They are constantly trying to break the brains of several Hungarian software developers

Sandra Loyd

How do medior and senior professionals get from one problem to another? – the answer to this question is sought in the research that maps the way of thinking of software developers at the Department of Software Development of the Institute of Informatics of the University of Szeged. The experiment monitors the thinking of six software developers who have been working in the industry for at least 3 years. Several of them graduated from SZTE

– Software development as a task has a lot of sub-problems that require a lot of thinking and time. A significant part of these can be reduced if people give programmers and developers tools that allow them to focus much more on creative work. We thought that these tools could be well designed if we first understood the thinking of programmers, because then we would know what steps could be used to help their work, said Dr. Árpád Beszédes, Associate Professor, Department of Software Development, Institute of Informatics, University of Szeged.

Software development programmers work in a so-called integrated development environment, in which they write, run program code, test, view test results, look for bugs. Such a development environment can incorporate all sorts of features, such as one that guides programmers into which parts to focus on where the bug may be. For a developer, this environment is a basic work tool, such as a word processing program for a journalist. The text editor includes features – automatic spell checking, search – that make your job easier. Such a toolkit can also be found in the software development environment.

– In the research we use a new approach, called Think Aloud Sessions, ie the programmers are observed during the task and asked to be very detailed. they tell you exactly, step by step, what they are doing. Six software developers are participating in the study. After the last sessions, we started processing the data, which is quite a long process as a lot of hours of video and audio were made. What was interesting was that the participants were very positive about the experiment, saying that they were very happy to take part in it and were happy that someone was finally trying to understand and get to know their problems, their everyday difficulties.

Dr. Árpád Beszédes added: in one stage of the experiment, they show the developers three possible tools and hope to find out which ones are the most useful. However, the experiment is also expected to benefit the Department of Software Development: they will get ideas to further develop the tools.

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