An industry experiment on the effects of test-driven development on external quality and productivity

Tosun, Ayse and Dieste Tubio, Óscar and Fucci, Davide and Vegas Hernández, Sira and Turhan, Burak and Erdogmus, Hakan and Santos Parrilla, Adrián and Oivo, Markku and Toro, Kimmo and Jarvinen, Janne and Juristo Juzgado, Natalia (2017). An industry experiment on the effects of test-driven development on external quality and productivity. "Empirical Software Engineering", v. 22 (n. 6); pp. 2763-2805. ISSN 1382-3256. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10664-016-9490-0.

Description

Title: An industry experiment on the effects of test-driven development on external quality and productivity
Author/s:
  • Tosun, Ayse
  • Dieste Tubio, Óscar
  • Fucci, Davide
  • Vegas Hernández, Sira
  • Turhan, Burak
  • Erdogmus, Hakan
  • Santos Parrilla, Adrián
  • Oivo, Markku
  • Toro, Kimmo
  • Jarvinen, Janne
  • Juristo Juzgado, Natalia
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Empirical Software Engineering
Date: December 2017
Volume: 22
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingenieros Informáticos (UPM)
Department: Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos e Ingeniería del Software
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

Existing empirical studies on test-driven development (TDD) report different conclusions about its effects on quality and productivity. Very few of those studies are experiments conducted with software professionals in industry. We aim to analyse the effects of TDD on the external quality of the work done and the productivity of developers in an industrial setting. We conducted an experiment with 24 professionals from three different sites of a software organization. We chose a repeated-measures design, and asked subjects to implement TDD and incremental test last development (ITLD) in two simple tasks and a realistic application close to real-life complexity. To analyse our findings, we applied a repeated-measures general linear model procedure and a linear mixed effects procedure. We did not observe a statistical difference between the quality of the work done by subjects in both treatments. We observed that the subjects are more productive when they implement TDD on a simple task compared to ITLD, but the productivity drops significantly when applying TDD to a complex brownfield task. So, the task complexity significantly obscured the effect of TDD. Further evidence is necessary to conclude whether TDD is better or worse than ITLD in terms of external quality and productivity in an industrial setting. We found that experimental factors such as selection of tasks could dominate the findings in TDD studies.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
Government of SpainTIN2024-60490-PUnspecifiedUniversidad Politécnica de MadridTecnologías para la replicación y síntesis de experimentos en IS

More information

Item ID: 50714
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/50714/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:50714
DOI: 10.1007/s10664-016-9490-0
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10664-016-9490-0
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 16 May 2018 07:45
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2019 11:11
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