The Social Network of Coders

Every prob­lem faces the prob­lem of find­ing smart, mo­tiv­ated people. Joel Spolsky of­fers this ad­vice for find­ing great de­velopers:

Think about where the people you want to hire are hanging out… Go to their con­fer­ences where you’ll find early ad­op­ters who are curi­ous about new things and al­ways in­ter­ested in im­prov­ing.

These days, the smart folks hang out at Github. (Github is like Facebook for coders. Coders can fol­low each oth­er, and in­stead of up­load­ing pho­tos, they up­load code.)

Last year, Matt Biddulph pub­lished a piece on Algorithmic re­cruit­ment with Github, and plot­ted the so­cial net­work of coders on Github in spe­cific cit­ies: San Francisco and London in par­tic­u­lar. People have ex­ten­ded this ef­fort to oth­er cit­ies, but none in India.

At Gramener, we took a look at the Github fol­low­er net­work in vari­ous cit­ies in India. The im­ages be­low show the so­cial net­work of Github users at Bangalore and Chennai – the Indian cit­ies with the most users on Github.


Firstly, Bangalore, with 1460 users, clearly has more coders than Chennai (658). But what’s also in­ter­est­ing is the re­l­at­ively large net­worked cluster in Bangalore. This is some­thing that’s lack­ing in most oth­er cit­ies, as you can see be­low.


These cit­ies tend to have smal­ler, dis­par­ate clusters. Whereas, in Bangalore, if you know some of the top Github users, you can eas­ily hop from per­son to per­son and cov­er most of the pop­ular users on Github. You can also guess that Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi (es­pe­cially) are a bit less “so­ci­able” and tend to form is­lands, when com­pared to Chennai or Pune.

In a way, this is re­flec­ted in the city’s so­cial in­ter­ac­tion as well. It’s a whole lot easi­er to meet a group of de­velopers in Bangalore than it is in al­most any oth­er city in India.

To make your life easi­er, we’ve cre­ated a tool that lets you ex­plore this so­cial net­work.


Each coder is shown as a circle. The size of the circle in­creases with the num­ber of fol­low­ers. The col­our of the circle changes based on their primary pro­gram­ming lan­guage. The la­bels in­dic­ate their Github user ID, the num­ber of fol­low­ers and their main pro­gram­ming lan­guage. Lines in­dic­ate that a user is fol­low­ing an­other. You can move each circle around to get a bet­ter view, and click on the circle to open their Github page.

This graph is called a force-directed lay­out. They are an ex­cel­lent way of ex­plor­ing and visu­al­ising small-scale net­works in­ter­act­ively, since it lets you com­pare the struc­ture of dif­fer­ent net­works, and also drill deep in­to every node in a net­work.

Visit to see the tool in ac­tion.

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