Exploring the Ecosystem of Software Developers on GitHub and Other Platforms

TitleExploring the Ecosystem of Software Developers on GitHub and Other Platforms
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWu, Y, Kropczynski, J, Shih, PC, Carroll, JM
Secondary TitleProceedings of the Companion Publication of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work &\#38; Social Computing
Place PublishedNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-2541-7
Keywordsecosystem, follow, github, social connection

GitHub provides various social features for developers to collaborate with others. Those features are important for developers to coordinate their work (Dabbish et al., 2012; Marlow et al., 2013). We hypothesized that the social system of GitHub users was bound by system interactions such that contributing to similar code repositories would lead to users following one another on GitHub or vice versa. Using a quadratic assignment procedure (QAP) correlation, however, only a weak correlation among followship and production activities (code, issue, and wiki contributions) was found. Survey with GitHub users revealed an ecosystem on the Internet for software developers, which includes many platforms, such as Forrst, Twitter, and Hacker News, among others. Developers make social introductions and other interactions on these platforms and engage with one anther on GitHub. Due to these preliminary findings, we describe GitHub as a part of a larger ecosystem of developer interactions.

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