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Design Strategies and Knowledge in Object-Oriented Programming: Effects of Experience

Françoise Détienne 1
1 EIFFEL2 - Cognition and Cooperation in Design
Inria Paris-Rocquencourt, CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM]
Abstract : An empirical study was conducted to analyse design strategies and knowledge used in object-oriented software design. Eight professional programmers experienced with procedural programming languages and either experienced or not experienced in object-oriented design strategies related to two central aspects of the object-oriented paradigm: (1) associating actions, i.e., execution steps, of a complex plan to different objects and revising a complex plan, and (2) defining simple plans at different levels in the class hierarchy. As regards the development of complex plans elements attached to different objects, our results show that, for beginners in OOP, the description of objects and the description of actions are not always integrated in an early design phase, particularly for the declarative problem whereas, for the programmers experienced in OOP, the description of objects and the description of actions tend to be integrated in their first drafts of solutions whichever the problem type. The analysis of design strategies reveal the use of different knowledge according to subjects' language experience: (1) schemas related to procedural languages; actions are organized in an execution order, or (2) schemas related to object-oriented languages; actions and objects are integrated, and actions are organised around objects.
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https://hal.inria.fr/inria-00117299
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Françoise Détienne. Design Strategies and Knowledge in Object-Oriented Programming: Effects of Experience. Human-Computer Interaction, Taylor & Francis, 1995, 10 (2-3), pp.129-170. ⟨inria-00117299v2⟩

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