Visible to the public Factors Influencing Code Review Processes in Industry

TitleFactors Influencing Code Review Processes in Industry
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBaum, Tobias, Liskin, Olga, Niklas, Kai, Schneider, Kurt
Conference NameProceedings of the 2016 24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-4218-6
KeywordsCode reviews, composability, empirical software engineering, pubcrawl, Scalability, software assurance

Code review is known to be an efficient quality assurance technique. Many software companies today use it, usually with a process similar to the patch review process in open source software development. However, there is still a large fraction of companies performing almost no code reviews at all. And the companies that do code reviews have a lot of variation in the details of their processes. For researchers trying to improve the use of code reviews in industry, it is important to know the reasons for these process variations. We have performed a grounded theory study to clarify process variations and their rationales. The study is based on interviews with software development professionals from 19 companies. These interviews provided insights into the reasons and influencing factors behind the adoption or non-adoption of code reviews as a whole as well as for different process variations. We have condensed these findings into seven hypotheses and a classification of the influencing factors. Our results show the importance of cultural and social issues for review adoption. They trace many process variations to differences in development context and in desired review effects.

Citation Keybaum_factors_2016