In computing, we usually take a technical view of programming languages (PL), defining them as formal means of specifying a computer behavior. This view shapes much of the research that we do on PL, determining the questions we ask about them, the improvements we make to them, and how we teach people to use them. But to many people, PL are not purely technical things, but socio-technical things. This paper describes several alternative views of PL and how these views can reshape how we design, evolve, and use programming languages in research and practice.
Amy J. Ko is a Professor at the University of Washington Information School and an Adjunct Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. She directs the Code & Cognition Lab, where she studies human aspects of programming. Her earliest work included techniques for automatically answering questions about program behavior to support debugging, program understanding, and reuse. Her later work studied interactions between developers and users, and techniques for web scale aggregation of user intent through help systems; she co-founded AnswerDash to commercialize these ideas. Her latest work investigates effective, equitable, scalable ways for humanity to learn computing, including programming languages, APIs, programming strategies, design, and machine learning. Her work spans over 100 peer-reviewed publications, 11 receiving best paper awards and 4 receiving most influential paper awards. She is an ACM Senior Member, and member of ACM SIGCHI, SIGCSE, and SIGSOFT. She received her Ph.D. at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, and degrees in Computer Science and Psychology with Honors from Oregon State University in 2002.
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Guido SalvaneschiTU Darmstadt, GermanyDOI Pre-print
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Amy KoUniversity of WashingtonDOI Pre-print