As my fellow Ph.D. student Eric Holk talked about recently in his blog, I’ve been running eye-tracking experiments with programmers of different experience levels. In the experiment, a programmer is tasked with predicting the output of 10 short Python programs. A Tobii TX300 eye tracker keeps track of their eyes at 300 Hz, allowing me to see where they’re spending their time.
When contrasting this with Eric’s video, a few things stand out to me. First, Eric’s eye movements are precise and directed from the beginning. He quickly finds the first print statement and jumps back to comprehend the between function. The novice, on the other hand, spends time skimming the whole program first before tackling the first print. This is in line with expectations, of course, but it’s cool to see it come out in the data.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.