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Developer Testing in the IDE: Patterns, Beliefs, and Behavior

Beller, Moritz and Gousios, Georgius and Panichella, Annibale and Proksch, Sebastian and Amann, Sven and Zaidman, Andy :
Developer Testing in the IDE: Patterns, Beliefs, and Behavior.
In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
[Article] , (2017) (In Press)

Abstract

Software testing is one of the key activities to software quality in practice. Despite its importance, however, we have a remarkable lack of knowledge on how developers test in real-world projects. In this paper, we report on the surprising results of a large-scale field study with 2,443 software engineers whose development activities we closely monitored over the course of 2.5 years in four Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). Our findings question several commonly shared assumptions and beliefs about developer testing: half of the developers in our study does not test; developers rarely run their tests in the IDE; only once they start testing, do they do it heftily; most programming sessions end without any test execution; only a quarter of test cases is responsible for three quarters of all test failures; 12% of tests show flaky behavior; Test-Driven Development (TDD) is not widely practiced; and software developers only spend a quarter of their time engineering tests, whereas they think they test half of their time. We observed only minor differences in the testing practices among developers in different IDEs, Java, and C#. We summarize these practices of loosely guiding ones development efforts with the help of testing as Test-Guided Development (TGD).

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2017
Creators: Beller, Moritz and Gousios, Georgius and Panichella, Annibale and Proksch, Sebastian and Amann, Sven and Zaidman, Andy
Title: Developer Testing in the IDE: Patterns, Beliefs, and Behavior
Language: English
Abstract:

Software testing is one of the key activities to software quality in practice. Despite its importance, however, we have a remarkable lack of knowledge on how developers test in real-world projects. In this paper, we report on the surprising results of a large-scale field study with 2,443 software engineers whose development activities we closely monitored over the course of 2.5 years in four Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). Our findings question several commonly shared assumptions and beliefs about developer testing: half of the developers in our study does not test; developers rarely run their tests in the IDE; only once they start testing, do they do it heftily; most programming sessions end without any test execution; only a quarter of test cases is responsible for three quarters of all test failures; 12% of tests show flaky behavior; Test-Driven Development (TDD) is not widely practiced; and software developers only spend a quarter of their time engineering tests, whereas they think they test half of their time. We observed only minor differences in the testing practices among developers in different IDEs, Java, and C#. We summarize these practices of loosely guiding ones development efforts with the help of testing as Test-Guided Development (TGD).

Journal or Publication Title: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Divisions: Department of Computer Science > Software Technology
Department of Computer Science
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018 11:48
DOI: 10.1109/TSE.2017.2776152
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