PPIG 2009 - 21st Annual Workshop
Cognitive levels and Software Maintenance Sub-tasks
Tara Kelly, Jim Buckley
Abstract: This paper describes a case study that was carried out to characterize the behaviour of professional programmers, working on in-vivo software maintenance tasks, in terms of the cognitive levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Specifically, it evaluates if their behaviour on specific maintenance sub-tasks can be associated with specific cognitive levels of the taxonomy.
The findings suggest that some such relationships do exist. Indeed, several of the identified relationships are at the most cognitively-demanding levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Allied with reports from other research in the domain of software maintenance, these relationships suggest that difficult sub-tasks within software maintenance are difficult, in part, because of the cognitive levels that programmers must work at when undertaking them. Thus, they suggest the nature of the support that should be offered to maintenance programmers involved in these tasks.