Mon 5 Nov 2018 13:30 - 13:55 at Beacon Hill - Language Usability Chair(s): Sarah E. Chasins

Using more than one programming language in the same project is common practice. Often, additional languages might be introduced to projects to solve specific issues. While the practice is common, it is unclear whether it has an impact on developer productivity. In this paper, we present a pilot study investigating what happens when programmers switch between programming languages. The experiment is a repeated measures double-blind randomized controlled trial with 3 groups with varying amounts of code switching in a database context. Results provide a rigorous testing methodology that can be replicated by us or others, a theoretical backing for why these effects might exist from the linguistics literature, and are suggestive that the distance between a host language and an embedded one might have an impact on productivity.

Mon 5 Nov

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