A replication study on the intuitiveness of programming language syntax
Lappi, V., Tirronen, V., & Itkonen, J. (2023). A replication study on the intuitiveness of programming language syntax. Software Quality Journal, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11219-023-09631-7
Published inSoftware Quality Journal
DisciplineTutkintokoulutusComputing, Information Technology and MathematicsComputing Education ResearchTietotekniikkaDegree EducationComputing, Information Technology and MathematicsComputing Education ResearchMathematical Information Technology
© The Author(s) 2023
In this article, we present a replication of an empirical experiment that evaluates intuitiveness and comprehensibility of keywords relating to different concepts in programming languages, originally conducted by Stefik and Gellenbeck. Novice programmers face many barriers when learning programming. One of these barriers is syntax, which for many languages is not designed based on empirical evidence. The purpose of the experiment was to provide more empirical evidence on the subject, to find out if the results of the original experiment can be replicated and if conducting the experiment in an environment where English is not the native language affects the results. The results of our experiment replicated most of the findings of the original study and provided further evidence that some syntactic choices in many popular programming languages are unintuitive for novice programmers. Our results suggest that the native language of participants who otherwise had good English skills had little effect when compared to the original study. These results may support programming language designers in making evidence-based design decisions and teachers of introductory programming courses in identifying some of the barriers novice programmers face. ...
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication in research information system
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Additional information about fundingOpen Access funding provided by University of Jyväskylä (JYU).
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