By the same authors

A Comparison of CS Student Backgrounds at Two Universities

Research output: Working paper



Publication details

DatePublished - 2009
Original languageUndefined/Unknown


It is difficult to think of another field that, at the outset of the
studies, has to face heterogeneity in prior experience similar to
what CS1 instructors handle. This student diversity in Computer
Science seems to be a global phenomenon. The present work
investigates to what extent the student backgrounds concerning
prior programming and computing experience are similar both at
ETH Zurich, Switzerland and at University of York, United
Kingdom. The results are surprising: there exist no significant
differences between the entering CS majors at the two institutions
with respect to their prior programming expertise, computing
literacy and number of languages that they know. The only
differences that proved significant were in the specific
programming languages with which students had worked before
entering the university.

    Research areas

  • programming experience,student diversity

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