Language Designers Should Listen to Psychologists

There are a ton of interesting take-aways from The
Landscape of Parallel Computing Research: A View from Berkeley
, a nice, readable introduction to what a multidisciplinary
group of Berkeley researchers think might be the future of parallel computing. I’d like to share just one that really got me thinking (from page 35):

It is striking, however, that research from
psychology has had almost no impact, despite the obvious
fact that the success of these models will be strongly
affected by the human beings whouse them. Testing
methods derived from the psychology research community
have been used to great effect for HCI, but are sorely
lacking in language design and software engineering. For
example, there is a rich theory investigating the causes of
human errors, which is well known in the human-computer
interface community, but apparently it has not penetrated
the programming model and language design community.

We believe that integrating research on human psychology
and problem solving into the broad problem of designing,
programming, debugging, and maintaining complex parallel
systems will be critical to developing broadly successful
parallel programming models and environments.

via Tim Bray

One Response to “Language Designers Should Listen to Psychologists”

  1. Keith says:

    And, if you’re really into reading about this stuff, there’s more:

    It is hard to read the articles in this issue of CTWatch Quarterly without being driven to the conclusion, agreed upon by many other leaders in the field, that modern software ecosystems are about to be destabilized, not to say convulsed, by a major transformation in their hardware substrate.

    http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/pdf/ctwatchquarterly-10.pdf