To what extent are first year Computer Science students improving their Java Programming skills, in relation to Java coding conventions

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Author: Albin Remnestål; Matteus Hast; [2017]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The aim of the paper is to study the development of code quality in first year students at the Royal Institute of Technology’s (KTH) Computer Science programme to investigate how they improve their Java programming skills, in relation to official Java coding conventions. The material was collected from two separate course rounds through KTH’s GitHub Enterprise where the students submit their weekly assignments. The Introductory course to Computer Science at KTH does not explicitly choose any code convention to teach their students, and the code quality of the students’ Java source code has never been formally analysed. The result was compiled into graphs showing the progress of code quality, where each graph represent a test taken from official Java coding conventions. The graphs shows no trend of neither increase nor decrease in students skill in relation to code quality. The result shows the problems of analysing code quality when students are given code shells and some students only taking a subset of the assignments. The data shows some minor differences between the course round, but mostly that the data has proven to be inconsistent and ambiguous. This has proven that quantitative analysis on this sort of material to be very difficult. Therefore, a reliable answer can not be given to the investigation on to what extent students are improving their Java programming skills during their first year.

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