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On the Accuracy of SonarQube Technical Debt Remediation Time

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


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 45th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA)
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-3421-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-3422-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceEuromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications
Period1/01/00 → …


[Context] The popularity of tools for software quality analysis has increased over the years, with special attention to tools that calculate technical debt based on violations of a set of rules. SonarQube is one of the most used tools and provides an estimation of the time needed to remediate technical debt. However, practitioners are still skeptical about the accuracy of its remediation time estimation. [Objective] In this paper, we analyze the accuracy of SonarQube remediation time on a set of 15 open source Java projects. [Method] We designed and conducted a case study where we asked 65 novice developers to remove rule violations and reduce the technical debt of 15 projects. [Results] The results point out that SonarQube remediation time, compared to the actual time for reducing technical debt, is generally overestimated, and that the most accurate estimation relates to code smells, while the least accurate concerns bugs. [Conclusions] Practitioners and researchers could benefit from the results of this work to understand up to which extent technical debt is overestimated and have a more accurate estimation of the remediation time.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland