PPIG 2010 - 22nd Annual Workshop
Students’ early attitudes and possible misconceptions about programming
David C. Moffat
Abstract: Programming can be unpopular with some university students of computing, who may then go on to graduate without good programming skills. This unpopularity threatens student recruitment into the core computing courses and professions, and may weaken the economy. It may be that negative attitudes harm the student’s interest and confidence in programming, making for an unsatisfying learning experience.
In this pilot study, student attitudes towards programming, and possible changes in attitude, were investigated by means of a survey on a university’s introductory programming course.
Results indicate that some students have negative attitudes toward programming, and programmers; and this applies to school pupils as well. A minority of the students questioned retained their frustration and dislike of programming throughout the course, but others came to love it in the end. Interpretation of the results leads to speculation regarding the quality of the teaching of programming, both at school and at university.