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Volume 22 / Issue 12

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-022-12-1533


Examining the Relationship between Socialization and Improved Software Development Skills in the Scratch Code Learning Environment

Jesús Moreno-León (Programamos.es, Spain)

Gregorio Robles (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain)

Marcos Román-González (Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Spain)

Abstract: In the last years, socialization of the software development process has been proven to be an emergent practice, becoming social development platforms (such as GitHub or GitLab) very popular among software developers. However, little is still known about how social factors inuence software development. In particular, in this paper we focus on how socialization affects the learning of programming skills, as developing software can be considered, in part, a continuous learning process. Aiming to shed some light in this regard, we analyze the social interactions of almost 70,000 users and the sophistication of over 1.5 million software products authored by them in the Scratch platform, the most popular social coding site for learning to program. The results indicate that there is a relationship between the social conducts of users and the improvement of their programming abilities, showing that more social actions performed by users is positively associated with more sophistication in their programs. Furthermore, the results also provide evidence that the relationship of social factors with the development of software programming skills tends to grow with time.

Keywords: Scratch, computational thinking, social learning, social software development

Categories: D.2.3, D.2.6, K.3.2