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Thu 28 May 2020 12:10 - 12:30 at TBD4 - Cognition

Once a programmer knows one language, they can leverage concepts and knowledge already learned, and easily pick up another programming language. But is that always the case? To understand if programmers have difficulty learning additional programming languages, we conducted an empirical study of Stack Overflow questions across 18 different programming languages. We hypothesized that previous knowledge could potentially interfere with learning a new programming language. From our inspection of 450 Stack Overflow questions, we found 276 instances of interference that occurred due to faulty assumptions originating from knowledge of about a different language. To understand why these difficulties occurred, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 professional programmers. The interviews revealed that programmers make failed attempts to relate a new programming language with what they already know. Our findings inform design implications for technical authors, toolsmiths, and language designers, such as designing documentation and automated tools that reduce interference, anticipating uncommon language transitions during language design, and welcoming programmers not just into a language, but its entire ecosystem.

Thu 28 May

icse-2020-paper-presentations
10:50 - 12:30: Paper Presentations - Cognition at TBD4
icse-2020-papers10:50 - 11:10
Talk
Souti ChattopadhyayGraduate Student, Nicholas NelsonOregon State University, Audrey AuOregon State University, Natalia MoralesOregon State University, Christopher SanchezOregon State University, Rahul PanditaPhase Change Software, Anita SarmaOregon State University
icse-2020-papers11:10 - 11:30
Talk
Daniela Girardi University of Bari, Nicole NovielliUniversity of Bari, Davide FucciBlekinge Institute of Technology, Filippo LanubileUniversity of Bari
icse-2020-papers11:30 - 11:50
Talk
Ryan KruegerUniversity of Michigan, Yu HuangUniversity of Michigan, Xinyu LiuUniversity of Michigan, Tyler SantanderUniversity of California at Santa Barbara, Westley WeimerUniversity of Michigan, Kevin LeachUniversity of Michigan
icse-2020-Software-Engineering-in-Practice11:50 - 12:10
Talk
Shrikanth N CNorth Carolina State University, Tim MenziesNorth Carolina State University
Pre-print
icse-2020-papers12:10 - 12:30
Talk
Nischal ShresthaNorth Carolina State University, Colton BottaNorth Carolina State University, Titus BarikMicrosoft, Chris ParninNorth Carolina State University
Pre-print