PPIG 2002 - 14th Annual Workshop
The Roles Beacons Play in Comprehension for Novice and Expert Programmers
Martha E. Crosby, Jean Scholtz, Susan Wiedenbeck
Abstract: In this research, progressively refined methods of investigating Beacon-like features (the surface features of computer programs that serve as keys to facilitate program comprehension) were used to determine how programmers from different experience levels understand a typical simple program. In this study, we found Beacons for novice programmers are different than they are for more experienced programmers. Novices discriminate very little between areas of the program and thus do not seem to use beacons. More experienced programmers tend to concentrate on the important areas of a program and thus, seem to rely on Beacons.