(warning: not a license question)

As a GSoC mentor, I just received an email from Google about how to retain volunteers, and here is their main tip:

The orgs that have been most successful in keeping their GSoC students as long term contributors to their project have encouraged their students to become maintainers on their projects and make it clear they have ownership of a particular area of the project.

Question: Is there hard evidence (or statistics) that giving a volunteer ownership of a specific area benefits an open source project?

Successful and unsuccessful examples of this strategy are also welcome.

Context if needed: Our project is a single Android app, in a single GitHub repository, a large user base with many beta testers, about 10 regular developers and 1 GSoC student.

  • 2
    I'm going to guess that Google have those stats. Have you tried asking them? – Philip Kendall Aug 6 '19 at 9:00
  • @PhilipKendall: The email was sent from a "noreply" address, but I forwarded and asked the question to the GSoC support email. I will edit my question if I ever receive an answer. – Nicolas Raoul Aug 7 '19 at 2:51
  • The way to interest and retain independent contributors is to show them that their work is valued. A simple way to do so for someone who has shown much promise (presumably that's why they are GSoC students) is to give them responsibility in the project, for example over some area. – vonbrand Aug 21 '19 at 15:52
  • @PhilipKendall: I asked and they replied with this sentence: "This was feedback from orgs admins and mentors at both mentor summits and those who helped write the mentor guide." – Nicolas Raoul Aug 22 '19 at 2:54

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