A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Impact of Polyglot Programming in a Database Context

Authors Phillip Merlin Uesbeck , Andreas Stefik

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Phillip Merlin Uesbeck
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA
Andreas Stefik
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA

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Phillip Merlin Uesbeck and Andreas Stefik. A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Impact of Polyglot Programming in a Database Context. In 9th Workshop on Evaluation and Usability of Programming Languages and Tools (PLATEAU 2018). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 67, pp. 1:1-1:8, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


Using more than one programming language in the same project is common practice. Often, additional languages might be introduced to projects to solve specific issues. While the practice is common, it is unclear whether it has an impact on developer productivity. In this paper, we present a pilot study investigating what happens when programmers switch between programming languages. The experiment is a repeated measures double-blind randomized controlled trial with 3 groups with various kinds of code switching in a database context. Results provide a rigorous testing methodology that can be replicated by us or others and a theoretical backing for why these effects might exist from the linguistics literature.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Software and its engineering → Software development techniques
  • human-factors
  • randomized controlled trial
  • polyglot programming


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