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Studying Programmer Behaviour at Scale: A Case Study using Amazon Mechanical Turk

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Conference Object

Change log

Authors

Jacques, JT 
Kristensson, PO 

Abstract

Developing and maintaining a correct and consistent model of how code will be executed is an ongoing challenge for software developers. However, validating the tools and techniques we develop to aid programmers can be a challenge plagued by small sample sizes, high costs, or poor generalisability. This paper serves as a case study using a web-based crowdsourcing approach to study programmer behaviour at scale. We demonstrate this method to create controlled coding experiments at modest cost, highlight the efficacy of this approach with objective validation, and comment on notable findings from our prototype experiment into one of the most ubiquitous, yet understudied, features of modern software development environments: syntax highlighting.

Description

Keywords

programming, behaviour, crowdsourcing

Journal Title

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference Name

<Programming> '21: 5th International Conference on the Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

ACM

Rights

All rights reserved
Sponsorship
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R004471/1)
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