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Can observational techniques help novices overcome the software inspection learning curve?

An empirical investigation
: Carver, J.; Shull, F.; Basili, V.


Empirical Software Engineering 11 (2006), Nr.4, S.523-539
ISSN: 1382-3256
Fraunhofer IESE ()

When learning a new software engineering technique, there is a learning curve that must be overcome. In particular, when studies are conducted in a classroom setting, researchers need a method for quickly accelerating the experience of novice subjects to allow the results to be more applicable in industrial settings. In this paper, we propose and test a method to enable novices to gain process experience to allow them to more quickly overcome the learning curve. The method we evaluate allows an inspector to gain experience with the inspection process by observing an inspection performed by someone else. The results of the study show that the proposed method for gaining experience appears to be useful in some limited cases, that is, for low experienced subjects who were inspecting a requirements document from a domain in which they had low knowledge. Based on the results of this study, we are able to propose some new related hypotheses to be tested in future studies.