fbpx
1-888-310-4540 (main) / 1-888-707-6150 (support) info@spkaa.com
Select Page

Why Software Builds Fail and Areas for Improvement

windchill features best plm software
Written by SPK Blog Post
Published on June 29, 2015

In a recently published paper, researchers at Google examined the issue of failed software builds within their organization. Specifically, they wanted to address the separate questions of “How often do builds fail?”, “Why do builds fail”, and “How long does it take to fix broken builds?” To answer these questions, the researchers looked at 26.6 million Java and C++ builds due to the overwhelming usage of these two languages within Google. For the purposes of this article, we will review the results of the question “why do builds fail?”

To determine why builds were failing, the researchers examined the build logs and categorized compiler error messages into different groups. Of the categories defined, the researchers looked at the top 25 most frequent error messages to identify the most common cause of build failure. The results indicated that only 10 percent of the error categories accounted for 90 percent of the broken builds, regardless of the language. Additionally, those errors where most commonly dependency related.

Insofar as these findings are generalizable to organizations outside of Google, the implications of this research suggest that dependency management is one of the most critical areas of concern for decreasing the amount of broken software builds. Potential actions could include reducing the dependencies for a given project, or developing assistive tools to help developers resolve dependency errors. Ideally, the goal should be to help prevent developers from submitting changes that contain dependency errors. In this study, the average resolution time was one to two additional builds. In this scenario, if we assume introducing a dependency-related bug requires two additional builds, the cost of such a bug is 3 times the elapsed build time in addition to the developer’s time required to resolve it.

Next Steps:

David Hubbell
Software Engineer
SPK and Associates

Latest White Papers

2023 Global DevSecOps Report

2023 Global DevSecOps Report

Productivity and efficiency are top priorities for many organizations, as seen from the 2023 Global DevSecOps Report. It is no coincidence these two priorities are also the driving forces of DevOps. Explore how businesses utilized DevOps practices to achieve success...

Related Resources

2023 Global DevSecOps Report

2023 Global DevSecOps Report

Productivity and efficiency are top priorities for many organizations, as seen from the 2023 Global DevSecOps Report. It is no coincidence these two priorities are also the driving forces of DevOps. Explore how businesses utilized DevOps practices to achieve success...

A Field Guide to Threat Vectors in the Software Supply Chain

A Field Guide to Threat Vectors in the Software Supply Chain

The software supply chain is made up of many integrated parts, people, and processes. The components range from tools and configurations to code libraries and systems. These components’ goals are developing and delivering software. Unfortunately, risks are high due to...

Breaking down Zero Trust Architecture for CI/CD Pipelines

Breaking down Zero Trust Architecture for CI/CD Pipelines

In recent years, remote work has become the norm for many organizations.  With workers all around the globe on different networks, cybersecurity risks are much higher.  System failures and hackers still pose risks even when working on the same network. All of these...