Topic "Expertise across Stackoverflow and GitHub"

(C) 2016, Software Languages Team, University of Koblenz, Ralf Lämmel


One of the current research themes of the Software Languages Team is mining data about developer expertise in software development projects. For instance, we are interested in profiling developers in terms of their focus on different programming domains such as XML, GUI, Database, etc. programming. In this context, a recurrent technique of data extraction is to measure "experience atoms", i.e., evidence of experience with code elements or otherwise measurable activities can be associated with the relevant programming domain. The challenge is that any sort of claim about experience as a proxy for expertise or skills requires profound validation. This is where the current project is meant to contribute.


Connect developers across Stack Overflow and GitHub and align experience aspects across these two platforms so that eventually data on Stack Overflow could be used to validate claims about experience as obtained by measurements on GitHub.


The following list provides possible foci for this project:

  • Understand how many active Stack Overflow authors are also active on GitHub. This should be automated by some sort of crawler.
  • Align Stack Overflow's tagging scheme with experience aspects as discussed before. This may require some techniques of information retrieval (text analysis).
  • Study the threads of assuming a causation between strength of topic on Stack Overflow with strength of the "same" topic in the developer activity.
  • Aim at finding GitHub projects with multiple developers also active on Stack Overflow.

This list is likely to be expanded based on the discussion with interested students.

Further reading

  • Hakan Aksu, Ralf Lämmel: API-related Developer Profiling. Softwaretechnik-Trends 35(2). 2015. PDF. This short paper summarizes an approach to mining experience atoms of developers regarding programming domains.
  • Hakan Aksu, Ralf Lämmel, Wojciech Kwasnik: Visualization of API Experience. Softwaretechnik-Trends. To appear. 2016. PDF. This short paper enhances the previous one by visualizing some of the aspects of experience.
  • Frederik Rüther, Hakan Aksu, Ralf Lämmel: Developer Experience with the Django Web Framework. Softwaretechnik-Trends. To appear. 2016. PDF. This short paper focuses on aspects of experience in the context of a web-application framework as opposed to general programming domains in terms of many APIs.