Prior research has identified two psychological processes that appear to be used by programmers when they perform design and coding tasks: (a) taxonomizing—identifying the conditions that evoke particular actions; and (b) sequencing—converting the taxa into a linear sequence of program code. Three structured tools—structured English, decision tables, and decision trees—were investigated in a laboratory experiment to determine how they facilitated these two processes. When taxonomizing had to be undertaken, structured English outperformed decision tables, and decision trees outperformed structured English. When sequencing had to be undertaken, decision trees and structured English outperformed decision tables, but decision trees and structured English evoked the same level of performance.
The full text of this article is premium content
No entries found
Log in to Read the Full Article
Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.
Create a Web Account
If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.
Join the ACM
Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine
Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.
Purchase the Article
Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.