Code Reviews, Software Inspections, and Code Walkthroughs: Systematic Mapping Study of Research Topics

Ilenia Fronza, Arto Hellas, Petri Ihantola, Tommi Mikkonen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Code reviews have been used to improve code quality since the 1970s. Most practitioners in the field of software have some experience with respect to the technique. In this mapping study we illustrate what kinds of research questions are addressed in code review literature. The following themes emerged from analysis of 75 original articles: (1) description or comparison of different code review practices, (2) behavior of reviewers (e.g., eye tracking studies), (3) communication and teamwork, (4) outcomes of code reviews (e.g., what kinds of problems are identified), (5) how properties of code to be reviewed affect reviewing, and (6) reasons for conducting code reviews. About half of the studies have been conducted with students and novices. The numbers of industry papers has significantly increased when compared to the previous reviews in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Quality
Subtitle of host publicationQuality Intelligence in Software and Systems Engineering - 12th International Conference, SWQD 2020, Proceedings
EditorsDietmar Winkler, Stefan Biffl, Daniel Mendez, Daniel Mendez, Johannes Bergsmann
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Software Quality Days - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 14 Jan 202017 Jan 2020
Conference number: 12

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
Volume371 LNBIP
ISSN (Print)1865-1348
ISSN (Electronic)1865-1356


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Quality Days
Abbreviated titleSWQD


  • Code reviews
  • Code walkthroughs
  • Mapping study
  • Software inspections

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