The Practices of Unpaid Third-Party Developers – Implications for API Design

Rudmark, D.
Type of publication: 
Conference item

To draw on the innovation capabilities of third-party developers many organizations are currently deploying open application programming interfaces (API’s). While third-party services may offer commercial opportunities for independent software firms, a large portion of existing third-party software are undertaken without any financial compensation. Although unpaid developers offers a potential source for innovation of end-user services, the current literature has largely overlooked how these unpaid actors use and appropriate the technology provided by organizations. To this end, this research pays specific attention to the specific practices of unpaid developers. The data used for analysis were collected through a programming contest – a hackathon – where unpaid developers gather to craft end-user services. Through an ethnographic lens we present a number of recurrent activities and patterns of action employed by developers and from this analysis we present implications for API designers seeking to attract unpaid developers.

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Proceedings of the Nineteenth Americas Conference on Information Systems