Inspections and Peer Reviews

Based on Karl Wiegers’s book Peer Reviews in Software: A Practical Guide (Addison-Wesley, 2002), this workshop shows software practitioners how to effectively apply both inspections and less formal peer reviews to software products. The inspection process and participant roles are described in detail. Participants will learn why peer reviews add value at all stages of software development, know the guidelines for conducting a successful review, and know how to select an appropriate review strategy for each of their work products. A practice inspection session will help participants learn to conduct effective reviews on their own projects.

Objectives

On completion of this workshop, the student will be able to:

  • Explain why peer reviews add value at all stages of software development.
  • Describe the differences between formal and informal reviews.
  • List the participants in an inspection and describe their roles.
  • Describe the activities performed at each stage in an inspection.
  • Summarize the guidelines for conducting a successful review.
  • Select an appropriate review strategy for each work product.

Abstract

Effective peer reviews of all types of software work products are essential if software development organizations are to reduce their cost of producing software. Formal inspections of requirements specifications, designs, source code, and other work products are a proven means for finding errors and improving the quality of software products.

This workshop shows software practitioners how to effectively apply both formal inspections and less formal reviews to software products. The inspection process and roles are described in detail. A practice inspection session will help students learn to conduct effective reviews on their own projects.

Audience

This workshop will be useful to software engineers, managers, and others who wish to learn how to systematically search for defects in software work products of any kind. Non-software people who review requirements documents have also found the session to be easy to understand.

Format

A blend of lecture, class discussion, video, and a complete practice inspection of a real project artifact.

Outline

I. Introduction to Software Peer Reviews

  • definition and objectives of reviews
  • discussions about reasons why people don’t do reviews now and what kind of work products can be reviewed
  • peer reviews and process improvement
  • building reviews into the project plan
  • relative cost of fixing defects depending on when found
  • reported benefits of reviews
  • peer reviews and process improvement models
  • effectiveness of testing vs inspection

II. Software Inspections

  • what makes a review formal
  • what kind of people should review various work products
  • definition of inspections
  • inspection entry and exit criteria
  • roles of inspection participants
  • characteristics of effective moderators
  • inspection rates
  • the inspection process and descriptions of the stages of an inspection
  • the inspection package
  • defect checklists
  • inspection records and forms
  • metrics to keep on your inspections

III. Other Peer Review Methods

  • other review methods besides inspections, including team reviews, walkthroughs, and peer desk checks
  • pluses and minuses of formal inspections vs. informal reviews

IV. Making Peer Reviews Work for You

  • video and discussion: “Scenes of Software Inspections”
  • guidelines for successful reviews
  • documenting your organization’s peer review process
  • critical success factors for reviews
  • review traps to avoid

V. Practice inspection

  • overview meeting
  • individual preparation
  • inspection meeting

coverIt is recommended that those taking this workshop obtain the accompanying book, Peer Reviews in Software: A Practical Guide by Karl Wiegers.

This workshop has been licensed from Karl Wiegers and Process Impact.

Please contact us for more information regarding this offering.

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