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Online communities of practice

In the meantime, we continue to work with student groups on the topics related to the Research Group. A week ago, a second group seminar was held, devoted to the study of virtual communities of practice on the GitHub and StackOverflow platforms. 

Online communities play a crucial role in professional education and the knowledge exchange between experts. The online form of communication is especially vital for IT experts, as they work with technologies and need access to the most relevant professional knowledge. Examples of such communities include Stack Overflow and GitHub, the largest international knowledge sharing platforms in the field of information technology. 

Alina Bakhitova talked about communities of practice and why is it important to study them. On GitHub, open-source projects are one of the most popular ones, and many young, as well as more experienced developers, devotes their free time committing to them every day. We discussed how open-source projects allow us to study the reputation and profiles of IT professionals, as well as to track the evolution of complex social online communities. Among other things, we discussed how to determine the level of expertise using online data from the Stack Overflow - Q&A platform, using machine learning methods. The starting seminar was helpful for generating ideas for our future research in these areas. 

At the end of a seminar, Alina carried a small tutorial on how to get the data from the discussed platforms. As a small practical exercise, participants tried collecting data using the GitHub API.