Research and Publications

Improved developer experience

Training and coaching

My speciality is to help software engineering teams improve their developer experience through better code review and test practices and processes. I have trained and coached over 1000 developers over the last few years, and I am thrilled to help also your developers reach their full potential.  


I also work with companies in the developer tooling space to improve their product-market-fit, design or review new features, or conduct empirical studies that help inform their mission and direction.

I previously worked with well-known code review, code analysis and bug detection software companies. I also led the research behind DX, the first developer experience management platform. 

Empirical Research

The empirical and user research studies I lead shed light on the needs and desires of software developers. My research focuses on software engineering practice, engineering productivity, and developer happiness. My expertise lies in developer productivity, code reviews, software testing, software comprehension, and empirical studies.

Previously, I worked at Microsoft research in the UK, and the Research and Development organization at Microsoft Redmond in the USA. I also worked as senior researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and as a researcher at Technical University Delft in the Netherlands.

Let’s discuss your project!

Scientific Publications


I have written dozens of scientific publications that appeared in top-tier academic and scientific journals and conference proceedings. For a more complete list, you can hope over to my scientific publications account.

An Actionable Framework for Understanding and Improving Developer Experience

Developer experience is essential for software companies as enhanced developer experience improves productivity, satisfaction, engagement and leads developers to stay longer with their company. In this study, we show the factors that affect developer experience and also identify strategies employed by individuals and teams to improve developer experience. Our findings result in an actionable, conceptual framework for understanding and improving developer experience. The framework provides a go-to reference for organizations that want to enable more productive and effective work environments for their developers.

Michaela Greiler, Margaret-Anne Storey, and Abi Noda, 2021 (under review)

Code Reviewing in the Trenches: Understanding Challenges, Best Practices, and Tool Needs

In a large-scale study, we investigate how code reviews are done at Microsoft, which benefits they provide, and which challenges developers face doing code reviews. We also distilled several best practices for code reviewers and code authors, as well as best practices on an organizational level. Finally, we show which tool needs are predominant for code reviewing.

Laura Macleod, Michaela Greiler, Margaret-Anne Storey, Christian Bird, Jacek Czerwonka
IEEE Software, IEEE Computer Society, 2017

Code Reviews Do Not Find Bugs. How the Current Code Review Best Practice Slows Us Down

Code reviews offer many benefits to software teams such as knowledge dissemination and increased code quality. Still practicing code reviewing requires a substantial time commitment. In fact, code reviewing can show teams down. Find out which best practices to follow to ensure you get the most out of that practice.

Jacek Czerwonka, Michaela Greiler, Jack Tilford
IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, May 17, 2015
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The Art of Testing Less without Sacrificing Quality

How do you reduce the test suite size and the test execution time without sacrificing code quality? In this paper we explain a new approach to safely remove test cases and reduce test execution time, saving thousands of dollars in infrastructure and manual labor costs for Microsoft.

Kim Herzig, Michaela Greiler, Jacek Czerwonka, Brendan Murphy
Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Software Engineering, IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, May 1, 2015,
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Code Ownership and Software Quality: A Replication Study

What does it mean to own software code? And what is the implication of code ownership? In this study, you can learn if and how code ownership influences code quality. You also get a concrete list of recommendations of how to ensure the best ownership models for your codebase and which anti-patterns you should avoid.

Michaela Greiler, Kim Herzig, Jacek Czerwonka
Proceedings of the 12th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories, IEEE, May 1, 2015,
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Characteristics of Useful Code Reviews: An Empirical Study at Microsoft

Did you ever wonder what makes code reviews useful? Do you want to improve the value of your code review comments? Then, this publication is for you. Through a large-scale study, we reveal which code review comments are valuable and which ones are just annoying and time-consuming for the code author.

Amiangshu Bosu, Michaela Greiler, Christian Bird
Proceedings of the International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, May 1, 2015
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Lessons Learned From Deploying a Code Review Analytics Platform

Ever wondered what it takes to build and deploy an analytics platform that users naturally adopt? In this article, we describe the lessons we learned from building and deploying a code review analytics platform at Microsoft.

Christian Bird, Trevor Carnahan, Michaela Greiler
Microsoft Research, February 1, 2015
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Automated Detection of Test Fixture Strategies and Smells

Michaela Greiler, Arie van Deursen, Margaret-Anne Storey, Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation. IEEE, Luxembourg, March 2013.
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What your Plug-in Test Suites Really Test: An Integration Perspective on Test Suite Understanding

Michaela Greiler and Arie van Deursen, Empirical Software Engineering Journal, 2012, Springer.
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Measuring Test Case Similarity to Support Test Suite Understanding

Michaela Greiler, Arie van Deursen, Andy Zaidman, Proceedings of the International Conference on Objects, Models, Components, Patterns (TOOLS). Springer, Prague, Czech Republic, May-June 2012.
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Test Confessions: A Study of Testing Practices for Plug-in Systems

Michaela Greiler, Arie van Deursen, Margaret-Anne Storey, International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2012, Switzerland
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Understanding Plug-in Test Suites from an Extensibility Perspective, Best Paper Award 

Michaela Greiler, Hans-Gerhard Gross, Arie van Deursen, Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE), October 13-17 2010, Boston, USA
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Evaluation of Online Testing for Services – A Case Study

Michaela Greiler, Hans-Gerhard Gross, Arie van Deursen, International Workshop on Principles of Engineering Service-Oriented Systems (PESOS), May 2-8 2010, CapeTown, SouthAfrica
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Online Testing of Service-Oriented Architectures to detect State-based Faults

Michaela Greiler, Hans-Gerhard Gross, Arie van Deursen, International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing, 2009, Doctoral Symposium
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Runtime Integration and Testing for Highly Dynamic Service Oriented ICT Solutions

Michaela Greiler, Hans-Gerhard Gross, Khalid Adam Nasr, Practice and Research Techniques, 2009. TAIC PART ’09. Testing: Academic & Industrial Conference
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Secure Resource Sharing in Ad hoc Networks

Michaela Greiler and Peter Schartner, In Proceedings of the International Conference on Security and Management 2008, pages 278-284
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