How diverse is your team? Investigating gender and nationality diversity in GitHub teams

Marco Ortu, Giuseppe Destefanis, Steve Counsell, Stephen Swift, Roberto Tonelli, Michele Marchesi

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    Building an effective team of developers is a complex task faced by both software companies and open source communities. The problem of forming a “dream”

    team involves many variables, including consideration of human factors and it is not a

    dilemma solvable in a mathematical way. Empirical studies might provide interesting insights to explain which factors need to be taken into account in building a team of developers and which levers act to optimise productivity among developers.

    In this paper, we present the results of an empirical study aimed at investigating the link between team diversity (i.e., gender, nationality) and productivity (issue fixing time).

    We consider issues solved from the GHTorrent dataset inferring gender and nationality of each team’s members. We also evaluate the politeness of all comments involved in issue resolution.

    Results show that higher gender diversity is linked with a lower team average issue fixing time (higher productivity), that nationality diversity is linked with lower team politeness and that gender diversity is linked with higher sentiment.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Software Engineering Research and Development
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017


    • Affective analysis
    • issue report
    • Empirical software engineering


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