Empirical Studies of Programmers

Individual Symposium within

2002 IEEE Symposia on
Human Centric Computing
Languages and Environments (HCC'02)

Chair Susan Wiedenbeck (susan.wiedenbeck@drexel.edu)
Marian Petre (m.petre@open.ac.uk)
Focus of the Symposium

Many tools are developed to aid programmers and software engineers, but all too often good ideas fail in practice. We submit that failure is often related to a lack of understanding of programmers’ characteristics, work, systems, and environments. This motivates an approach in which languages and tools are developed based on knowledge gained from empirical studies of programmers. Great diversity is possible in this endeavor. For example, empirical studies may take place in the field or the laboratory. They may study individual programmers or groups. They may target expert software engineers or students learning to program. The thing that they have in common is that they take an empirical approach of gathering data from programmers and software engineers, in order to better understand programmers’ cognition, tasks, tools, and environment. This knowledge, applied within a tool development process, can lead to better support for programmers and software engineers.It can result in models of programmers and their tasks.It can result in data to compare different approaches to supporting programmers.

This is the first Empirical Studies of Programmers Symposium at HCC. It follows a series of workshops on empirical studies of programmers held in the 1980s and 1990s. Our objective is to bring together researchers, designers, and users to discuss how empirical studies can inform model building and tool development.


Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Design, comprehension, debugging, and modification of programs
  • Teaching, learning, and knowledge transfer in various programming languages and paradigms
  • Study and comparison of tools and programming environments
  • Empirical studies of end-user programming, programming by example and related issues
  • Studies of programming in different environments, such as at home or while traveling
  • Novice/ expert differences in programming
  • Studies of programming by specific populations, such as children and older adults
Program Committee Alan Blackwell, Cambridge Univeristy, UK
Ruven Brooks, Rockwell Automation, USA
Cynthia Corritore, Creighton University, USA
Françoise Détienne, INRIA-Rocquencourt, France
Laura Leventhal, Bowling Green State University, USA
Marian Petre, Open University, UK (co-chair)
Robert Rist, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Mary Beth Rosson, Virginia Institute of Technology, USA
Jorma Sajaniemi, University of Joensuu, Finland
John Stasko, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Willemien Visser, INRIA-Rocquencourt, France
Susan Wiedenbeck, Drexel University, USA
Stuart Zweben, Ohio State University, USA
Submission Please see the main HCC'02 page.
Important Dates Please see the main HCC'02 page.
Accepted Papers Please see the main HCC'02 page.
Program Please see the main HCC'02 page.
Organization Program Committee pages

Last modification: 6/10/2002, Mark Minas