On Relating Technical, Social Factors, and the Introduction of Bugs

Filipe Falcão, Caio Barbosa, Baldoino Fonseca, Alessandro Garcia, Márcio Ribeiro, França Sales

As collaborative coding environments make it easier to contribute to software projects, the number of developers involved in these projects keeps increasing. Consequently, making it more difficult for code reviewers to deal with harmful contributions. Collaborative environments like GitHub provide a rich source of data on developers' contribution, which can be used to extract information on technical (e.g., developers' experience) and social (e.g., interactions among developers) factors related to developers. Recent studies analyzed the influence of these factors on different activities of the software development. However, there is still little knowledge on the relation between these factors and the introduction of bugs. We present a broader study on relating five technical, two social factors and the introduction of bugs. The results indicate that both technical and social factors present statistically significant relations with the introduction of bugs. Particularly, the developers' habits of not following technical contribution norms are associated with an increase on commit bugginess. Unexpectedly, the presence of tests in commits presents a relation with the increase of commit bugginess. Finally, the developer's experience presents a contradictory relation with the introduction of bugs. But, the analysis of both code complexity and developer's experience may explain this contradiction.

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