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Assessing the bus factor of Git repositories

Valerio Cosentino 1 Javier Luis Cánovas Izquierdo 1 Jordi Cabot 1 
1 ATLANMOD - Modeling Technologies for Software Production, Operation, and Evolution
LINA - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Nantes Atlantique, Département informatique - EMN, Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique
Abstract : —Software development projects face a lot of risks (requirements inflation, poor scheduling, technical problems, etc.). Underestimating those risks may put in danger the project success. One of the most critical risks is the employee turnover, that is the risk of key personnel leaving the project. A good indicator to evaluate this risk is to measure the concentration of information in individual developers. This is also popularly known as the bus factor (" number of key developers who would need to be incapacitated, i.e. hit by a bus, to make a project unable to proceed "). Despite the simplicity of the concept, calculating the actual bus factor for specific projects can quickly turn into an error-prone and time-consuming activity as soon as the size of the project and development team increase. In order to help project managers to assess the bus factor of their projects, in this paper we present a tool that, given a Git-based repository, automatically measures the bus factor for any file, directory and branch in the repository and for the project itself. You can also simulate with the tool what would happen to the project (e.g., which files would become orphans) if one or more developers disappeared.
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Valerio Cosentino, Javier Luis Cánovas Izquierdo, Jordi Cabot. Assessing the bus factor of Git repositories. 22nd International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering (SANER), 2015 IEEE, Mar 2015, Montreal, Canada. ⟨10.1109/SANER.2015.7081864⟩. ⟨hal-01257471⟩



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