Use and Misuse of Automated Refactorings

Though refactoring tools have been available for more than a decade, research has shown that programmers under-utilize such tools. However, little is known about why programmers do not take advantage of these tools.

We have conducted a field study on programmers in their natural settings and interviewed nine participants. In this talk, I will present some of the results of our empirical study, which appeared in ICSE 2012. Our study reveals some of the factors that affect the use of automated refactorings such as invocation method, awareness, naming, trust, and predictability and the major mismatches between programmers’ expectations and automated refactorings.