OpenGenus Study: What do you look at in a GitHub profile?

In this study, we have explored some of the key metrics that users look at in a GitHub profile.

228 users participated among which 139 users are active open-source contributors, 31 are looking to hire developers and 58 are not developers.

Which of the following metrics matter to you?

Options given: profile picture, description, number of followers, numbers of following, metrics of pinned repository, number of repositories, contribution activity, number of contributions in last year, stars given, member organizations


How do fellow GitHub users correspond to real life?

Options given: co-workers, fellow students, common open-source project


Have you made new friends or done social activity through GitHub?

Yes: 61.84%
No: 38.15%

Common challenges given as response:

  • not transparent
  • code review process becomes tense
  • difficult to communicate

How do you find new GitHub users?

Options given: discussions in issue/ pull request, contributions, search engine, other sites


Top 3 other sites mentioned:

  • Medium
  • LinkedIn
  • Quora

See previous study details and participate in current study here


This is interesting :slightly_smiling_face:

I see that most people take the number of followers in a profile more seriously than the number of following. I have observed this in real life and in other social media platforms like Instagram as well.

In fact, the number of followers reflect the popularity/ reach of the person and how many people look up to her/ him.

In my opinion. the following list reflects the interest of the person and can correlate well with the real social group. When I land in the profile of one of my classmates, I, definitely, look at the following list to reach my other classmates.

The followers list can be useful in analysing the reach of the work done by the person.

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Jessica, you have brought up an important point. I support your view :+1:

Nearly 61% of the users have found friends on GitHub which is nice. The second most common challenge mentioned is code review process becomes tense which, in my view, incorporates the idea that work and friendship should be separate. In this sense, it is a challenge to make development a social activity. I would love :heavy_heart_exclamation: to hear some thoughts/ prospective solutions to this problem.

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