Process Aspects and Social Dynamics of Contemporary Code Review: Insights from Open Source Development and Industrial Practice at Microsoft

TitleProcess Aspects and Social Dynamics of Contemporary Code Review: Insights from Open Source Development and Industrial Practice at Microsoft
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBosu, Amiangshu, Carver Jeffrey C., Bird Christian, Orbeck Jonathan, and Chockley Christopher
Secondary TitleIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Volume43
Issue1
Pagination56 - 75
Date Published1/2017
ISSN Number1939-3520
Keywordscode review, commercial projects, peer impressions, Survey
Abstract

Many open source and commercial developers practice contemporary code review, a lightweight, informal, tool-based code
review process. To better understand this process and its benefits, we gathered information about code review practices via surveys of
open source software developers and developers from Microsoft. The results of our analysis suggest that developers spend
approximately 10-15 percent of their time in code reviews, with the amount of effort increasing with experience. Developers consider
code review important, stating that in addition to finding defects, code reviews offer other benefits, including knowledge sharing,
community building, and maintaining code quality. The quality of the code submitted for review helps reviewers form impressions about
their teammates, which can influence future collaborations. We found a large amount of similarity between the Microsoft and OSS
respondents. One interesting difference is that while OSS respondents view code review as an important method of impression
formation, Microsoft respondents found knowledge dissemination to be more important. Finally, we found little difference between
distributed and co-located Microsoft teams. Our findings identify the following key areas that warrant focused research: 1) exploring the
non-technical benefits of code reviews, 2) helping developers in articulating review comments, and 3) assisting reviewers’ program
comprehension during code reviews.

Notes

" We sent the survey
to code review participants from 36 popular OSS projects
and received 287 responses"

URLhttps://amiangshu.com/papers/CodeReview-TSE-2016.pdf
DOI10.1109/TSE.2016.2576451
Short TitleIIEEE Trans. Software Eng.
AttachmentSize
CodeReview-TSE-2016.pdf786.64 KB