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Study notes importance of manual, automated code checking

Posted: 02 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:code inspection? automated tools? coding standards?

Focusing on the remaining issues, it was shown that a further 40 issues could be resolved based on the results of the tool, this left just four messages, two of which were suppressed (based on the personal preference of the engineering team) and two that were deemed too subjective to be handled by anyone but the original software engineering team.

The results, as interpreted by PRQA, show that before commencing any code review it makes sense to utilize automated code inspection, as it saves time and money, while enforcing coding standards that will ultimately improve the engineering team's capabilities. The empirical evidence based on the 50 "contestants" shows there remains a significant gap between engineers' interpretation of software qualitywhich some may say itself represents a quality issueand the impartiality introduced by an automated method that leaves no errorhowever smallunreported.

What isn't in dispute is the need for software engineers that can bring context to the results of automated code inspection, but as there will likely always be a performance gap between manual and automated code inspection what remains unresolved is any foundation for defining an acceptable balance between the two extremes. That could be an area that warrants further investment by both OEMs and static analysis tool providers.

- Phil Ling
??EE Times

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