I am currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Greenwich in London within the Centre for Business Network Analysis. I am primarily interested in better understanding how participants who are paid by firms collaborate within a fluid organization. This research focuses on proximity theory (Boschma, 2005) as a theoretical framework to understand intraorganizational collaboration, a network-based phenomenon, within fluid organizations using an open source software project, the Linux kernel, as the empirical setting with the individual participant as the unit of analysis.
The Linux kernel is a very large open source project with over 22 million lines of code and over 14,000 developers from over 1,300 firms (Corbet & Kroah-Hartman, 2016). While many people, and quite a bit of the existing research, tend to assume that many contributors are volunteers, in this community less than 8% of the contributions are made by unpaid software developers (Corbet & Kroah-Hartman, 2016). And, it is highly decentralized, so no one company is in control of the project, which makes it an interesting project to study the phenomenon of paid participants. Analysis includes qualitative interviews with Linux kernel developers along with network analysis using source code and mailing list data.
Academic Conference Presentations
- Foster, D., Conaldi, G. & De Vita, R., 2017, ‘Collaboration between Software Developers and the Impact of Proximity’, poster presented to Sunbelt XXXVII International Social Network Conference, Beijing, 30 May – 4 June, Available at https://www.slideshare.net/geekygirldawn/collaboration-between-software-developers-and-the-impact-of-proximity.
- Foster, D., Conaldi, G. & De Vita, R., 2017, ‘Multilevel Collaboration between Software Developers and the Impact of Proximity’, paper presented to Dynamics of Multilevel Social Network Analysis in Practice, Paris, 27 February – 1 March, Available at https://www.slideshare.net/geekygirldawn/multilevel-collaboration-between-software-developers-and-the-impact-of-proximityan-early-preliminary-work.
- Foster, D., Conaldi, G. & De Vita, R., 2016, ‘Network Relationships and Job Changes of Software Developers’, paper presented to Sunbelt XXXVI International Social Network Conference, Newport Beach, 5-10 April, Available at
- Foster, D., Conaldi, G. & De Vita, R., 2015, ‘The Operationalisation of Collaboration: in Search of a Definition and Its Consequences On Analysis’, paper presented to Sunbelt XXXV International Social Network Conference, Brighton, 23-28 June, Available at http://www.slideshare.net/geekygirldawn/operationalisation-of-collaboration-sunbelt-2015.
Non-Academic Conference Presentations Related to my Research
- Collaboration in Linux Kernel Mailing Lists at the Linux Foundation Open Source Summit Los Angeles in September 2017
- Visualize Your Code Repos and More with Gource.
- FOSDEM Community Devroom. February 5, 2017
- Linuxing in London Meetup. October 25, 2016
- LinuxCon Europe in Berlin. October 6, 2016
- LinuxCon North America in Toronto. August 23, 2016.
- Extracting Data from your Open Source Communities. FOSDEM: HPC, Big Data and Data Science Room. January 31, 2016.
- Visualize your repos: Navigate the myriad of Gource configuration options. FLOSS Community Metrics in Brussels. January 29, 2016.
- Network analysis: People and open source communities.
- LinuxCon Europe in Dublin. October 6, 2015.
- LinuxCon North America in Seattle. August 19, 2015.
- OSCON Portland. July 23, 2015.
- Gource Custom Log Format. FLOSS Community Metrics in Portland. July 19, 2015.
The many other presentations not related to my academic research can be found on my speaking page.
Boschma, R., 2005. Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment. Regional Studies, 39(1), pp.61–74.
Corbet, J., Kroah-Hartman, G. 2016. Linux Kernel Development: How Fast Is is Going, Who is Doing It, What They Are Doing and Who is Sponsoring the Work, Available at: https://www.linux.com/publications/linux-kernel-development-how-fast-it-going-who-doing-it-what-they-are-doing-and-who-5