Assessing Software Review Meetings: Results of a Comparative Analysis of Two Experimental Studies,

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Software review is a fundamental tool for software quality assurance. Nevertheless, there are significant controversies as to the most efficient and effective review method. One of the most important questions currently being debated is the utility of meetings. Although almost all industrial review methods are centered around the inspection meeting, recent findings call their value into question. To gain insight into these issues, the two authors of this paper separately and independently conducted controlled experimental studies.

This paper discusses a joint effort to understand the broader implications of these tow studies. To do this, we designed and carried out a process of "reconciliation" in which we established a common framework for the comparison of the two experimental studies, re-analyzed to experimental data with respect to this common framework, and compared the results. Through this process we found many striking similarities between the the results of the two studies, strengthening their individual conclusions. it also revealed interesting differences between the two experiments, suggesting important avenues for future research. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-97-15)