HCI doctoral student Andrew J. Ko, HCI Research Associate Htet Htet Aung, along with Professor of Human Computer Interaction Brad A. Myers, have won one of four best paper awards at the 27th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE'05), the premier software engineering conference, held May 15-21 in St. Louis, Mo.
The paper, "Eliciting Design Requirements for Maintenance-Oriented IDEs: A Detailed Study of Corrective and Perfective Maintenance Tasks," was based on their studies of expert Java programmers making small changes to unfamiliar code in a laboratory setting. "We wanted to learn what might make the programming tools of the future more helpful to their users," said Myers. "We found that the programmers seemed to make their changes in three phases: Attempting to find the right part of the code, then looking around inside this code to understand it, and finally doing the edits. They spent as much as 35 percent of their time in low-level navigation tasks like scrolling. We think future tools could reduce that time, thereby increasing programmer productivity."
"This is part of our general research project on what we call Natural Programming," said Myers. "We're reporting on a study to see what would be the best next step in terms of helping people create and modify programs, not just debug them after they are already created."
For more on about this research and the Natural Programming project, see:http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~NatProg/
For more on the ICSE'05 conference, see:http://www.cs.wustl.edu/icse05/Home/index.shtml