Mining DEV for social and technical insights about software development

Maria Papoutsoglou, Johannes Wachs, Georgia M. Kapitsaki

Software developers are social creatures: they communicate, collaborate, and promote their work in a variety of channels. Twitter, GitHub, Stack Overflow, and other platforms offer developers opportunities to network and exchange ideas. Researchers analyze content on these sites to learn about trends and topics in software engineering. However, insight mined from the text of Stack Overflow questions or GitHub issues is highly focused on detailed and technical aspects of software development. In this paper, we present a relatively new online community for software developers called DEV. On DEV users write long-form posts about their experiences, preferences, and working life in software, zooming out from specific issues and files to reflect on broader topics. About 50,000 users have posted over 140,000 articles related to software development. In this work, we describe the content of posts on DEV using a topic model, showing that developers discuss a rich variety and mixture of social and technical aspects of software development. We show that developers use DEV to promote themselves and their work: 83% link their profiles to their GitHub profiles and 56% to their Twitter profiles. 14% of users pin specific GitHub repos in their profiles. We argue that DEV is emerging as an important hub for software developers, and a valuable source of insight for researchers to complement data from platforms like GitHub and Stack Overflow.

Knowledge Graph

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