Live Metrics Visualization for Software Improvement (Talk)
Software systems are becoming increasingly complex, making their comprehension difficult, costly, and time-consuming. Refactoring, the process of changing the internal code structure without changing its external behavior, is often used to mitigate this problem. Several tools check the code quality of software systems. However, these tools do not give immediate feedback about the system. We developed an approach, and a tool, providing real-time feedback about several key software metrics as developers write their code. This tool, in the form of a VS Code plugin, suggests two different refactorings and allows the comparison between metrics before and after their application, as well as metrics calculated over different Git versions. To validate this approach, we carried out a controlled experiment where participants had to improve a specific project, with or without the tool. We then did some hypothesis-tests with the obtained results, but we could not reject our null hypotheses due to several threats to validity, which we will tackle in the future.