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ICPC 2022
Mon 16 - Tue 17 May 2022
co-located with ICSE 2022

The Structured Query Language (SQL) is a widely taught database query language in computer science, data science, and software engineering programs. While highly expressive, SQL is challenging to learn for novices. Various research has explored the errors and mistakes that SQL users make. Specific attributes of SQL code, such as the number of tables and the degree of nesting, have been found to impact its understandability and maintainability both for learners and for practitioners. Furthermore, prior studies have shown that novices have significant issues using SQL correctly, due to factors such as expressive ease, existing knowledge and misconceptions, and the impact of cognitive load.

In this paper we identify another factor: self-inflicted query complexity, where users hinder their own problem solving process. We analyse 8K intermediate and final student attempts to six SQL exercises, approaching complexity from four perspective: correctness, execution order, edit distance and query intricacy. Through our analyses, we find that our students are hindered in their query formulation process by mismanaging complexity through writing overly elaborate queries containing unnecessary elements, overusing brackets and nesting, and incrementally building queries with persistent errors.

Mon 16 May

Displayed time zone: Eastern Time (US & Canada) change

02:00 - 02:40
Session 3: Complexity from a Cognitive PerspectiveResearch at ICPC room
Chair(s): Simone Scalabrino University of Molise
Estimating Developers' Cognitive Load at a Fine-grained Level Using Eye-tracking Measures
Amine Abbad-Andaloussi Institute of Computer Science, St Gallen University, Switzerland, Thierry Sorg Institute of Computer Science, St Gallen University, Switzerland, Barbara Weber St. Gallen University
Media Attached
So many brackets! An analysis of how SQL learners (mis)manage complexity during query formulation
Daphne Miedema Eindhoven University of Technology, George Fletcher Eindhoven University of Technology, Efthimia Aivaloglou University of Leiden
DOI Pre-print Media Attached
Anchoring Code Understandability Evaluations Through Task Descriptions
Marvin Wyrich University of Stuttgart, Lasse Merz University of Stuttgart, Daniel Graziotin University of Stuttgart
Pre-print Media Attached
The Effect of Information Content and Length on Name Recollection
Asaf Etgar Hebrew University, Ram Friedman Hebrew University, Shaked Haiman Hebrew University, Dana Perez Hebrew University, Dror Feitelson Hebrew University
Media Attached File Attached
Live Q&A
Q&A-Paper Session 3

Information for Participants