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And it's not one you're thinking of - it's not elementary or middle school-aged kids. In the first known study of older adults learning computer programming, Guo outlines his reasons: People are living and working longer.
This is a growing segment of the population, and it's severely underserved by learn-to-code intiatives, which usually target college students and younger. He would like this in-demand skill to become more broadly accessible.
Guo will present his findings at the group's premier international conference, CHI, in May.
When prior human-computer interaction studies have focused on older adults at all, Guo said, it has been mostly as consumers of new technology, of social networking sites like Facebook, say, or ride-sharing services.
"Computers are everywhere, and digital literacy is becoming more and more important," said Guo, assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science, who is also affiliated with UC San Diego's Design Lab and its Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
"At one time, 1,000 years ago, most people didn't read or write - just some monks and select professionals could do it.
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Some were retired and semi-retired while others were still working.Step by step, it displays what a computer is doing with each line of code that it runs.More than 3.5 million people in more than 180 countries have now used Python Tutor, including those around the world taking MOOCs (massive open online courses).Despite its legacy name, the tool helps people supplement their studies not only of the Python programming language but also Java, Java Script, Ruby, C and C , all of which are commonly used to teach programing.The users of Python Tutor represent a wide range of demographic groups.