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The Past, Present and Future of Programming in HCI

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2009 by Brad Myers, Andrew Ko

The first computer users were all programmers, and the field of Human-Computer Interaction started, in part, with a focus on improving how programming was done. There was a significant amount of work in the 1980’s on this topic, but it mostly died out in the 1990s. Now, there is a resurgence of work on what used to be called the Psychology of Programming, Software Psychology, and the Empirical Studies of Programming. Now, research that combines HCI and software engineering concerns regularly wins awards at both the software engineering and HCI conferences, and although there is no longer a conference devoted solely to this topic, it is a major focus of the popular VL/HCC conference series. In this paper, we argue that new HCI and software engineering methods and tools, along with a new acceptance of the programming community, makes it a propitious time for a renewed focus on this topic.