Table of Contents
Advances in Software Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 861489, 10 pages
Research Article

The Impact of the PSP on Software Quality: Eliminating the Learning Effect Threat through a Controlled Experiment

Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de la República, Julio Herrera y Reissig 565, 11300 Montevideo, Uruguay

Received 30 May 2014; Revised 5 September 2014; Accepted 5 September 2014; Published 30 September 2014

Academic Editor: Robert J. Walker

Copyright © 2014 Fernanda Grazioli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Data from the Personal Software Process (PSP) courses indicate that the PSP improves the quality of the developed programs. However, since the programs (exercises of the course) are in the same application domain, the improvement could be due to programming repetition. In this research we try to eliminate this threat to validity in order to confirm that the quality improvement is due to the PSP. In a previous study we designed and performed a controlled experiment with software engineering undergraduate students at the Universidad de la República. The students performed the same exercises of the PSP course but without applying the PSP techniques. Here we present a replication of this experiment. The results indicate that the PSP and not programming repetition is the most plausible cause of the important software quality improvements.