What screams You are a mediocre programmer

Women program better, but are less accepted

Github is apparently struggling with sexism. Software projects can be hosted on the popular platform and anyone can contribute code. According to a study, women are less welcome on the platform. Researchers from San Luis Obispo and North Carolina State Universities examined more than four million Github accounts - including the GHTorrent records and pull requests.

Matched with Google+ account

In order to find out whether the person behind the account is male or female, the email addresses were compared with the corresponding Google+ accounts. This made it possible to determine the gender of 35 percent of the four million users. Furthermore, the accounts were examined to see whether it can be determined without further research whether a Github user is male or female.

Women better than men

The researchers finally found that the pull requests from female Github users had higher merge rates than those from male users. The code that was written by women was generally more accepted than that of their male colleagues. In addition, 100 percent of the suggestions were accepted by 25 percent of women programmers - for men this rate was only 13 percent. Most recently, according to the study, the pull requests from female Github users were more pronounced and contributed more frequently to problem solving.

Reverse effect

A different picture emerged, however, when the gender of the Github user was recognizable from the account information. When it came to first-time pull requests, the acceptance rate was suddenly lower than that of the men. If the gender was not identifiable, this effect did not occur.

The theses of the researchers

The project's scientists have several explanations for their findings. On the one hand, less competent women would rather drop out of their computer science studies, which means that only the best remain and become active at Github. In addition, women have, on average, higher degrees than men. The study has already been classified as ethically acceptable by the Institutional Review Board, but has not yet been subjected to a peer review process, as Golem.de found. (red, 02/13/16)