Which environment is more suitable for novice programmers: editor/command line/console environment vs. Integrated Development Environment

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University of Alabama Libraries

When novice programmers begin programming, they face many problems due to the lack of programming experience. Integrated Development Environments are used as a way to help novices become more effective at learning to program. The question is whether or not such an environment is more effective when compared to a command line/console environment. Therefore, this study tried to address this question by performing interviews with students who were using these environments. This study was composed of two groups of undergraduate students who were taking courses in Computer Science. Group one consisted of students who were involved in a course sequence beginning with the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE, then a command line environment for the last course in the sequence. The second group started programming with a command line environment. Interviews were conducted with both groups in order to gain information about these environments. The information retrieved showed that the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE is favored based on the students' responses to the questions. However, there was not enough significant differences amongst the results to say that an IDE in general is better than a command line environment. It was the intent that this information provided not only background information but also served as potential foundational evidence for determining which environment may be more suitable for novice programmers to use for programming. This information will also be used as a basis for further research and studies in this area.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Computer science