Mea culpa: How developers fix their own simple bugs differently from other developers
This program is tentative and subject to change.
In this work, we study how the authorship of code affects bug-fixing commits, using the SStuBs dataset, a collection of single-statement bug fix changes in popular Java Maven projects. More specifically, we study the differences in characteristics between simple bug fixes by the original author — that is, the developer who submitted the bug-inducing commit — and by different developers (i.e., non-authors). Our study shows that nearly half (i.e., 44.3%) of simple bugs are fixed by a different developer. We found that bug fixes by the original author and by different developers differed qualitatively and quantitatively. We observed that bug-fixing time by authors is much shorter than that of other developers. We also found that bug-fixing commits by authors tended to be larger in size and scope, and address multiple issues, whereas bug-fixing commits by other developers tended to be smaller and more focused on the bug itself. Future research can further study the different patterns in bug-fixing and create more tailored tools based on the developer’s needs.