Kevin Villela

Google DeepMind Research Engineer
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    Resolving Code Review Comments with Machine Learning
    Alexander Frömmgen
    Peter Choy
    Elena Khrapko
    Marcus Revaj
    2024 IEEE/ACM 46th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice (ICSE-SEIP) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Code reviews are a critical part of the software development process, taking a significant amount of the code authors’ and the code reviewers’ time. As part of this process, the reviewer inspects the proposed code and asks the author for code changes through comments written in natural language. At Google, we see millions of reviewer comments per year, and authors require an average of ∼60 minutes active shepherding time between sending changes for review and finally submitting the change. In our measurements, the required active work time that the code author must devote to address reviewer comments grows almost linearly with the number of comments. However, with machine learning (ML), we have an opportunity to automate and streamline the code-review process, e.g., by proposing code changes based on a comment’s text. We describe our application of recent advances in large sequence models in a real-world setting to automatically resolve code-review comments in the day-to-day development workflow at Google. We present the evolution of this feature from an asynchronous generation of suggested edits after the reviewer sends feedback, to an interactive experience that suggests code edits to the reviewer at review time. In deployment, code-change authors at Google address 7.5% of all reviewer comments by applying an ML-suggested edit. The impact of this will be to reduce the time spent on code reviews by hundreds of thousands of engineer hours annually at Google scale. Unsolicited, very positive feedback highlights that the impact of ML-suggested code edits increases Googlers’ productivity and allows them to focus on more creative and complex tasks. View details