What does software engineering community microblog about?

Abstract

Microblogging is a new trend to communicate and to disseminate information. One microblog post could potentially reach millions of users. Millions of microblogs are generated on a daily basis on popular sites such as Twitter. The popularity of microblogging among programmers, software engineers, and software users has also led to their use of microblogs to communicate software engineering issues apart from using emails and other traditional communication channels. Understanding how millions of users use microblogs in software engineering related activities would shed light on ways we could leverage the fast evolving microblogging content to aid software development efforts. In this work, we perform a preliminary study on what the software engineering community microblogs about. We analyze the content of microblogs from Twitter and categorize the types of microblogs that are posted. We investigate the relative popularity of each category of microblogs. We also investigate what kinds of microblogs are diffused more widely in the Twitter network via the “retweet” feature. Our experiments show that microblogs commonly contain job openings, news, questions and answers, or links to download new tools and code. We find that microblogs concerning real-world events are more widely diffused in the Twitter network.

Publication
Proceedings of the 12th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories - MSR ‘12