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Bug Microsoft Programming Software Science

Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code 89

rjmarvin writes: Microsoft Research is testing a new method for predicting errors and bugs while developers write code: biometrics. By measuring a developer's eye movements, physical and mental characteristics as they code, the researchers tracked alertness and stress levels to predict the difficulty of a given task with respect to the coder's abilities. In a paper entitled "Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development," the researchers summarized how they strapped an eye tracker, an electrodermal sensor and an EEG sensor to 15 developers as they programmed for various tasks. Biometrics predicted task difficulty for a new developer 64.99% of the time. For a subsequent tasks with the same developer, the researchers found biometrics to be 84.38% accurate. They suggest using the information to mark places in code that developers find particularly difficult, and then reviewing or refactoring those sections later.
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Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

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  • by DrJimbo (594231) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @02:18PM (#47509793)

    They tested 16 developers and gave statistics with four significant figures. I think you would need to test at least 100,000,000 developers to get such precise measurements. Who do they think they are? Dr. Spock on Star Trek?

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @02:20PM (#47509807)
    And what about managers who steer the development effort in a direction highly likely to produce buggy code, those won't get measured?
  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @03:15PM (#47510173)

    1) Arrogance. You know that average developers have a hard time with some kinds of code, but you're a superprogrammer, and you don't have those problems. If someone decides later that there's something wrong with your code, well, they should've gotten their requirements straightened out before they told you to go and build it. The only time you lose your cool is when you have to deal with idiot managers, analysts, or users.

    1) Complacency. You've been pounding on this code forever, and you just don't care any more. Yeah, there'll be bugs, people will yell, they'll get fixed. That's just the way development goes. Why get worked up about it?

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