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Exploring Modern Code Reviews: A Comprehensive Survey

Core Concepts
The author delves into the importance of aligning research with practitioner needs in modern code reviews, highlighting a misalignment between current research themes and practitioner priorities. The study emphasizes the necessity for researchers to focus on solutions that can enhance the practice of modern code reviews.
The content explores the evolution of code review practices from traditional inspections to modern lightweight alternatives. It analyzes the alignment between research and practice in modern code reviews, highlighting key themes and proposing future research avenues. The study emphasizes the importance of addressing practitioner needs to improve the state of modern code review practices. The study identifies five main themes in modern code review research, focusing on areas such as reviewer recommendations, support systems for code reviews, and understanding code changes that need to be reviewed. It highlights the significance of aligning research efforts with practitioner perspectives to enhance the impact of modern code review practices. Key findings include a positive reception towards research investigating the impact of MCR on product quality and process properties, while practitioners express negativity towards human factor- and support systems-related research. The study calls for a more targeted approach towards improving the state of MCR practice based on practitioner feedback. Overall, the content provides valuable insights into the current landscape of modern code reviews, emphasizing the need for closer collaboration between researchers and practitioners to drive meaningful advancements in this critical software development practice.
We analyzed 244 primary studies. Respondents are positive about research investigating MCR's impact on product quality. Respondents are negative about human factor- and support systems-related research.
"We provide an MCR research agenda, which can potentially increase the impact of MCR research." - Deepika Badampudi et al. "These results indicate a misalignment between the state-of-the-art and themes deemed important by most survey respondents." - Deepika Badampudi et al.

Key Insights Distilled From

by Deepika Bada... at 03-04-2024
Modern Code Reviews -- Survey of Literature and Practice

Deeper Inquiries

How can researchers bridge the gap between current MCR research themes and practitioner priorities?

To bridge the gap between current Modern Code Review (MCR) research themes and practitioner priorities, researchers should focus on several key strategies: Engage Practitioners: Researchers should actively engage with practitioners to understand their needs, challenges, and priorities in the code review process. This collaboration can help align research efforts with real-world requirements. Conduct Field Studies: Conducting field studies within organizations that regularly practice code reviews can provide valuable insights into the actual practices, pain points, and areas for improvement. This firsthand experience can guide researchers in addressing relevant issues. User-Centric Design: Adopting a user-centric design approach when developing tools or methodologies for code reviews is crucial. By involving practitioners in the design process from an early stage, researchers can ensure that solutions are practical and meet industry needs. Iterative Feedback Loop: Establishing an iterative feedback loop where researchers continuously gather feedback from practitioners on proposed solutions or research findings is essential. This feedback loop helps refine approaches based on real-world experiences. Practical Implementation Guidance: Researchers should provide practical implementation guidance alongside theoretical frameworks to assist practitioners in adopting new techniques or tools effectively. Dissemination of Research Findings: Ensuring that research findings are disseminated through accessible channels such as workshops, webinars, or industry conferences can increase awareness among practitioners and encourage adoption of innovative practices.

How might advancements in modern code review practices impact overall software development processes?

Advancements in modern code review practices have the potential to significantly impact overall software development processes: Improved Code Quality: Effective code reviews lead to higher-quality code by identifying defects early in the development cycle before they propagate further downstream. Knowledge Sharing: Code reviews facilitate knowledge sharing among team members by exposing developers to different coding styles, best practices, and architectural decisions. Reduced Defects: By catching bugs at an early stage through thorough code inspections during reviews, there is a decrease in post-delivery defects which ultimately leads to more stable software products. 4Enhanced Collaboration: Modern code review tools often include features for asynchronous communication between reviewers and authors which fosters collaboration across distributed teams working on complex projects. 5Continuous Learning: Engaging in regular code reviews encourages continuous learning among team members as they receive feedback on their work from peers leading to skill enhancement over time.

What strategies can be implemented to improve alignment between academic research and industry needs in software engineering?

Several strategies can be implemented to enhance alignment between academic research and industry needs within software engineering: 1**Industry-Academia Collaboration: Foster strong partnerships between academia institutions/researchers and industries/companies allowing for joint projects, research initiatives,and knowledge exchange programs 2**Internship Programs: Encourage students,researchers,and faculty members to participatein internshipsor sabbaticalsat companies.This hands-on experiencecan provide invaluable insightintoindustryneedsandchallenges 3**Joint Conferencesand Workshops: Organizejoint conferencesand workshopsthat bring togetheracademics,researchers,andindustryprofessionalsfor knowledgesharing,collaboration,andnetworkingopportunities 4**Applied Research Projects: Focuson appliedresearch projectsthat addressreal-worldproblemsfacedbytheindustry.Theseprojectscanresultinpracticalsolutionsthat directlybenefitcompaniesandsupportacademicadvancement 5**Technology Transfer Offices(TTOs):EstablishTTOswithinthecademicinstitutionsto facilitatethecommercializationofresearchfindingsandtechnologies.TTOscanhelpbridgethegapbetweenacademicinnovationandinustryapplication