Investigating code review quality: Do people and participation matter?

  • Kononenko O
  • Baysal O
  • Guerrouj L
 et al. 
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Code review is an essential element of any mature software development project; it aims at evaluating code contributions submitted by developers. In principle, code review should improve the quality of code changes (patches) before they are committed to the project's master repository. In practice, bugs are sometimes unwittingly introduced during this process. In this paper, we report on an empirical study investigating code review quality for Mozilla, a large open-source project. We explore the relationships between the reviewers' code inspections and a set of factors, both personal and social in nature, that might affect the quality of such inspections. We applied the SZZ algorithm to detect bug-inducing changes that were then linked to the code review information extracted from the issue tracking system. We found that 54% of the reviewed changes introduced bugs in the code. Our findings also showed that both personal metrics, such as reviewer workload and experience, and participation metrics, such as the number of involved developers, are associated with the quality of the code review process.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Code review
  • Mozilla
  • bug-inducing changes
  • code review quality
  • empirical study
  • mining software repositories

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  • Oleksii Kononenko

  • Olga Baysal

  • Latifa Guerrouj

  • Yaxin Cao

  • Michael W. Godfrey

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