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ERIC Number: EJ830151
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0899-3408
What about a Simple Language? Analyzing the Difficulties in Learning to Program
Mannila, Linda; Peltomaki, Mia; Salakoski, Tapio
Computer Science Education, v16 n3 p211-227 Sep 2006
In this paper, we present the results from a two-part study. We analyze 60 programs written by novice programmers aged 16-19 after their first programming course, in either Java or Python. The aim is to find difficulties independent of the language used, and such originating from the language. Second, we analyze the transition from a "simple" language to a more "advanced" one, by following up on eight students, who learned programming in Python before moving on to Java. Our results suggest that a simple language gives rise to fewer syntax errors as well as logic errors. The qualitative part of our study did not reveal any disadvantages from having learned to program in a simple language when moving on to a more complex one. This suggests that not only can a simple language be used when introducing programming as a general skill, but also when providing basic skills to future professionals in the field. (Contains 2 figures and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland