The silent helper: the impact of continuous integration on code reviews

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Abstract

The adoption of Continuous Integration (CI) has been shown multiple benefits for software engineering practices related to build, test and dependency management. However, the impact of CI on the social aspects of software development has been overlooked so far. Specifically, we focus on studying the impact of CI on a paradigmatic socio-technical activity within the software engineering domain, namely code reviews.

Indeed, one might expect that the introduction of CI allows reviewers to focus on more challenging aspects of software quality that could not be assessed using CI. To assess validity of this expectation we conduct an exploratory study of code reviews in 685 GitHub projects that have adopted Travis-CI, the most popular CI-service on GitHub.

We observe that with the introduction of CI, pull requests are being discussed less.
This decrease in amount of discussion, however, cannot be explained by the decrease in the number of updates of the pull requests. This means that in presence of CI developers perform the same amount of work by communicating less, giving rise to the idea of CI as a silent helper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSANER 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE 27th International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering
EditorsKostas Kontogiannis, Foutse Khomh, Alexander Chatzigeorgiou, Marios-Eleftherios Fokaefs, Minghui Zhou
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Pages423-434
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781728151434
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020
Event27th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering, SANER 2020 - London, Canada
Duration: 18 Feb 202021 Feb 2020

Publication series

NameSANER 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE 27th International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering

Conference

Conference27th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering, SANER 2020
CountryCanada
CityLondon
Period18/02/2021/02/20

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