I’ve been wanting to post a link to this article for a while, but ever since I discovered it, research.microsoft.com has been unreachable for me, so I’ll post a small summary:

Microsoft has done research on some popular conceptions about software engineering and come up with hard numbers on some factors affecting code quality.  Here are the main findings reported in the artice, with links to the research papers, in case the original is lost forever:

Here’s Microsoft’s article: Exploding Software-Engineering Myths (or if that doesn’t work, a Google Cache link).

One drawback with this research is that this is primarily based on case studies, which is a generally poor research method for drawing general conclusions. How valid are these observations for other organizations outside Microsoft? Is the organizational structure of your project or company actually more decisive than your programming methodology?

Also, how transferable is this to other programming frameworks. In dynamic typed languages like Perl, is test coverage more important? I often find that a sub-set of my tests do what a compiler could have done in a statically typed language, or even for Perl if I just had a more automatic testing tool. So maybe coverage would be more predictive of bugs if the compiler catches fewer mistakes? That would be a good candidate for further research.

However, this is excellent as a step towards more evidence-based software engineering.

Found through John Tells All.

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