Friday, July 18, 2014
Microsoft researcher explores bug reduction using coder biometrics
Bugs are, and always have been, a fact of life for the software developer. However, if Microsoft researcher Andrew Begel has his way, they could be a thing of the past. Last month a paper entitled 'Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development' was published which Begel co-authored. This week, Begel spoke at the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit on the subject. Basically what Begel and his research colleagues are saying is that the existing work looking at dealing with programming errors tends to focus on the "post hoc identification of correlations between bug fixes and code" and this isn't working. Instead, his team suggests, a new approach is needed to address the very real and very costly problem of code bugs. The new approach in question being to try and "detect when software developers are experiencing difficulty while they work on their programming tasks" and then, of course, stop them before they can go on to introduce bugs into their code.