Identifying Design Problems in the Source Code:A Grounded Theory

Sousa, Leonardo and Oliveira, Roberto and Garcia, Alessandro and Lee, Jaejoon and Conte, Tanya and de Mello, Rafael and Lopes, Adriana and Lucena, Carlos (2018) Identifying Design Problems in the Source Code:A Grounded Theory. In: ICSE '18 Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering. ACM, SWE, pp. 921-931. ISBN 9781450356381

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The prevalence of design problems may cause re-engineering or even discontinuation of the system. Due to missing, informal or outdated design documentation, developers often have to rely on the source code to identify design problems. Therefore, developers have to analyze different symptoms that manifest in several code elements, which may quickly turn into a complex task. Although researchers have been investigating techniques to help developers in identifying design problems, there is little knowledge on how developers actually proceed to identify design problems. In order to tackle this problem, we conducted a multi-trial industrial experiment with professionals from 5 software companies to build a grounded theory. The resulting theory offers explanations on how developers identify design problems in practice. For instance, it reveals the characteristics of symptoms that developers consider helpful. Moreover, developers often combine different types of symptoms to identify a single design problem. This knowledge serves as a basis to further understand the phenomena and advance towards more effective identification techniques.

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© ACM, 2018. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in ICSE '18 Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering
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20 Feb 2018 18:18
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19 Sep 2023 03:27