Usability of Programming Languages

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Link to temporary GoogleDoc for notes (

We held a Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting at CHI'2016, the ACM conference on Computer-Human Interaction, on Tuesday, May 10, 4:30pm-5:50pm PST in room 112 in San Jose, CA, USA.

Picture of the organizers:
picture of organizers
(left to right): Stefan Hanenberg, Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Brad Myers, Andreas Stefik, Margaret Burnett, Philip Wadler, Franklyn Turbak

Draft of slides for the SIG in pdf.

After the conference, we plan to fill out this website with lots of information about the Usability of Programming Languages, but for now, you can see:


Programming languages form the interface between programmers (the users) and the computation that they desire the computer to execute. Although studies exist for some aspects of programming language design (such as conditionals), other aspects have received little or no human factors evaluations. Designers thus have little they can rely on if they want to make new languages highly usable, and users cannot easily chose a language based on usability criteria. This SIG will bring together researchers and practitioners interested in increasing the depth and breadth of studies on the usability of programming languages, and ultimately in improving the usability of future languages.

SIG Organizers:

Brad Myers
Andreas Stefik
Stefan Hanenberg
Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho
Margaret Burnett
Franklyn Turbak
Philip Wadler

Page by: Brad Myers