Programming at the Deep End

If someone gave you 30 minutes to implement insertion sort in an unfamiliar programming language, say COBOL, then how would you go about it?

Chances are that you would Google the matter – frantically so. But what would you google, how many queries would it take you, what personality traits determine your behaviour, for how long would you retain the knowledge and how would it make you feel?

Information seeking behaviour is an integral but under-studied part of the programming language-learning process. In my talk, I will open a discussion on how this can be studied experimentally, by inviting CS subjects to participate in an afternoon of programming language "circuit training" that mimics the multilingual demands of software development workplaces.

First published: 11 March 2019