Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

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39th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution

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Nowadays, software testing professionals are commonly required to develop coding skills to work on test automation. One essential skill required from those who code is the ability to implement code refactoring, a valued quality aspect of software development; however, software developers usually encounter obstacles in successfully applying this practice. In this scenario, the present study aims to explore how software testing professionals (e.g., software testers, test engineers, test analysts, and software QAs) deal with code refactoring to understand the benefits and limitations of this practice in the context of software testing. We followed the guidelines to conduct surveys in software engineering and applied three sampling techniques, namely convenience sampling, purposive sampling, and snowballing sampling, to collect data from testing professionals. We received answers from 80 individuals reporting their experience refactoring the code of automated tests. We concluded that in the context of software testing, refactoring offers several benefits, such as supporting the maintenance of automated tests and improving the performance of the testing team. However, practitioners might encounter barriers in effectively implementing this practice, in particular, the lack of interest from managers and leaders. Our study raises discussions on the importance of having testing professionals implement refactoring in the code of automated tests, allowing them to improve their coding abilities.


39th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, Bogota, Colombia, 1-6, October 2023, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/IECON51785.2023.10311616

Citation of this paper:

Danilo Leandro Lima, Ronnie de Souza Santos, Guilherme Pires Garcia, Sildemir S. da Silva, Cesar Franca, Luiz Fernando Capretz, Software Testing and Code Refactoring: A Survey with Practitioners, 39th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, Bogota, Colombia, October 2023, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/IECON51785.2023.10311616.

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