ISECON Conference
Determining suitable programming
language for the Bachelors degree
in Information Technology in
tertiary institutions.
By: Johnson Dehinbo
- Tshwane University of Technology
- Pretoria. South Africa
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
1
Tshwane University is a merger of 3 Technikons in:
Pretoria, Ga-Rankwa & Soshanguve + satelite campuses
in Pietersburg, Witbank & Nelspruit (Pic. below=Admin building in
Pretoria campus)
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
2
Background of the Problem
Various programming languages such as
Basic, Fortran, Pascal, Cobol, C, C++, and
Visual Basic have been used in the past.
Some are difficult to learn & some poorly suited
for future complex tasks. It is very important
for student to be trained using an easy-to-use
programming language that will be most
suitable for their future tasks.

10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
3
GOAL: To identify
programming language that
will be:
relatively easy for beginners to write
 and broad enough to fill the 3 to 4 year
curriculum while at the same time offer some
prospects for future industrial use and
research.

10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
4
Objectives:
To investigate
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Ease of use.
Ease of learning
Suitability for complex jobs
Line of Codes (LOC)
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
5
Literature review: Other
related Studies
Some related studies were conducted to
compare different systems, without using
any scientifically valid methodology or
approach.
Other similar studies used a specific approach
to compare systems, without utilizing the
benefit of dual approaches.
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
6
METHODOLOGY
Survey using questionnaires
 Experimental
A Program problem was given to
respondents to solve:
Min LOC for the solutions in each
programming language was obtained

10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
7
Populations
Students & Experienced users of C++
 Students & Experienced users of VB
 Students & Experienced users of Java
 Students & Experienced users of Progs
like Pascal, Basic or C
(At Institutions + Industries in Gauteng)

10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
8
Sampling:
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20 respondents from the ff stratas
Technikon Northern Gauteng
Tecknikon North West
Technikon Pretoria
Technikon Witwatersrand
University of Pretoria
Programmers in the Gauteng economic hub
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
9
Hypothesis

H0:There is no significant difference in the ease of
use, ease of learning and Suitability for complex jobs,
for each of the programming languages.
H0: C++ = Java = VB = OtherLangs

H1:C++  Java  VB  OtherLangs
There is significant difference in the ease of use, ease
of learning and Suitability for complex jobs, for each
of the programming languages.
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
10
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Ease of Learning
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
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DISCUSSION cont’d
Ease of use under pressure
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
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DISCUSSION cont’d
Suitability for complex works
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
13
DISCUSSION cont’d
Overall rating
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
14
Program for L.O.C estimation
VB: LOC = 8

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Private Sub cmdCalculate_Click()
Dim intLength As Integer, intbreadth As Integer
Dim lngArea As Long
intLength = Val(txtLength.Text)
intbreadth = Val(txtBreadth.Text)
lngArea = intLength * intbreadth
txtarea.Text = lngArea
End Sub
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
15
DISCUSSION of L.O.C
LOC estimation
Java: LOC = 10
C++: LOC = 9
VB: LOC = 8
Pascal: LOC = 10
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
16
Why VB has minimum L.O.C.
Drag & Drop facility?
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
17
Summary of Findings

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Pascal is simple to write for beginners,
but not suitable for complex tasks
VB is easy to use under work pressure
possibly due to the "drag and drop
program generating" facility
VB has the smallest LOC.
Pascal also have reasonable LOC (8)
minus the "begin" and "end”
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
18
Summary of Findings contd
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Pascal is simple to write for beginners,
but not suitable for complex tasks
Java however has the longest LOC,
making it more difficult for beginners to
learn
Like VB, Java is suitable for complex
jobs and is considered very flexible as it
interfaces with other web technologies
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
19
CONCLUSION

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The above findings therefore show that
no single language can adequately
satisfy all the requirements. But a
careful combination of the languages
can achieve the desired result
there is no significant difference in the
factors studied for C++, Visual Basic
and Java.
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
20
Implication on C++ pass rate

The study therefore concluded that the
low pass rate for C++ is not due to
C++ being an exceptionally difficult
language, as there is no significant
difference in the factors studied for
C++, Visual Basic and Java.
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
21
WHAT THEN? Recommendations
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Program Design should be immediately
translated into programming language in the
same subject and not in a separate subject.
This will therefore mean that C++
programming in the first year will be divided
into two components namely:
Program design plus the lexical structure, and
control structures.
Functions, Arrays and Pointers.
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
22
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to the Netherlands fund for
Research Capacity Building project that
sponsored this study to improve
research efforts in previously
disadvantaged Technikons in South
Africa.
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
23
Thank You for Listening
10/4/2015
ISECON Conference - Dallas,
Texas. USA. 2-5 Nov 2006
24
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