Evaluating Commit, Issue and Product Quality in Team Software Development Projects

Published in SIGCSE '21, 2021


Citation: Christopher Hundhausen, Adam Carter, Phillip Conrad, Ahsun Tariq, and Olusola Adesope. 2021. Evaluating Commit, Issue and Product Quality in Team Software Development Projects. In Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 108–114. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3408877.3432362

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Providing students with authentic software development experiences is essential to preparing them for careers in industry. To that end, many undergraduate courses include a team-based software development experience in which each team works on a different software project. This raises significant challenges for assessing student work and measuring the impact of pedagogical interventions: What do we measure and how, when each team is working on a different project? To address this question, we present a collection of metrics developed using the Goal-Question-Metric framework from the empirical software engineering literature, and an empirical study in which we applied those metrics to assess 23 team software projects involving 94 students at three institutions. Study results suggest that these metrics, which gauge commit, issue, and overall product quality, are sensitive to differences in the quality of teams’ processes and products. This work contributes a new metric-based approach to evaluating key aspects of software development processes and products in a wide variety of computing courses.