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Links between the personalities, styles and performance in computer programming

Stefan Wagner
February 17, 2017

Links between the personalities, styles and performance in computer programming

A talk given at the German Software Engineering conference 2017 in Hannover. It summarises our findings of how personality traits influence programming styles and in turn programming performance.
The corresponding paper is published here:

Stefan Wagner

February 17, 2017

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  1. You can copy, share and change, film and photograph, blog,

    live-blog and tweet this presentation given that you attribute it to its author and respect the rights and licenses of its parts. based on slides by @SMEasterbrook und @ethanwhite
  2. The Big Five Personality Test 5 Closed-Minded Open to New

    Experiences Disorganised Conscientious Introverted Extraverted Disagreeable Agreeable Calm/Relaxed Nervous / High-Strung Openness to Experience Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Emotional Stability
  3. Programming Style: Top-Down & Depth-First find hypothesis modify model find

    hypothesis modify model modify code modify code test code test code mental model code run
  4. Programming Style: Bottom-Up & Breadth-First mental model code run find

    hypothesis find hypothesis modify code test code modify model
  5. Cox and Fisher’s Theory Task Situation Individual internal external Influence

    Programming Styles like personality like experience Programming Context’s Factors
  6. Research Questions RQ 1: Which human factors affect certain programming

    styles? RQ 2: Which factors, human factors and programming styles affect performance?
  7. Study Design Age Gender Programming Experience Attitude towards Programming Personality

    Factors Human Factors Programming Styles ? ? Programming Performance Programmer Quality (self-assessed) Project and Code Quality (Grade) Code Quality (Static Analysis Warnings)
  8. High Openness to Experience programmers used the breadth-first style more

    often than low Openness to Experience Programmers.
  9. Programmers who tended to use depth-first more often were better

    programmers than ones who did not tend to use depth-first.
  10. Significant Correlations (All Positive) Programming Performance Number of Programming Languages

    (Experience) Age Academic Achievement Depth-First Programming Style Conscientiousness (Personality) Years at University (Experience) Large Revisions (Programming Style)
  11. Limitations • Self-developed questionnaire to operationalise some styles • Self-assessed

    survey • Mainly students in second year of studies • Volunteer bias • Correlations do not need to be cause/effect
  12. Prof. Dr. Stefan Wagner e-mail [email protected] phone +49 (0) 711

    685-88455 WWW www.iste.uni-stuttgart.de/se Twitter prof_wagnerst ORCID 0000-0002-5256-8429 arXiv http://arxiv.org/a/wagner_s_1 Institute of Software Technology Slides are available at www.stefan-wagner.biz. Joint work with Zahra Karimi, Ahmad Baraani-Dastjerdi, Nasser Ghasem-Aghaee
  13. Pictures Used in this Slide Deck Programmer writing code with

    Unit Tests by Joonspoon under CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/File:Programmer_writing_code_with_Unit_Tests.jpg) Happy Programmers by Jesper Ronn-Jensen (https://flic.kr/p/oi9kA) Computer Work Hero (https://www.jisc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/computer-work-hero.jpg) Source code security plugin by Christiaan Colen under CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ 132889348@N07/20013034943)