GitHub and Stack Overflow: Analyzing Developer Interests Across Multiple Social Collaborative Platforms

  • Roy Ka-Wei LeeEmail author
  • David Lo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10540)


Increasingly, software developers are using a wide array of social collaborative platforms for software development and learning. In this work, we examined the similarities in developer’s interests within and across GitHub and Stack Overflow. Our study finds that developers share common interests in GitHub and Stack Overflow; on average, 39% of the GitHub repositories and Stack Overflow questions that a developer had participated fall in the common interests. Also, developers do share similar interests with other developers who co-participated activities in the two platforms. In particular, developers who co-commit and co-pull-request same GitHub repositories and co-answer same Stack Overflow questions, share more common interests compare to other developers who co-participate in other platform activities.


Social collaborative platforms Online communities 



This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its International Research Centres in Singapore Funding Initiative.


  1. 1.
    Badashian, A.S., Esteki, A., Gholipour, A., Hindle, A., Stroulia, E.: Involvement, contribution and influence in GitHub and stack overflow. In: CSSE (2014)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bajaj, K., Pattabiraman, K., Mesbah, A.: Mining questions asked by web developers. In: MSR (2014)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barua, A., Thomas, S.W., Hassan, A.E.: What are developers talking about? an analysis of topics and trends in stack overflow. Empir. Softw. Eng. 19(3), 619–651 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bissyandé, T.F., Lo, D., Jiang, L., Réveillere, L., Klein, J., Traon, Y.L.: Got issues? who cares about it? a large scale investigation of issue trackers from GitHub. In: ISSRE (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gousios, G.: The GHTorrent dataset and tool suite. In: MSR (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jiang, J., Lo, D., He, J., Xia, X., Kochhar, P.S., Zhang, L.: Why and how developers fork what from whom in GitHub. Empir. Softw. Eng. 22(1), 547–578 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kochhar, P.S., Lo, D.: Revisiting assert use in GitHub projects. In: EASE (2017)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rahman, M.M., Roy, C.K.: An insight into the pull requests of GitHub. In: MSR (2014)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ray, B., Posnett, D., Filkov, V., Devanbu, P.: A large scale study of programming languages and code quality in GitHub. In: FSE (2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rosen, C., Shihab, E.: What are mobile developers asking about? a large scale study using stack overflow. Empir. Softw. Eng. 21(3), 1192–1223 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sheoran, J., Blincoe, K., Kalliamvakou, E., Damian, D., Ell, J.: Understanding “watchers” on GitHub. In: MSR (2014)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Thung, F., Bissyandé, T.F., Lo, D., Jiang, L.: Network structure of social coding in GitHub. In: CSMR (2013)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vasilescu, B., Filkov, V., Serebrenik, A.: StackOverflow and GitHub: associations between software development and crowdsourced knowledge. In: SocialCom (2013)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Vasilescu, B., Yu, Y., Wang, H., Devanbu, P., Filkov, V.: Quality and productivity outcomes relating to continuous integration in GitHub. In: FSE (2015)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wang, S., Lo, D., Jiang, L.: An empirical study on developer interactions in StackOverflow. In: SAC (2013)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yang, X.-L., Lo, D., Xia, X., Wan, Z.-Y., Sun, J.-L.: What security questions do developers ask? a large-scale study of stack overflow posts. J. Comput. Sci. Technol. 31(5), 910–924 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zou, J., Xu, L., Guo, W., Yan, M., Yang, D., Zhang, X.: Which non-functional requirements do developers focus on? an empirical study on stack overflow using topic analysis. In: MSR (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information SystemsSingapore Management UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations