Richard,

While playing with the data, I was struck by two prominent
lines I kept seeing:
table(loc_written)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2 3 3 8 1 7 3 3
       ^   ^

I don't suppose it has any significance at all for your results,
but I wonder why the loc_written data were so clumpy.

Returning to your original question.

I suspect that people are ticking boxes that sound about right rather
than calculating the numbers.  The context of the experiment does
not allow much time for reflection and calculation.  These LOC and
experience questions are part of the introduction that occurs when I
am introducing the experiment and waiting for everybody to turn up.

Having people discuss the issue before hand and then giving them time
to try and calculate reliable answers might produce more consistent
answers.

On a related note.  I wonder if the ratio of lines of code written
divided by lines of code in the final program is a reliable measure
of experience (at least during the first few years).  Beginners
do seem to write and throw away much more code than more experienced
people.

--
Derek M. Jones                  tel: +44 (0) 1252 520 667
Knowledge Software Ltd          blog:shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com
Source code analysis            http://www.knosof.co.uk

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