Leveraging teenagers feedback in the development of a domain-specific language: the case of programming low-cost robots

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) empower end-users to express software tasks that were traditionally developed by software engineers. DSLs allow users to express themselves in terms closer to the way they think about their problems, rather than in computational terms. However, conceiving a DSL with an adequate user experience for its end-users is not a trivial task, and the process of engineering that adequacy tends to be performed ad-hoc. The Gyro Creator Language (GCL) is an open-source DSL for controlling low-cost rover-like Arduino robots, designed for being used by teenagers with no previous computing skills, so they can be introduced to programming in a fun way. In this paper, we discuss an iterative process building on teenagers' early feedback, collected in a series of empirical evaluations with 128 teenagers, and how this has helped us driving GCL to a competitive level in terms of usability, when compared to well-established alternatives such as Lego, or Scratch.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1221-1229
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450351911
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2018
Event33rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2018 - Pau, France
Duration: 9 Apr 201813 Apr 2018

Conference

Conference33rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2018
CountryFrance
CityPau
Period9/04/1813/04/18

Keywords

  • Programming languages for children
  • Robotics programming

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  • Cite this

    Barisic, A., Cambeiro, J., Amaral, V., Goulão, M., & Mota, T. (2018). Leveraging teenagers feedback in the development of a domain-specific language: the case of programming low-cost robots. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2018 (pp. 1221-1229). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3167132.3167264