«Gamifying a software testing course with the Code Defenders Testing Game»
Software testing is an essential skill for software developers, but it is challenging to get students engaged in this activity. The Code Defenders game addresses this problem by letting students compete over code under test by either introducing faults («attacking») or by writing tests to reveal these faults («defending»). In this talk, we describe how we integrated Code Defenders as a semester-long activity of an undergraduate and graduate level university course on software testing. We complemented the regular course sessions with weekly Code Defenders sessions, addressing challenges such as selecting suitable code to test, managing games, and assessing performance. Our experience and our data show that the integration of Code Defenders was well-received by students and led them to practice testing thoroughly. Positive learning effects are evident as student performance improved steadily throughout the semester.
Gordon Fraser is a full professor in Computer Science at the University of Passau. He received his Ph.D. from Graz University of Technology, Austria, in 2007, then worked as a post-doc researcher at Saarland University, Germany, and as a (senior) lecturer at the University of Sheffield until 2017. He has published on improving software quality and programmer productivity at all major software engineering venues (e.g., TSE, TOSEM, ICSE, ISSTA, FSE, ASE, ICST) and has received six ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Awards (FSE'14, ISSTA'14, ASE'14, ASE'15, ESEC/FSE'15, ICSE'17), as well as best paper awards at SSBSE and GECCO. He has been programme chair of software engineering conferences (ASE, ICST, TAP, TAIC PART, SSBSE) and workshops, is a regular member of many programme and organising committees in the field (e.g., ICSE, FSE, ASE, ISSTA), is associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE) and Software Testing, Verification, and Reliability (STVR) journals.