My single-author full paper, Expressions on the Nature and Significance of Programming and Play, has been accepted to the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing. I presented the paper in Raleigh, North Carolina. The abstract of the paper follows:
Play is all around us, an essential and innate phenomenon that serves as an important mediator in creativity, interest, learning, and drive. Though play is thought to be universal, the way in which it materializes is situationally-dependent and not well-understood, particularly in software engineering. To understand how programmers express the concept of play, we conducted a qualitative study on the online social news website, Hacker News—a venue for software practitioners. From Hacker News, we qualitatively analyzed nearly 1,000 user-submitted comments containing the terms “programming” and “play.” The contribution of this work is a contemporary synthesis of how software practitioners interpret programming and play in experiential terms. Our findings suggest how programming and play can be understood through rich metaphors, among them, play as: art, playgrounds, spontaneity, and tinkering. Hacker News authors reflect about childhood experiences as a catalyst for learning programming, and contrast play against work.