Investigating technical and non-technical factors influencing modern code review

Authors: Olga Baysal Oleksii Kononenko Reid Holmes Michael W. Godfrey

Venue: EMSE   Empirical Software Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 932–959, 2016

Year: 2016

Abstract: When submitting patches for code review, individual developers are primarily interested in maximizing the chances of their patch being accepted in the least time possible. In principle, code review is a transparent process in which reviewers aim to assess the qualities of the patch on its technical merits in a timely manner; however, in practice the execution of this process can be affected by a variety of factors, some of which are external to the technical content of the patch itself. In this paper, we describe empirical studies of the code review processes for large, open source projects such as WebKit and Google Blink. We first consider factors that have been examined in previous studies -- patch size, priority, and component -- and then extend our enquiries to explore the effects of organization (which company is involved) and developer profile (review load and activity, patch writer experience) on code review response time and eventual outcome. Our approach uses a reverse engineered model of the patch submission process, and extracts key information from the issue-tracking and code review systems. Our findings suggest that these non-technical factors can significantly impact code review outcomes.


    author = "Olga Baysal and Oleksii Kononenko and Reid Holmes and Michael W. Godfrey",
    title = "Investigating technical and non-technical factors influencing modern code review",
    year = "2016",
    pages = "932–959",
    journal = "Empirical Software Engineering",
    volume = "21",
    number = "3"

Plain Text:

Olga Baysal, Oleksii Kononenko, Reid Holmes, and Michael W. Godfrey, "Investigating technical and non-technical factors influencing modern code review," Empirical Software Engineering, pp. 932–959