Date of Defense



Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jawaid A. Ghani

Second Advisor

Dr. Roberta Supnick

Third Advisor

Dr. Charackal Chacko


Three studies were conducted in order to identify characteristics of good and bad programming experiences and the factors which influence them. Study 1 involved a survey of 100 students taking an upper level accounting class. Study 2 involved interviews with 20 individuals regarding their good and bad programming experiences. Study 3 involved written reports of good and bad programming experiences by 40 students taking an upper level CIS course.

The results showed clear differences both among and within individuals in terms of the level of enjoyment of their programming experiences. Characteristics of a good programming experience include a high level of challenge, perceived control, and sense of achievement. Characteristics of a bad programming experience include too high a level of challenge, lack of control, and feelings of frustration.

The implications of these results for educators and managers are discussed and suggestions made for further research in this area.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only