Master’s Thesis Presentation • Software Engineering — On the Relationship Between the Developer’s Perceptible Ethnicity and the Evaluation of Contributions in GitHubExport this event to calendar

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 — 11:00 AM EDT

Please note: This master’s thesis presentation will be given online.

Reza Nadri, Master’s candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Context: Open Source Software (OSS) projects are typically the result of collective efforts performed by developers with different backgrounds. Although the quality of developers’ contributions should be the only factor influencing the evaluation of the contributions to OSS projects, recent studies have shown that diversity issues affect the acceptance or rejection of the contributions. 

Objective: This paper assists this emerging state-of-the-art body on diversity research with the first empirical study that analyzes how perceptible ethnicity relates to the evaluation of the contributions in GitHub. 

Methodology: We performed a large-scale quantitative analysis of the relationship between developers’ perceptible ethnicity and the evaluation of their contributions. We extracted the perceptible ethnicity of developers from their names in GitHub using the tool, Name-Prism, and applied regression modeling of pull request data from GHTorrent and GitHub.

Results: We observe that (1) among the developers whose perceptible ethnicity was captured by the tool, only 16.56% of contributors were perceptible as Non-White; (2) contributions from developers perceptible as White have the highest acceptance rate; (3) being perceptible as White have a positive, and being perceptible as Asian, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic might have a negative influence on the evaluation of the contributions. 

Conclusion: Our initial analysis leads us to believe that there may exist differences between the evaluation of the contributions of ethnicities perceptible as White and ethnicities perceptible as Non-White. Thus, our findings reinforce the need for further studies on ethnic diversity in software engineering to foster a healthier OSS community.

Location 
Online presentation
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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