Secret Life of Bugs: Going to ICSE

This just in: The report Gina Venolia and I wrote during my internship at Microsoft Research was accepted for presentation and publication at the 2009 International Conference on Software Engineering.

I’ll post a link to the paper, and a description of what we did, once we have the final version ready. For now, in case you’re interested, here’s our title and abstract:

The Secret Life of Bugs: Going Past the Errors and Omissions in Software Repositories

by Jorge Aranda and Gina Venolia

Every bug has a story behind it. The people that discover and resolve it need to coordinate, to get information from documents, tools, or other people, and to navigate through issues of accountability, ownership, and organizational structure. This paper reports on a field study of coordination activities around bug fixing that used a combination of case study research and a survey of software professionals. Results show that the histories of even simple bugs are strongly dependent on social, organizational, and technical knowledge that cannot be solely extracted through automation of electronic repositories, and that such automation provides incomplete and often erroneous accounts of coordination. The paper uses rich bug histories and survey results to identify common bug fixing coordination patterns and to provide implications for tool designers and researchers of coordination in software development.


About Jorge Aranda

I'm currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the SEGAL and CHISEL labs in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Victoria.
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6 Responses to Secret Life of Bugs: Going to ICSE

  1. aperte says:

    Great news! Congratulations, Jorge!

  2. Neil says:

    Nothing better than opening that email and seeing the words “We’re happy to inform you” instead of “We regret to inform you”!

  3. Medha says:

    Heyyy this is great news!!! I am so happy for you! I look forward to reading your paper. Congratulations!

  4. Juan says:

    Congrats Jorge… I wonder if these patterns are applicable to small organizations. With limited resources bug fixing should involve lots of prioritization and consolidation but often is ignored.

  5. Jorge says:

    You nailed one of the still-unanswered questions we have. A follow-up I plan to do is to compare these patterns with those of small companies. But the quick answer should be No—I think most of the patterns we observed (and in particular some of our pathological patterns) were a consequence of large organization.

  6. Manuel says:

    Congratulations! In my organizations bugs are immortal, as soon as we fix one, it comes back in the next project, I am eager to read your paper!

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