Tag Archives: smartbear

Research Proposal: My Problem Space

I want to talk about peer code review.

The code inspection process was formally brought to light by Michael Fagan in the 1970’s, when he showed that code inspection improves the quality of source code. Code inspection, coupled with rigorous testing / QA, helps to reduce the number of defects in a piece of software before it is releasedwhich is really the cheapest time to find and fix those defects.

Jason Cohen took Fagan’s inspection technique out of the conference room, and helped to bring it online.  After a study at Cisco Systems, he found (among other things) that light-weight code reviews were just as (or more) effective as Fagan inspections, and took less time.

There are a myriad of light-weight peer code review tools available now.  Code review has become more of a common software development practice.*

That’s really great.  But how can we make it better? Here are some research project proposals…

*For more information on code review, I’ve written ad nauseum about it…

Taking a peek at Jason Cohen, Smart Bear, and Code Collaborator

Check this out.

Hang on, hang on, let me back up.

Jason Cohen.  Is that name familiar?  If it isn’t, this is the guy who founded Smart Bear Software.  Smart Bear Software has a piece of software called Code Collaborator, which is a “web-based tool that simplifies and expedites peer code reviews.”  Here’s the sales pitch.

The reason I’m posting all of this is because of what I’m looking for – papers concerning code review, and the relationship (or lack thereof) between code review techniques and computer science education.

Which all traces back to that first link I posted – a series of whitepapers and articles on Code Collaborator, and code reviews in general.  This is good stuff.  Sure, it’s not really oriented around computer science education, but these people seem to know what they’re talking about.

There’s even a free book, which details their massive code review study, which is, apparently, the largest-ever case study of its kind.

I’ve ordered the free book, just for kicks.  In the mean time, I’m going to glance over their Cisco study.