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What Affects the Success of Programmers in Query Validation Process? An Eye Tracking Study

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Human Interface and the Management of Information (HCII 2023)


A meticulous examination of SQL queries plays a pivotal role in the process of learning SQL. It is important to understand the procedures utilized by students in SQL query formulation, but there has been insufficient attention given to this direction in recent literature. Therefore, we aim to explore the nature of different approaches of students in understanding SQL questions, along with the given relations to formulate correct SQL queries. We conducted an eye-tracking study with 27 university students to investigate differences in strategies through the difficulty levels of tasks. Overall, we found that differences in the strategies of students have an effect on formulating correct SQL queries. Students who successfully completed the tasks spent more time and had a higher fixation count in all areas of interest, including the question, table, and solution. Moreover, these students took longer in each area of interest to complete the query validation process as the tasks increased in difficulty. The heatmap data revealed that the students who failed the tasks did not follow the same reading order as those who succeeded. The successful students read the SQL from the first line to the last, whereas the unsuccessful students did not adhere to this sequential approach.

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Correspondence to Deepti Mishra .

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Mishra, D., Inal, Y. (2023). What Affects the Success of Programmers in Query Validation Process? An Eye Tracking Study. In: Mori, H., Asahi, Y. (eds) Human Interface and the Management of Information. HCII 2023. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 14016. Springer, Cham.

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