Building Test Suites in Social Coding Sites by Leveraging Drive-By Commits

Raphael Pham, Leif Singer, and Kurt Schneider

Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover, Germany

Track: New Ideas and Emerging Results
Session: Collaborative Development
GitHub projects attract contributions from a community of users with varying coding and quality assurance skills. Developers on GitHub feel a need for automated tests and rely on test suites for regression testing and continuous integration. However, project owners report to often struggle with implementing an exhaustive test suite. Convincing contributors to provide automated test cases remains a challenge. The absence of an adequate test suite or using tests of low quality can degrade the quality of the software product. We present an approach for reducing the effort required by project owners for extending their test suites. We aim to utilize the phenomenon of drive-by commits: capable users quickly and easily solve problems in others' projects---even though they are not particularly involved in that project---and move on. By analyzing and directing the drive-by commit phenomenon, we hope to use crowdsourcing to improve projects' quality assurance efforts. Valuable test cases and maintenance tasks would be completed by capable users, giving core developers more resources to work on the more complicated issues.