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DOI

Despite being popular end-user tools, spreadsheets suffer from the vulnerability of error-proneness. In software engineering, testing has been proposed as a way to address errors. It is important therefore to know whether spreadsheet users also test, or how do they test and to what extent, especially since most spreadsheet users do not have the training, or experience, of software engineering principles. Towards this end, we conduct a two-phase mixed methods study. First, a qualitative phase, in which we interview 12 spreadsheet users, and second, a quantitative phase, in which we conduct an online survey completed by 72 users. The outcome of the interviews, organized into four different categories, consists of an overview of test practices, perceptions of spreadsheet users about testing, a set of preventive measures for avoiding errors, and an overview of maintenance practices for ensuring correctness of spreadsheets over time. The survey adds to the findings by providing quantitative estimates indicating that ensuring correctness is an important concern, and a major fraction of users do test their spreadsheets. However, their techniques are largely manual and lack formalism. Tools and automated supports are rarely used.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSANER 2017 - 24th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages338-348
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781509055012
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2017
Event24th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering, SANER 2017 - Klagenfurt, Austria

Conference

Conference24th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering, SANER 2017
CountryAustria
CityKlagenfurt
Period21/02/1724/02/17

ID: 19482579