Design Features of a Friendly Software Environment For Novice Programmers

Eisenstadt, Marc (1992). Design Features of a Friendly Software Environment For Novice Programmers. In: Eisenstadt, Marc and Rajan, Tim eds. Novice Programming Environments. Explorations in Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence, Volume 4-10. London: Routledge, pp. 3–30.



This chapter describes a highly-friendly, software environment for novice programmers. It outlines several features which could benefit designers of other software environments, concentrating in particular on the interaction among three aspects of software design: the programming language itself, the user environment, and the curriculum used to introduce students to programming. In order to make SOLO a relatively painless experience for novices, a great deal of effort was put into the total software environment within which these novices would be working. The special features of the language, environment, and curriculum which have paid high dividends for Open University students are summarized. One of the main lessons of SOLO is that software designers hoping to have any significant impact on a large population of users must pay a great deal of attention to the interaction of the language, the environment, and the curriculum.

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