Relationship between Code Reading Speed and Programmers' Age

Yukasa MURAKAMI  Masateru TSUNODA  Masahide NAKAMURA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E104-D   No.1   pp.121-125
Publication Date: 2021/01/01
Publicized: 2020/09/17
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2020MPL0002
Type of Manuscript: Special Section LETTER (Special Section on Empirical Software Engineering)
developer's performance,  code reading,  mental simulation,  

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According to the aging society, it is getting more important for software industry to secure human resources including senior developers. To enhance the performance of senior developers, we should clarify the strengths and weaknesses of senior developers, and based on that, we should reconsider software engineering education and development support tools. To a greater or lesser extent, many cognitive abilities would be affected by aging, and we focus on the human memory as one of such abilities. We performed preliminary analysis based on the assumption. In the preliminary experiment, we prepared programs in which the influence of human memory performance (i.e., the number of variables remembered in the short-term memory) on reading speed is different, and measured time for subjects to understand the programs. As a result, we observed that the code reading speed of senior subjects was slow, when they read programs in which the influence of human memory performance is larger.