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Validating Metric Thresholds with Developers: an Early Result (ICSME 2015, ERA Track, presented by A. Bergel)


Published October 5, 2015 in Research

Thresholds are essential for promoting source code metrics as an effective instrument to control the internal quality of software applications. However, little is known about the relation between software quality as identified by metric thresholds and as perceived by real developers. In this paper, we report the first results of a study designed to validate a technique that extracts relative metric thresholds from benchmark data. We use this technique to extract thresholds from a benchmark of 79 Pharo/Smalltalk applications, which are validated with five experts and 25 developers. Our preliminary results indicate that good quality applications—as cited by experts—respect metric thresholds. In contrast, we observed that noncompliant applications are not largely viewed as requiring more effort to maintain than other applications.