Surveying communities of users of MATLAB and clone languages

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Context: MATLAB is a programming language vastly used in scientific and engineering domains by engineers, scientists, and researchers. Still, MATLAB seems to be perceived as being used mainly by non-professional programmers, not taking full advantage of MATLAB's features (e.g., OOP-support). The current state of the art does not seem to verify these assumptions. Objectives: Our goal was to fill the gap in the characteristics of the MATLAB community and its users, how proficient they are with the MATLAB, and what is their satisfaction level. Methods: We performed a survey with 212 valid responses, aiming to characterize the community of MATLAB users and clone languages. The survey was published on several platforms, including Reddit, Linkedin, and MATLAB Central. Results: There is a balanced distribution across different levels of experience in the community. (12.74%) of our sample uses MATLAB only through the command window. The more users expect other people to use their programs, the more effort they will put into making the code easy to understand, maintain and reuse. The use of OOP is not widespread (22%). The majority of MATLAB users are satisfied with its modularity support. Conclusions: Our study provides insights into MATLAB's use patterns that are potentially useful for entities responsible for MATLAB's future evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101170
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Computer Languages
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Modularity
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Questionnaires
  • Surveys


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