University of Oulu

Santos A., Järvinen J., Partanen J., Oivo M., Juristo N. (2018) Does the Performance of TDD Hold Across Software Companies and Premises? A Group of Industrial Experiments on TDD. In: Kuhrmann M. et al. (eds) Product-Focused Software Process Improvement. PROFES 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11271. Springer, Cham

Does the performance of TDD hold across software companies and premises? : a group of industrial experiments on TDD

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Author: Santos, Adrian1; Järvinen, Janne2; Partanen, Jari3;
Organizations: 1M3S (M-Group), ITEE University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2F-Secure, Oulu, Finland
3Bittium, Oulu, Finland
4Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-12-12


Test-Driven Development (TDD) has been claimed to increase external software quality. However, the extent to which TDD increases external quality has been seldom studied in industrial experiments. We conduct four industrial experiments in two different companies to evaluate the performance of TDD on external quality. We study whether the performance of TDD holds across the premises of the same company and across companies. We identify participant-level characteristics impacting results. Iterative-Test Last (ITL), the reverse approach of TDD, outperforms TDD in three out of four premises. ITL outperforms TDD in both companies. The larger the experience with unit testing and testing tools, the larger the difference in performance between ITL and TDD (in favour of ITL). Technological environment (i.e., programming language and testing tool) seems not to impact results. Evaluating participant-level characteristics impacting results in industrial experiments may ease the understanding of TDD’s performance in realistic settings.

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Series: Lecture notes in computer science
ISSN: 0302-9743
ISSN-E: 1611-3349
ISSN-L: 0302-9743
ISBN: 978-3-030-03673-7
ISBN Print: 978-3-030-03672-0
Volume: 11271
Pages: 227 - 242
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-03673-7_17
Host publication: Product-Focused Software Process Improvement. PROFES 2018
Conference: International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This research was developed with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation project TIN2014-60490-P.
Copyright information: © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11271. The final authenticated version is available online at: