State-of-the-practice in quality assurance in Java-based open source software development

Ali Khatami*, Andy Zaidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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To ensure the quality of software systems, software engineers can make use of a variety of quality assurance approaches, for example, software testing, modern code review, automated static analysis, and build automation. Each of these quality assurance practices have been studied in depth in isolation, but there is a clear knowledge gap when it comes to our understanding of how these approaches are being used in conjunction, or not. In our study, we broadly investigate whether and how these quality assurance approaches are being used in conjunction in the development of 1454 popular open source software projects on GitHub. Our study indicates that typically projects do not follow all quality assurance practices together with high intensity. In fact, we only observe weak correlation among some quality assurance practices. In general, our study provides a deeper understanding of how existing quality assurance approaches are currently being used in Java-based open source software development. Besides, we specifically zoom in on the more mature projects in our dataset, and generally we observe that more mature projects are more intense in their application of the quality assurance practices, with more focus on their ASAT usage, and code reviewing, but no strong change in their CI usage.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages39
JournalSoftware - Practice and Experience
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • automated static analysis
  • build automation
  • code review
  • continuous integration
  • software quality assurance
  • software testing


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