Lucas Layman, Laurie Williams, Rob St. Amant
L. Layman, L. Williams, and R. S. Amant, “Toward Reducing Fault Fix Time: Understanding Developer Behavior for the Design of Automated Fault Detection Tools,” in First International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM 2007), pp. 176–185, IEEE, sep 2007
Publication year: 2007

The longer a fault remains in the code from the time it was injected, the more time it will take to fix the fault. Increasingly, automated fault detection (AFD) tools are providing developers with prompt feedback on recently-introduced faults to reduce fault fix time. If however, the frequency and content of this feedback does not match the developer’s goals and/or workflow, the developer may ignore the information. We conducted a controlled study with 18 developers to explore what factors are used by developers to decide whether or not to address a fault when notified of the error. The findings of our study lead to several conjectures about the design of AFD tools to effectively notify developers of faults in the coding phase. The AFD tools should present fault information that is relevant to the primary programming task with accurate and precise descriptions. The fault severity and the specific timing of fault notification should be customizable. Finally, the AFD tool must be accurate and reliable to build trust with the developer.