Investigating Reading Techniques for Framework Learning
Basili, Victor R.
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The empirical study described in this paper addresses software reading for construction: how application developers obtain an understanding of a software artifact for use in new system development. This study focuses on the processes developers would engage in when learning and using object-oriented frameworks. We analyzed 15 student software development projects using both qualitative and quantitative methods to gain insight into what processes occurred during framework usage. The contribution of the study is not to test predefined hypotheses but to generate well-supported hypotheses for further investigation. The main hypotheses we produce are that example-based techniques are well suited to use by beginning learners while hierarchy-based techniques are not because of a larger learning curve. Other more specific hypotheses are proposed and discussed. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-98-26)