Dimensions Characterizing Programming Language Feature Usage by Information Workers

Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Rights Management

Can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher's version/PDF

Abstract or Description

Information workers such as administrative staff, consultants, and their managers constitute one of the largest groups of end users, yet little research about their usage of programming features is available to guide development of end user programming tools. In this paper, we describe our survey of over 800 information workers and our analysis of their feature usage in applications such as spreadsheets, browsers, and databases. Our factor analysis reveals three clusters of features--macro features, linked structure features, and imperative features--such that information workers with an inclination to use a feature in each cluster also were inclined to use other features in that cluster; even though each cluster spans several tools. We discuss the implications for research aimed at providing end user programming tools for information workers.