Philip Guo (Phil Guo, Philip J. Guo, Philip Jia Guo, pgbovine)

Older Adults Learning Computer Programming (press release)

Inga Kiderra at the UCSD Social Sciences press office recently interviewed me and wrote a great press release about my upcoming CHI 2017 paper on older adults learning computer programming. It's called Geeking Out in the Golden Years.

My favorite excerpt from her interview:

Guo, who is currently working on studies to extend coding education to other underrepresented groups, advocates a computing future that is fully inclusive of all ages.

“There are a number of social implications when older adults have access to computer programming – not merely computer literacy,” he said. “These range from providing engaging mental stimulation to greater gainful employment from the comfort of one's home.”

By moving the tech industry away from its current focus on youth, Guo argues, we all stand to gain.

Here's more info about this paper:

Older Adults Learning Computer Programming: Motivations, Frustrations, and Design Opportunities. Philip J. Guo. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2017.
(Honorable Mention Paper)
Many people over age 60 want to learn to code but get frustrated by cognitive and social factors.
Computer programming is a highly in-demand skill, but most learn-to-code initiatives and research target some of the youngest members of society: children and college students. We present the first known study of older adults learning computer programming. Using an online survey with 504 respondents aged 60 to 85 who are from 52 different countries, we discovered that older adults were motivated to learn to keep their brains challenged as they aged, to make up for missed opportunities during youth, to connect with younger family members, and to improve job prospects. They reported frustrations including a perceived decline in cognitive abilities, lack of opportunities to interact with tutors and peers, and trouble dealing with constantly-changing software technologies. Based on these findings, we propose a learner-centered design of techniques and tools for motivating older adults to learn programming and discuss broader societal implications of a future where more older adults have access to computer programming -- not merely computer literacy -- as a skill set.
@inproceedings{GuoCHI2017,
 author = {Guo, Philip J.},
 title = {Older Adults Learning Computer Programming: Motivations, Frustrations, and Design Opportunities},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
 series = {CHI '17},
 year = {2017},
 location = {Denver, Colorado, USA},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
}
Created: 2017-04-18
Last modified: 2017-04-18
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