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Using Version Control Data to Evaluate the Impact of Software Tools

Summary: Using Version Control Data to Evaluate
the Impact of Software Tools
David Atkins, Thomas Ball, Todd Graves + and Audris Mockus
Software Production Research Dept.
+National Institute of Statistical Sciences
Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies
Software tools can improve the quality and maintain-
ability of software, but are expensive to acquire, deploy
and maintain, especially in large organizations. We ex-
plore how to quantify the e ects of a software tool once
it has been deployed in a development environment. We
present a simple methodology for tool evaluation that
correlates tool usage statistics with estimates of devel-
oper e ort, as derived from a project's change history
(version control system).
Our work complements controlled experiments on soft-
ware tools, which usually take place outside the indus-
trial setting, and tool assessment studies that predict


Source: Atkins, David - Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Oregon


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences