The Roles Beacons Play in Comprehension for Novice and Expert Programmers

Martha Crosby; Jean Scholtz; Susan Wiedenbeck

In this research, progressively refined methods of investigating Beacon-like features (the surface features of computer programs that serve as keys to facilitate program comprehension) were used to determine how programmers from different experience levels understand a typical simple program. In this study, we found Beacons for novice programmers are different than they are for more experienced programmers. Novices discriminate very little between areas of the program and thus do not seem to use beacons. More experienced programmers tend to concentrate on the important areas of a program and thus, seem to rely on Beacons.

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2002 - 14th Annual Workshop
Publication Year: 2002
Paper #: 5
TitleThe Roles Beacons Play in Comprehension for Novice and Expert Programmers
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsCrosby, M, Scholtz, J, Wiedenbeck, S
PPIG Workshop: 
2002-06-14th