PPIG 2000 - 12th Annual Workshop
The Effect of Programming Language on Error Rates of Novice Programmers
Linda McIver
Abstract: This paper describes the design and testing of a new introductory programming language, GRAIL1. GRAIL was designed to minimise student syntax errors, and hence allow the study of the impact of syntax errors on learning to program. An experiment was conducted using students learning programming for the first time. The students were split into two groups, one group learning LOGO and the other GRAIL. The resulting code was then analysed for syntax and logic errors. The groups using LOGO made more errors than the groups using GRAIL, which shows that choice of programming language can have a substantial impact on error rates of novice programmers.