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GitHub Geo User Search


I travel a lot and I like networking with developers in the city I'm visiting to get a sense of the local tech scene. So many people are working on so many cool projects, it's an absolute blast learn about!

I thought I would try to scale my networking by growth hacking a process that streamlined the number of people I could connect with before I got to my destination.

So I decided to write a small script in NodeJS over a weekend and called it GitHub Geo User Search. My main concern doing this is what people's reactions will be. I will be documenting this test in a series of blog posts, the first of which can be found here.


  • Speed to development
  • Small script
  • Easy to search multiple cities
  • Extract the largest sample size
  • Avoid using a database, so store all data in .json files
GitHub API Call Limits
  • GitHub limits the number of hourly calls to 30
    • Will need to limit calls to 1 every 2 seconds
  • GitHub will limit your accessible search results to 1000 results
    • Needed to devise away around this limitation
    • Build an array of characters that can be used in a login name
    • Create a two character array of every combination of characters
    • Search GitHub by location and two characters from the array (eg. aa, ab, ac ... za, za, zc ... _a, _b, _c)
    • Execute a search every two seconds until the application has iterated over every possible character pair
    • Store the results of every API call in a .json file
    • Merge all search result .json files into one
  • Request user info from all users found in search result
    • Save user info into a .json file
    • Merge all .json files into one
    • Convert .json file int a .csv file

Install GitHub Geo User Search

  • Clone the repo
  • npm install
  • Create a Data Directory (yes, I was to lazy to automatically check and make a dir, lol)
  • Open the downloadUsers.js file
    • Change the location variable value; insert the location you would like to search (line 10)
    • Change the client value; insert your GitHub Personal Token (line 11)
  • node downloadUsers.js
  • Depending on the search results this could take a while

Feel free to get in touch, send a pull request or post any issues.


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