What I Learned About Software Quality From The 10 Most Popular Javascript Projects On Github

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It is very common for teams to have code review processes and this usually happens through pull requests. Each comment represents a step towards improving the quality of the software, however, there is a wide variety of points of view. The seniority of the team, the team itself, the company, the time left, the mentality, internal agreements, all of this impacts the way of reviewing code.

As a tester, I need to understand what happens in the code and when reviewing it, to identify flaws in the development process and improve my testing strategy.

In this talk, I will bring the results of research I carried out analyzing the comments contained in pull requests from the 10 most popular GitHub projects created in Javascript and bring some insights related to what I discovered. Among them: are which software quality characteristics are most exercised by Devs, which are weak points in their development process, where we can improve our tests to anticipate failures, and tools that can be used to test more comprehensively, among others.

Júlio de Lima
Júlio de Lima
27 min
07 Dec, 2023

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Video Summary and Transcription

The Talk discusses the code review process and the importance of software quality. It emphasizes the need for maintainability in code and the use of guidelines tailored to the team. The Talk also highlights the significance of functional suitability and the challenges of code review. Automation and documentation are recommended to improve code reviews and ensure software quality.

Available in Español

1. Introduction to Code Review Process

Short description:

I'm here today to share what I've learned from researching the most used JavaScript libraries in GitHub. Let's understand the best practices for code review. The code review process involves creating code, opening a pull request, and having teammates review and provide perspectives. Devs review code based on standards, readability, and whether it functions correctly. Ideas for code review come from experience and can be empirical. Software testing uses the ISO 25010 standard.

So, I'm very... It's a pleasure to be here today with you guys. Thank you for all the organization that makes this happen and, definitively, it's an honor to be here today. This is my first time speaking here in Europe, so, it's another memoir, moment in my life and my career. And I hope you guys can enjoy this talk as well.

So, I was already introduced, so I will save you guys from hearing this again. The idea here in this talk is to share with you what I've learned after doing research on ten of the most used JavaScript libraries in GitHub. And I try to structure this in a way that we can basically understand a little bit more about the best practices that these guys have been using when reviewing code. And that is the approach. The idea today is not to go on the features that the libraries have, but instead is to learn more about how they are reviewing the code that are submitted to these repositories.

So, let's move ahead and think a little bit more about the code review process, right? The code review process is basically a simple way for people that are coding every day, right? It's something that is pretty straightforward, but for the people that are in the testing side, sometimes doesn't know exactly how it works. So, first, we have the code that is created. So, the developer goes there and creates a piece of code, or even the testers, depending on how you guys are structuring the way that you produce your test automation code, right? But this is the first part to create a code. Then the person that created this code opened APR. And after opening APR, that's the pull request, basically we have our teammates going there and reviewing this and providing us some perspectives, the views that they have. And then after that, we can, if we have the approve, we can go ahead and merge the code. If not, we need to work on this pull request, or in this piece of code that we are producing, right? The thing is that there is a very, how to say, very important activity that happens during this process that is basically to have these teammates looking at the code and reviewing that. The question is, how do devs do it? And the answer is magic, right? Actually, let me ask you guys that are devs. Tell me what do you have in mind when you are reviewing a code? That's your turn. Yeah, we're doing standards, right? What else? That's a very good question. That's a very good answer as well. Readability. What else? Yeah, if the code does what it should do, right? However, where do these ideas come from? Yeah, experience, right? The way that you do it. There's no, I'm not telling you that everyone does it this way, right? But sometimes we do it from an experience manner, right? Based on our experience. So, it makes us to be, how they say, empirical, right? So, if everyone here raised their hand and shared one thought about how to review, we would be the wisest person in this whole conference, right? There is another way to do it. In software testing, we use a standard called ISO 25010. Have you guys heard about it? Yeah? Raise your hands. Okay, good. Do a wave. We got thumbs up.

2. Software Quality and Code Review

Short description:

There are eight software quality characteristics, including functional suitability and maintainability. Maintainability focuses on making the code readable, testable, and better. In a research study, 75% of comments on pull requests were related to maintainability. To understand how software testing repositories handle code reviews, I analyzed closed pull requests. I encourage you to try this research method in your company to gain insights into quality.

Okay, good. So, there are basically eight software quality characteristics. If the software is working as expected, it is classified as functional suitability. If the code is readable, it is called where is it? Okay, maintainability. Okay? There are groups of things. And what happens is that every time that I ask a developer on what they think that they should do during the review, what I heard more commonly, more frequently is related to maintainability.

Okay? It's making the code readable. It's making the code testable. It's making the code better. That's all about maintainability. I did a quick research on one of the teams that I was working with. And I reviewed 52 pull requests and more than 300 comments on the pull requests. What I learned? 75% of the comments were related to maintainability.

Okay? The thing is, how the most used software testing repositories, software testing libraries, how they say, do when they are when the people that contribute to this project are reviewing pull requests. This is the question that I had. And then I started to find out the answers. And what I did was basically to one, go one by one of these repositories and then filter only the closed pull requests.

Okay? Because they are already, how they say, established. Everything that should take as a decision was already did. Right? That is what I did. And I recommend to you guys to remember this slide. Because I really would like to have you trying to do this in your companies. At least for one repository. And I promise you, you will learn a lot about how you guys understand quality in that specific repository.

Okay? So, try to reproduce this research method. So, second was to open the pull request that has comments. Okay? Because sometimes we have pull requests that are just approved. Magically. Okay? They are just approved. And then ignore the pull requests that have only bot interactions or the own author.

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