An Empirical Study on Design Quality Improvement from Best-Practice Inspection and Pair Programming

D. Winkler,S. Biffl:
"An Empirical Study on Design Quality Improvement from Best-Practice Inspection and Pair Programming";
Vortrag: 7th International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement (Profes), Amsterdam, Netherland; 12.06.2006 - 14.06.2006; in:"7th International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement (Profes)", Springer, Amsterdam (2006), ISBN: 3-54034-682-1; S. 319 - 333.

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Abstract:


The quality of the software design often has a major impact on the
quality of the final product and the effort for development and evolution. A
number of quality assurance (QA) approaches for inspection of early-life-cycle
documents have been empirically evaluated. An implicit assumption of these
studies was: an investment into early defect detection and removal saves higher
rework cost. The concept of pair programming combines software construction
with implicit QA in the development team. For planning QA activities, an
important research question is how effective inspectors can be expected to be at
detecting defects in software (design and code) documents compared to
programmers who find defects as by-product of their usual construction
activities.
In this paper we present an initial empirical study that compares the defect
detection effectiveness of a best-practice inspection technique with defect
detection as by-product of constructive software evolution tasks during pair
programming. Surprisingly, in the study context pair programmers were more
effective to find defects in design documents than inspectors. However, when
building a larger team for defect detection, a mix of inspection and pair
programming can be expected to work better than any single technique.