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SQ Minus EQ can Predict Programming Aptitude

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Timothy G. Griffin.

Tests for programming aptitude have a long but disappointing history. In the 1960s, variants of IBM ’s Programmer Aptitude Test were widely used but were eventually discarded because of their poor predictive power. In recent years, interest in predicting programming aptitude has been rekindled, in large part because of the difficulties many students have in introductory programming classes. However, almost all tests which could be administered before the start of a course have poor predictive power.

In this talk I present the results from a study of students in an undergraduate programming class. In this study, a combination of the Autism Research Centre’s SQ and EQ personality tests showed a high correlation (r = .67, p = 0.002) with a direct test of programming ability. These results have interesting implications, not just for those teaching or learning programming, but for anyone who works with software.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Wednesday Seminars series.

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