Hour of Code: A Study of Gender Differences in Computing

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Computing, Information Systems Education Journal




Computer programmers in the U.S. labor force are facing a shortage. Focusing on recruiting females has the potential to address this shortage. Computing is a male dominated field which provides an opportunity to recruit the other 50% of the population, females, to fill the open positions. This work studies gender differences in computer programming based on an Hour of Code tutorial. Following a pre- and post-test design, this work demonstrates that males have significantly more previous exposure to computer programming and are significantly more interested in pursuing computer programming. Results also indicate that females do equally as well or better in programming comprehension. In one comprehension question following the tutorial, women significantly outperformed men demonstrating that women may have a higher aptitude for computer programming; however, they are underrepresented in the job market. Based on our results, we suggest that more should be done in early formative years to attract females into computer programming to aid in filling the gap of the projected employment market.


Copyright and Open Access: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/13583