Impact of maintainability defects on code inspections
Software inspections are effective ways to detect defects early in the development process. In this paper, we analyze the impact of certain defect types on the effectiveness of code inspection. We conducted an experiment in an academic environment with 88 subjects to empirically investigate the effect of two maintainability defects, i.e., indentation and naming conventions, on the number of functional defects found, the effectiveness of functional defect detections, and the number of false positives reported during individual code inspections. Results show that in cases where both naming conventions and indentation defects exist, the participants found minimum number of defects and reported the highest number of false positives, as compared to the cases where either indentation or naming defects exist. Among maintainability defects, indentation seems to significantly impact the number of functional defects found by the inspector, while the presence of naming conventions defects seems to have no significant impact on the number of functional defects detected. The presence of maintainability defects significantly impacts the number of false positives reported. On the effectiveness of individual code inspectors we observed no significant impact originated from the presence of indentation or naming convention defects. © 2010 ACM.