MSc Defence – Tom Hall

Posted on Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Written by Dan Gillis

The School of Computer Science is pleased to announce the following MSc Defence, A Study of Code Inspection Performance and Personality Traits, presented by MSc Student Tom Hall.

The defence will take place July 15, 2014 in Reynolds 219 at 2:00 pm.


A Study of Code Inspection Performance and Personality Traits


Since their introduction at IBM in 1976, software inspections have proven to be a highly effective and cost efficient means of identifying defects and improving software quality. However, research has shown that performance can vary significantly between inspectors. The influence of personal characteristics - such as personality - on inspection performance is not well understood. This thesis used regression analysis to investigate whether or not the Big Five personality traits could be used as predictors of software inspection performance. Undergraduate students each completed a self-report personality inventory measuring the Big Five personality traits, and then completed a code inspection task using an online software inspection tool. The trait scores obtained in the personality inventories were then used as predictors in a regression analysis of personality and inspection performance. Results showed that three personality traits - conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion - were statistically significant predictors of inspection performance. However, the strength of association between inspection performance and each of these traits was modest, indicating that they are not sufficient to predict performance.

Advisor: Blair Nonnecke

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