Understanding Stack Overflow
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Understanding Stack Overflow

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In this talk we briefly discuss some of our recent studies of Stack Overflow, a popular Q&A site targeting software developers. As opposed to studies of software artefacts discussed at Stack Overflow ...

In this talk we briefly discuss some of our recent studies of Stack Overflow, a popular Q&A site targeting software developers. As opposed to studies of software artefacts discussed at Stack Overflow (e.g., APIs or programming examples), we focus on studying individuals active on Stack Overflow---who are they, what motivates them, and what affects their participation in Stack Overflow discussions.

Our findings indicate that Stack Overflow is no different from other communities of software developers in terms of gender representation but is significantly different from them in terms of gender engagement: controlling for engagement duration women and men ask and answer comparable number of questions, but women disengage faster. We conjecture that faster disengagement of women is the less pretty consequence of gamification mechanisms embedded in Stack Overflow, the same gamification mechanisms that provide developers with faster answers than ever before, attract numerous contributors and ultimately catalyse software development.

As an additional contribution we present genderComputer, a tool inferring gender of an individual based on her/his name and location.

The talk is based on the following papers:
* Gender, representation and online participation: A quantitative study, Vasilescu, B., Capiluppi, A. and Serebrenik, A., Interacting with Computers. 2013, Oxford University Press.
* How social Q&A sites are changing knowledge sharing in open source software communities, Vasilescu, B., Serebrenik, A., Devanbu, P. T. and Filkov, V., In CSCW, 2014, ACM.
* StackOverflow and GitHub: Associations between software development and crowdsourced knowledge, Vasilescu, B., Filkov, V. and Serebrenik, A., In Social Computing, 2013, IEEE.

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  • Both of us are from Eindhoven University of Technology <br /> Why StackOverflow – major programming Q&A site, 7.5m questions, 13m answers, more than 3m users <br />
  • Modern developers have to jungle multiple activities, including source code updates, mails, bug trackers. What kind of impact does the introduction of Stack Overflow have on the way developers work?

Understanding Stack Overflow Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Understanding Alexander Serebrenik Bogdan Vasilescu
  • 2. • More active committers ask more on SO • More active askers commit more on GitHub StackOverflow and GitHub: Associations between software development and crowdsourced knowledge, Vasilescu, B., Filkov, V. and Serebrenik, A., In Social Computing, 2013, IEEE.
  • 3. StackOverflow and GitHub: Associations between software development and crowdsourced knowledge, Vasilescu, B., Filkov, V. and Serebrenik, A., In Social Computing, 2013, IEEE.
  • 4. • Contributors to both communities (more likely developers than non-developers) are more active than those who focus on just one. How Social Q&A sites are changing knowledge sharing in open source software communities, Vasilescu, B., Serebrenik, A., Devanbu, P.T. and Filkov, V., In CSCW 2014, ACM. help
  • 5. How Social Q&A sites are changing knowledge sharing in open source software communities, Vasilescu, B., Serebrenik, A., Devanbu, P.T. and Filkov, V., In CSCW 2014, ACM. help
  • 6. Faster answers & Catalyzes other activities (mails, commits) ?
  • 7. sample Engage for longer Ask more questions No diff in #answers Women can contribute to SO but choose not to! Gender, representation and online participation: A quantitative study, Vasilescu, B., Capiluppi, A., and Serebrenik, A., Interacting with Computers, 2013, Oxford University Press
  • 8. sample No significant differences in #questions, #answers, length of engagement Disengagement of women is SO specific!
  • 9. Faster answers & Catalyzes other activities (mails, commits) Women disengage faster
  • 10. Faster answers & Catalyzes other activities (mails, commits) Women disengage faster
  • 11. STOP! How did we know who are the women and who are the men on Stack Overflow?
  • 12. More details? Ask me!
  • 13. Understanding
  • 14. Extra slides
  • 15. What is your gender? / SET / W&I PAGE 17 30-6-2014
  • 16. What is your gender? / SET / W&I PAGE 18 30-6-2014
  • 17. What is your gender? / SET / W&I PAGE 19 30-6-2014
  • 18. What is your gender? / SET / W&I PAGE 20 30-6-2014 Name + Location = Gender
  • 19. / SET / W&I PAGE 21 30-6-2014 Lonzo ⇒ Alonzo w35l3y ⇒ wesley Name + Location = Gender
  • 20. / SET / W&I PAGE 22 30-6-2014 <title>Ben Kamens</title> … <h1>We&#8217;re willing to be embarrassed about what we <em>haven&#8217;t</em> done&#8230;</h1> Heuristics: title + first h1 Ben Kamens We’re willing to be embarrassed about what we haven’t done… <PERSON>Ben Kamens</PERSON> We’re willing to be embarrassed about what we haven’t done… Stanford Named Entity Tagger
  • 21. Quality of gender resolution: Survey / SET / W&I PAGE 23 30-6-2014 Self- identification As inferred Total M F ? M 60 3 43 106 F 2 5 4 11 Self- identification As inferred Total M F ? M 90 3 13 106 F 2 9 0 11 + avatars, other social media sites (manually)