Predicting Pull Request Completion Time: A Case Study on Large Scale Cloud Services

ESEC/FSE 2019 |

Published by ACM | Organized by ESEC

Effort estimation models have been long studied in software engineering research. Effort estimation models help organizations and individuals plan and track progress of their software projects and individual tasks to help plan delivery milestones better. Towards this end, there is a large body of work that has been done on effort estimation for projects but little work on an individual checkin (Pull Request) level. In this paper we present a methodology that provides effort estimates on individual developer check-ins which is displayed to developers to help them track their work items. Given the cloud development infrastructure pervasive in companies, it has enabled us to deploy our Pull Request Lifetime prediction system to several thousand developers across multiple software families. We observe from our deployment that the pull request lifetime prediction system conservatively helps save 44.61% of the developer time by accelerating Pull Requests to completion.