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Devon Harker (author)David Casperson (thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia College of Science and Management (Degree granting institution)Alex Lautensach (committee member)Jernej Polajnar (committee member)
Examining the effects of enhanced compilers on student productivity
Master of Science (MSc)
1 online resource (152 pages)
Programs written by novices programmers often contain errors. Previous work shows students struggle when compiler error messages are inaccurate, misleading, or both. Loss of productivity caused by poor error messages has not been thoroughly explored in the literature. This thesis examines how enhanced compilers improve the experiences of those learning to program. The thesis follows fifty non-CS majors with little programming experience through a one-semester CS1-like course at the University of Northern British Columbia, a small western Canadian university. Half of the participants used the enhanced compiler for Java named Decaf while the other half used the standard Java compiler. The evidence shows that Decaf is beneficial with regards to the number and types of errors generated, productivity, frustration, and confidence in programming ability, and compares results with the literature.
Computer programming--Study and teachingCompilers (Computer programs)