anonymous tech woman

Yet another woman in technology blog. I'm actually a developer who uses a variety of Java and database technologies on a variety of platforms.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

How can I tell if I'll be any good as a programmer?

I remember doing a programming course at university which was basically a course on computer programming and theory using the C language. It was a hard course and most of what you learnt didn't click for sometime. Anyway lots of people got the stuff to "click" just before the exam and got a decent pass mark while the other half of the course where on the border line of pass/fail.

The Guardian has this technology article which discusses a paper from Saeed Dehnadi and Richard Bornat at Middlesex University which talks about giving students a simple test at the begining of a computing course to discover which students are likely to pass the course with ease and which are likely to fail.

The actual paper is called "The Camel Has Two Humps (a working title)" and is quite a interesting read. It discusses that whilst there have been numerous theories of selection to defeat the problem i.e. selecting candidates from Oxbridge, selecting only arts students, using A level scores none of these methodologies work. So the researches administrated a test they created themselves to students during an semester and then looked at their course exam results. They found those who could do the test were likely to pass their course.

This research throws up a whole level of interesting issues because:
1. The British Computer Society wants more people to train to become programmers
2. Recruiters use tests and selection criteria which they think show aptitude for programming but the tests could (after more research) be shown to discriminatory.

Technorati Tags: programming, learning, Software Development


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