How Do Free/Open Source Developers Pick Their Tools?

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has come to play a critical role in the global software industry. Organizations are widely adopting FOSS and interacting with open source communities, and hence organizations have a considerable interest in seeing these communities flourishing. Very little research has focused on the tools used to develop that software. Given the absence of organizational policies and mandate that would occur in a traditional environment, an open question is how FOSS developers decide what tools to use. In this paper we report on a policy delphi study conducted in the Debian Project, one of the largest FOSS projects. Drawing from data collected in three phases from a panel of 21 experts, we identified 15 factors that affect their decision to adopt tools. This in turn can help FOSS communities to define a suitable policy of actions, in order to improve their processes.