Do Explicit Review Strategies Improve Code Review Performance?
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Description: Context: Code review is a fundamental, yet expensive part of software engineering. Therefore, research on understanding code review and its efficiency and performance is paramount. Objective: We aim to test the effect of a guidance approach on review effectiveness and efficiency. This effect is expected to workby lowering the cognitive load of the task; thus, we analyze themediation relationship as well. Method: To investigate this effect, we employ an experimental design where professional developers have to perform three code reviews. We use three conditions: no guidance, a checklist, anda checklist-based review strategy. Furthermore, we measure thereviewers’ cognitive load. Limitations: The main limitations of this study concern the specific cohort of participants, the mono-operation bias for the guidance conditions, and the generalizability to other changes and defects.