contemporary theoretical and technological issues that are becoming of paramount importance for building a cross-disciplinary research and... Sample PDF
Open Culture for Education and Research Environment
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Chapter 8
Riina Vuorikari, Karl Sarnow
This chapter provides an overview into policies in the area of e-learning that ten European countries, all members of European Schoolnet, have taken... Sample PDF
European National Educational School Authorities' Actions Regarding Open Content and Open Source Software in Education
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Chapter 9
Christos Bouras, Maria Nani
As e-learning continuously gains the interest of the scientific community, industry, and government, a wide variety of learning technology products... Sample PDF
Using Open Source to Building and Accessing Learning Objects and Online Courses
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Chapter 10
Neophytos Demetriou
OpenACS is a high-level community framework designed for developing collaborative Internet sites. It started from a university project at MIT, got... Sample PDF
The Development of the Open ACS Community
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Chapter 11
Pascal Francq
For a few years, social software has appeared on the Internet to challenge the problem of handling the mass of information available. In this... Sample PDF
The GALILEI Platform: Social Browsing to Build Communities of Interests and Share Relevant Information and Expertise
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Chapter 12
Marcos Castilho, Marcos S. Sunye, Daniel Weingaerter, Luis C.E. de Bona, Fabiano. Silva, Alexandre Direne, Laura García
In this chapter, we describe the products and services offered by the Department of Computer Science of the Federal University of Paraná within the... Sample PDF
Making Government Policies for Education Possible by Means of Open Source Technology: A Successful Case
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Chapter 13
Marc A. Forment
This chapter will discuss the influence of the main learning paradigms: conductism and constructivism. We will also talk about the need to apply the... Sample PDF
A Social Constructionist Approach to Learning Communities: Moodle
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About the Authors