Survey is now closed!

Thank you to all who took part in the survey and also all who have helped out along the way. This has been some incredible journey!

Here are a few numbers to summarize how well the survey went.

About 1000 people took part in the survey among which 354 individuals provided full survey answers. A 35% completion rate is rather high as online surveys are overall known for suffering from low completion rate issues.

Here is the distribution of the survey responses per project (The number on the left is the number of full responses per project and the one on the right, the total number of responses including incomplete ones):

  • Debian: 70 /164
  • Fedora39 / 75
  • FreeBSD: 20 / 55
  • Gentoo: 14 / 33
  • GNOME: 44 / 94
  • KDE: 40 / 106
  • Mozilla: 22 / 50
  • NetBSD: 14 / 26
  • openSUSE: 17 / 89
  • Python: 16 / 34
  • Ubuntu: 46 / 245
  • Wikimedia: 12 / 27

59 countries are represented, the top 3 countries being the US (60 responses), Germany (37), and India (29).  342 people reported their gender among which 39 are women. The age distribution is as follows:


I have just shifted from New Zealand to France where I am about to start an academic position at Toulouse Business School. I will be starting the analysis of the data by the beginning of January and will be keeping people posted.

Survey update after 2 weeks

It has been another amazing week for the survey!

3 new projects joined, Python, Wikimedia, and Fedora (Welcome!), and a lot more people took part in the survey. Thanks!

More than 500 people took part in the survey! This is just simply amazing.

Out of those 500+ respondents, 262 people (from 52 different countries!) submitted full survey responses. Here is the response distribution per project:

  • Debian:    55
  • FreeBSD:    10
  • Gentoo:    13
  • GNOME:    37
  • KDE:    41
  • Mozilla:    19
  • NetBSD:    8
  • OpenSUSE: 17
  • Python:    8
  • Ubuntu:    44
  • Wikimedia: 10

The survey is still live until the end of the month. The closing date has been postponed a little to give more time to people from projects which have just joined the survey. There is still time for those who still want to take part.

Survey update after 1 week

There has been a lot of enthusiasm around the survey. numbers have been steadily increasing everyday.

I thank all who wrote posts about the survey in addition to all who helped out spread the word through social media.

Until today (15/11/12), there has been a total of 148 responses (out of 482 total responses). By full response, I mean people who filled in the four pages of the survey. All questions are optional (so no question is compulsory) but it is obviously better to answer all of them in order for me to be able to run more stats and get some more accurate analysis.

Here is the breakdown of the responses per project:

  • Debian28 full responses (from 65 responses)
  • FreeBSD – joined the survey today! Welcome :)
  • Gentoo - 2 full responses (from 11 responses)
  • GNOME - 28 full responses (from 63 responses)
  • KDE - 25 full responses (from 61 responses)
  • Mozilla - 12 full responses (from 27 responses)
  • NetBSD - 2 full responses (from 6 responses)
  • OpenSUSE - 13 full responses (from 43 responses)
  • Ubuntu - 38 full responses (from 206 responses)

Keep spreading the word, the survey is still live!

Here is the current of posts that promote the survey and/or describe the research project (We are still working on getting more posts):


Welcome FreeBSD!

Welcome to the FreeBSD project which is now part of this research!

Some of you started wondering why some large FOSS projects were not included in this research. Because of the scope of this research project, only large FOSS projects that were not mainly commercially-driven and that had a certain proportion of volunteer contributors were considered.

In addition, I decided to finally include the projects for which I had received full support from the project leaders and/or Foundation members as I did not want to start spamming people on MLs, forums, or ircs on all the existing FOSS projects. I think it would have been inappropriate.

However, if you are part of a large FOSS project and would like to be part of the survey, there is still time if you contact me within the next couple of days. This is what happened with FreeBSD and we are finalizing the involvement of another couple of projects.

I would like to thank all who have been supporting this research as well as those who have contributed to make this research such a huge success. I have met a whole lot of amazing people in all the FOSS projects I worked with, this has been quite a life-changing adventure.


Survey is live!

The final survey for the project about newcomer experience and citizenship in FOSS communities is now live.

If you have joined one of the following FOSS communities within the last 3 years (after January 2010): Debian, GNOME, Gentoo, KDE, Mozilla, Ubuntu, NetBSD, or OpenSUSE, I would like to invite you to complete an online survey. I am interested in hearing from people who are either technical or non-technical contributors, and who have had either positive or negative newcomer experiences.

The survey is available at:

Some more information about the project and the survey HERE.

Thank you Perl and LibreOffice!

The Perl and LibreOffice communities took part in a validation survey that helped improve the online survey before its final version is administered to other FOSS projects such as KDE, Gnome, Debian, OpenSUSE, NetBSD, Ubuntu, Mozilla, or Gentoo.

Around 40 LibreOffice and 80 Perl contributors took part in the survey. Both Perl and LibreOffice communities have been highly friendly and supportive. I have met an incredible number of kind, helpful and passionate people along the way who have made this project successful. Thank you!

The final survey will be live very shortly. Fingers crossed.





Survey about newcomer experience and citizenship in the Perl community – LIVE!

The first survey of my PhD research project is now live.

The survey aims at studying how the experience of a Perl community newcomer has an influence on this person’s actions and project contributions in the community.

Potential participants are people who are contributors to the Perl community (contributing to Perl sub-projects endorsed by the Perl Foundation) and who joined the community within the lats 2 years.

Some more information can be found in the following blog post I have written in HERE.

Please do not hesitate to let people know about the survey.

The direct link to the survey is HERE.

Fingers crossed. The more data I get, the more it will provide good insights about the experience of newcomers in Perl. The preliminary results will be presented in this blog.