University of Oulu

Santos, A., Spisak, J., Oivo, M. & Juristo, N. (2018). Improving development practices through experimentation : an industrial TDD case. In Proceedings : 25th Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference 4-7 December 2018, Nara, Japan (pp. 465-473). doi: 10.1109/APSEC.2018.00061

Improving development practices through experimentation : an industrial TDD case

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Author: Santos, Adrian1; Spisak, Jaroslav2; Oivo, Markku1;
Organizations: 1M3S ITEE, University of Oulu, Finland
2Play among friends (Paf), Finland
3Universidad Politecnica de 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: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-02-18


Test-Driven Development (TDD), an agile development approach that enforces the construction of software systems by means of successive micro-iterative testing coding cycles, has been widely claimed to increase external software quality. In view of this, some managers at Paf—a Nordic gaming entertainment company—were interested in knowing how would TDD perform at their premises. Eventually, if TDD outperformed their traditional way of coding (i.e., YW, short for Your Way), it would be possible to switch to TDD considering the empirical evidence achieved at the company level. We conduct an experiment at Paf to evaluate the performance of TDD, YW and the reverse approach of TDD (i.e., ITL, short for IterativeTest Last) on external quality. TDD outperforms YW and ITLat Paf. Despite the encouraging results, we cannot recommend Paf to immediately adopt TDD as the difference in performance between YW and TDD is small. However, as TDD looks promising at Paf, we suggest to move some developers to TDD and to run a future experiment to compare the performance of TDD and YW. TDD slightly outperforms ITL in controlled experiments for TDD novices. However, more industrial experiments are still needed to evaluate the performance of TDD in real-life contexts.

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Series: Proceedings. Asia Pacific Software Engineering Conference
ISSN: 1530-1362
ISSN-E: 2640-0715
ISSN-L: 1530-1362
ISBN: 978-1-7281-1970-0
ISBN Print: 978-1-7281-1971-7
Pages: 465 - 473
DOI: 10.1109/APSEC.2018.00061
Host publication: Proceedings : 25th Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference 4-7 December 2018, Nara, Japan
Conference: Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: We would like to thank to all the participants in the experiment and to Paf’s managers: this research would have not been possible without your help. This research was developed with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation project TIN2014-60490-P.
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