Get started imminently: Using tutorials to accelerate learning in automated static analysis

Authors Jan-Peter Ostberg, Stefan Wagner

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Jan-Peter Ostberg
Stefan Wagner

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Jan-Peter Ostberg and Stefan Wagner. Get started imminently: Using tutorials to accelerate learning in automated static analysis. In 2012 Imperial College Computing Student Workshop. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 28, pp. 109-115, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2012)


Static analysis can be a valuable quality assurance technique as it can find problems by analysing the source code of a system without executing it. Getting used to a static analysis tool, however, can easily take several hours or even days. In particular, understanding the warnings issued by the tool and rooting out the false positives is time consuming. This lowers the benefits of static analysis and demotivates developers in using it. Games solve this problem by offering a tutorial. Those tutorials are integrated in the setting of the game and teach the basic mechanics of the game. Often it is possible to repeat or pick topics of interest. We transfer this pattern to static analysis lowering the initial barrier of using it as well as getting an understanding of software quality spread out to more people. In this paper we propose a research strategy starting with a piloting period in which we will gather information about the questions static analysis users have as well as hone our answers to these questions. These results will be integrated into the prototype. We will evaluate our work then by comparing the fix times of user using the original tool versus our tool.
  • static analysis
  • motivation
  • usability
  • empirical research
  • gamification


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