Arab World Programmers’ Contribution to Stackoverflow

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Stackoverflow is a question and answer site started in 2008 to be a forum – so to speak – for programmers from all fields.

Today there are about:

4 million registered users at stackoverflow, with a rate of about 3500 new users every day.

9.2 million questions with 15 million answers about 40 million topics at a rate of 6500 new questions a day.

Ask any developer about their experience with stackoverflow and they’ll list a number of times an answer on the site has saved them enormous time and effort trying to solve some problem.

Using the site is free, and requires no previous experience giving any person the opportunity to contribute. Theres also the fact that most administrative tasks such as removing inappropriate questions or answers is done by ordinary members with a high reputation.

Wait, did I say high reputation?

Yes, the site is based on the simple concept of encouragement through scoring (Gamification). Any correct action you take will be rewarded by points, starting with answers of course, but also editing a question for correction or clarification, and others. On the other hand, asking an inappropriate question or repeated question could deduct from your points.

Stackoverflow has become a complete community, to the degree that elections are held yearly to select the head moderators (who have privileges such as the ability to close off a question). Every member can cast a vote in, after getting familiarized with each candidates program, hopefully to make stackoverflow a better environment for learning.

Working with stackoverflow is considered one of the ways to contribute positively to the programming and computer science worlds. Among the sites members are a number of veterans and experts answering questions comfortable for beginners, as well as the site being a major resource for finding bugs and errors in programs, while being the cornerstone for the development of others.

So, whats the size of the Arab world audience in this giant platform?

This question came to mind a little while ago, an fortunately the platform has opened up a method for searching or extracting data through data.stackexchange.com

We ran some queries on their massive database, then performed some statistical methods using the R language, and the results were as follows:

Size of Arab presence on site:

The following graph presents number of users from each Arab country:

Histogram.Arab_countries

User Age:

The following graph represents users by age:

Arab_Users_Ages

User’s Expertise by Country:

The following graph represents users’ reputation based on country

Reputation2.Arab_countries

Most Popular Languages/Tools/Platforms in the Arab World:

The following graph shows most popularly discussed subjects in the Arab world.

Top_15_Tags_Arab_countries

Difficulties/Issues:

One of the problems we faced while preparing this study is that the location field in the user profile is an open one, allowing user to input whatever they want. This required a lot of data cleanup, for example insuring that all users from Cairo, Port-Said and Sharam-Al-Sheikh were considered to be from Egypt.
Its important to point out that this problem affects the accuracy of the data, because non-arab users could list arab countries as their location due to working there, and arab users on the other hand might not due to living outside their home countries.

The Data has More to Tell:

The data offered through data.stackechange.com is very rich, allowing for  wealth of indicators to be extracted from it. That’s why we’ve put up the code for data cleanup and graph drawing on our company’s account on github, for anybody wishing to dig deeper into this subject

Don’t forget to keep us posted on your results 😉

Contribute with Your Work, Little or Large:

We hope to re-conduct this study in a year to find that both Arab presence and diversity on the site have increased, to better reflect the level of skill and talent we possess 🙂

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