Developer-Centered Programming Tools
Thomas LaToza
Department of Computer Science
Wednesday, September 30 at 11 am


Developers spend much of their time being stuck, editing and rerunning code that doesn't work and reading through Stack Overflow posts, API docs, and source code. By adopting a developer-centered approach, it is possible to understand what makes programming hard and to design better tools that make programming easier. Drawing on studies we've conducted of how developers work and the challenges they face, I'll present a number of new programming tools my group has designed, focusing on the challenges of onboarding, documentation, problem solving, and debugging.

Speaker Bio

Thomas LaToza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Developer Experience Design Lab at George Mason University. His research focus is on programming tools, working at the intersection of software engineering and human-computer interaction. The goal of his research is to design programming tools that make building software easier and less error-prone, manifest to users as better software with fewer defects. He has pioneered the design of crowdsourced programming environments, which reify developer's design knowledge, strategies, and mental models in explicit forms which can be manipulated by program analysis tools and connected to code. He has served on dozens of program committees, co-chaired 4 workshops, and served as a Guest Editor of IEEE Software. His work is funded through the National Science Foundation and the NSA. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award and currently leads two NSF-funded multi-institution research projects.


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