Fast Feedback Static Analysis Tools


Building quality software products, with as few defects as possible, is an important goal for software developers. Static analysis tools have the potential to provide quick feedback to developers, helping them to eliminate defects early in the development process, when they are cheap to fix. Despite the potential benefits of using these tools, developers end up spending a lot of time figuring out the context of the defect and how to fix it and therefore do not make frequent use of these tools. Our research aims to find out why developers are or are not using static analysis tools and how we can help make using these tools easier and more efficient for the developer. For our research, we conducted 20 interactive, participatory interviews with industry software developers in the hopes of learning how they use static analysis tools, what they expect from a static analysis tool and how current tools live up to these expectations. Each interview lasted approximately 40-60 minutes and included a Question/Short Response, Interactive Interview and Participatory Design. For confidentiality purposes, we cannot release the actual transcriptions but all other related study material can be found below. FixBugs is a prototype we built based on the results and will soon be the subject of its own user study.


Brittany Johnson
Emerson Murphy-Hill
Sarah Heckman
Robert Bowdidge (Google)

Study Materials