Toward Human-Centered Programming Language Design

Software Engineering Seminar
Computer Science Department

Friday, December 15, 10am, ENGR 4201


Josh Sunshine

Carnegie Mellon University



Programming languages are a tool for human thought, expression, and work yet they are principally designed using mathematical and engineering techniques. In this talk, I will describe how our group has applied human-centered design techniques --- interviews, participatory design exercises, and qualitative analysis of developer forums --- in the design of three research programming systems (Plaid, Glacier, and Obsidian). I will speak frankly about the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches and discuss speculative new techniques.



Joshua Sunshine is a Systems Scientist in the Institute for Software Research in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on programmer productivity, programming language design, and usability of software components. He completed his PhD in Software Engineering at Carnegie Mellon in 2013. Before that, he spent four years as a software engineer and technology consultant. 



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