Abstract - Nowadays, a flexible, lightweight variant of the code review process (i.e., the practice of having other team members critique software changes) is adopted by open source and proprietary software projects. While this flexibility is a blessing (e.g., enabling code reviews to span the globe), it does not mandate minimum review quality criteria like the formal code inspections of the past. Recent work shows that lax reviewing can impact the quality of open source systems. In this paper, we investigate the impact that code reviewing practices have on the quality of a proprietary system that is developed by Sony Mobile. We begin by replicating open source analyses of the relationship between software quality (as approximated by post-release defect-proneness) and: (1) code review coverage, i.e., the proportion of code changes that have been reviewed and (2) code review participation, i.e., the degree of reviewer involvement in the code review process. We also perform a qualitative analysis, with a survey of 93 stakeholders, semi-structured interviews with 15 stakeholders, and a follow-up survey of 25 senior engineers. Our results indicate that while past measures of review coverage and participation do not share a relationship with defect-proneness at Sony Mobile, reviewing measures that are aware of the Sony Mobile development context are associated with defect-proneness. Our results have lead to improvements of the Sony Mobile code review process.
Preprint - PDF