2015 10th Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2015), August 30 – September 4, 2015, Bergamo, Italy

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Empirical Studies of Software Developers II
Research Papers
Alabastro A, Chair: Massimiliano Di Penta
Quality and Productivity Outcomes Relating to Continuous Integration in GitHub
Bogdan Vasilescu, Yue Yu, Huaimin Wang, Premkumar Devanbu, and Vladimir Filkov
(University of California at Davis, USA; National University of Defense Technology, China)
Publisher's Version
Abstract: Software processes comprise many steps; coding is followed by building, integration testing, system testing, deployment, operations, among others. Software process integration and automation have been areas of key concern in software engineering, ever since the pioneering work of Osterweil; market pressures for Agility, and open, decentralized, software development have provided additional pressures for progress in this area. But do these innovations actually help projects? Given the numerous confounding factors that can influence project performance, it can be a challenge to discern the effects of process integration and automation. Software project ecosystems such as GitHub provide a new opportunity in this regard: one can readily find large numbers of projects in various stages of process integration and automation, and gather data on various influencing factors as well as productivity and quality outcomes. In this paper we use large, historical data on process metrics and outcomes in GitHub projects to discern the effects of one specific innovation in process automation: continuous integration. Our main finding is that continuous integration improves the productivity of project teams, who can integrate more outside contributions, without an observable diminishment in code quality.

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Time stamp: 2019-10-16T23:37:01+02:00