Developer Survey Results Announced by Outercurve Foundation

Developers turn to OSS to save development time and money; contribute to support favorite projects, but some still looking for more info on how to participate in communities

Dec 14, 2011, 09:10 ET from Outercurve Foundation

WAKEFIELD, Mass., Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey conducted by the Outercurve Foundation asked more than 200 software developers about their open source coding habits.


Respondents reported using open source for:

  • Developing software for their job with a vendor, IT department, or Internet company
  • The wide choice of tools
  • A hobby
  • Credibility

Nearly 28 percent of responders indicate they are committers with write access to project(s), while another 29 percent are at the other end of the spectrum and use OSS but rarely contribute back. Contributors (53 percent) report their primary motivation to contribute code is a desire to give back and improve upon the software and projects they use. Project leaders and committers keep projects going through self-reliance (37 percent) or by focusing on community (30 percent) while others rely on a foundation (13.6 percent), use incentives and rewards (8 percent) and PR/marketing (6 percent). When asked what would help respondents be more active contributors to open source projects, 52 percent of those surveyed indicated they wanted more education on the subject.

Ninety percent of survey respondents indicated they use OSS in their work in corporate IT (59.6 percent) or a hardware or software vendor (31.9 percent).  A large group (77.9 percent) further indicated they work on OSS projects for "fun" in their own time.

"We think it's significant to note half of respondents contribute back to open source because they want to improve the projects they rely on," said Paula Hunter, executive director of the Outercurve Foundation.  "We've seen this positive energy and commitment to open source in a number of the foundation's projects."

Other observations revealed by the survey:

  • Ninety percent of respondents use open source in their work. Eighty percent indicated they use OSS to save time and money by using existing code instead of creating code from scratch.
  • The drive to be more productive is met for many respondents (62 percent) by open source's greater choice of tools, platforms, communities, and projects.
  • Forty-four percent of developers contribute to open source to improve their careers and credibility. The theme of developing software to improve credibility is a common one.
  • Seventy percent of Outercurve survey respondents use forums to stay in touch with project communities.

For more information on the Outercurve Foundation Developer Survey, download a SlideShare with charts of the results at visit

The Outercurve Foundation has three galleries and 21 projects. Galleries include the ASP.NET Open Source Gallery, the Research Accelerators Gallery and the Data, Language and System Interoperability (DLSI) Gallery.

About The Outercurve Foundation

The Outercurve Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation providing software IP management and project development governance to enable and encourage organizations to develop software collaboratively in open source communities for faster results. The Outercurve Foundation is the only open source foundation that is platform, technology, and license agnostic. For more information about the Outercurve Foundation contact

SOURCE Outercurve Foundation