Does the modern code inspection have value?

Harvey Siy, Lawrence Votta

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

37 Scopus citations


For years, it was believed that the value of inspections is in finding and fixing defects early in the development process. Otherwise, the cost to find and fix them later is much higher. However, in examining code inspection data, we are finding that inspections are beneficial for an additional reason. They make the code easier to understand and change. An analysis of data from a recent code inspection experiment shows that 60% of all issues raised in the code inspections are not problems that could have been uncovered by latter phases of testing or field usage because they have little or nothing to do with the visible execution behavior of the software. Rather, they improve the maintainability of the code by making the code conform to coding standards, minimizing redundancies, improving language proficiency, improving safety and portability, and raising the quality of the documentation. We conclude that even if advances in software technology have diminished the value of inspections as a defect detection tool, in most cases, it continues to be of value as a maintenance tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2001) - Florence, Italy
Duration: Nov 7 2001Nov 9 2001


ConferenceProceedings IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2001)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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