[Development] Code Review of Build File Changes

Mattie Nejati mahtab.nejati at uwaterloo.ca
Fri Jul 22 15:39:31 CEST 2022

Hi again!

Thank you all for your interest in the discussion. Reading through your responses gave us a better understanding of how the code review process works in your project and shaped some future research ideas.

I have replied to your emails individually, but I think it’ll be helpful to share a summary of the conversations I had with everyone on the list.

As I previously shared, we observed that changes to build files are 2 to 4 times less likely to receive comments from reviewers compared to changes in source code or test files. This observation comes from analyzing over 7 million changes to files across projects. The comparison was made in different settings, including when the change affects only one, two, or all three types of files (source/test/build code).

We also found that when build changes do receive comments from reviewers, these comments are more likely to discuss potential bugs in the code when compared to source/test code. This is an observation we have made after closely analyzing 500 sampled comments (in the context of the build change and the discussion that follows the comment).

We aim to understand how build changes are reviewed, meaning we are looking for practices and policies for build change review that might be different from reviewing other code changes. We also want to know if there are any challenges that complicate the build change review process.

Our goal is to understand the development teams’ perception of these questions rather than to find a correct answer. As we are controlling for your level of experience with build systems, your participation will be a great contribution no matter how much experience you have with build code review.

So, if you find this discussion interesting, please do not hesitate to sign up using the link below.

Sign up link: https://forms.gle/Yec6ZvCemNiLktwr5



From: Development <development-bounces at qt-project.org> on behalf of Mattie Nejati <mahtab.nejati at uwaterloo.ca>
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2022 2:29 PM
To: development at qt-project.org <development at qt-project.org>
Subject: [Development] Code Review of Build File Changes

Hi Developers,

I’m Mattie, a Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo and I’ve been studying the code review process of build files in Qt. For example, I’ve found that changes to build files are 2 to 4 times less likely to be discussed during code review than changes to source code or test files.

As the next step in our study, we are recruiting developers for a 30-minute interview to help us shed light on:

1. How build changes are reviewed?

2. What are the challenges faced when reviewing build changes?

3. Why is build change review different?

Since the Qt review is featured in our analysis, we would appreciate it if you consider participating as an interviewee. If you are interested, please click the signup link below and follow the instructions. Once the study is concluded, we will share our findings with the Qt community first.

Signup link: https://forms.gle/Yec6ZvCemNiLktwr5



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