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ERIC Number: EJ900593
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0018-9359
Debugging from the Student Perspective
Fitzgerald, S.; McCauley, R.; Hanks, B.; Murphy, L.; Simon, B.; Zander, C.
IEEE Transactions on Education, v53 n3 p390-396 Aug 2010
Learning to debug is a difficult, yet essential, aspect of learning to program. Students in this multi-institutional study report that finding bugs is harder than fixing them. They use a wide variety of debugging strategies, some of them unexpected. Time spent on understanding the problem can be effective. Pattern matching, particularly at the syntactic level, is an important technique for beginners. The Web has emerged as an obvious first place to look for similar examples. Lack of Web materials at an appropriate beginner level leads to flailing. Hypothesizing about the cause of bugs is an underdeveloped skill. (Contains 3 tables.)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Tel: 732-981-0060; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A