Job Analysis of Computer Programmer

Dr. D. Dutta Roy, Ph.D

Job analysis occupies a central position in personnel research as it helps in identifying behavioral requirements of a particular job. Until behavioral requirements of a particular job are identified, selection schemes, training programs or performance evaluation systems can not be developed (Landy and Vasey, 1991). In addition, many reward systems are based upon the relative difficulty of particular positions. Job analysis is important for personnel recruitment, training and personnel development, wage and salary administration, performance measurement and rating, job design , organizational planning, manpower planning and control, vocational counseling and guidance (Tiffin and McCormick,1971).

Collection of data

Data were collected from 201 experienced computer programmers working in manufacturing, financial, scientific organizations, software development industries, computer training institutes, and from other departments. In general, they are middle aged (Mean = 35.60, SD = 8.83) and more experienced (Mean = 8.37, SD = 5.64). Most of them were post graduates.

Checklist :

On the basis of literature survey (Jain,1987; Balgurusamy,1991; Roy, 1996), different discussions in the internet on computer programming, and open ended interview with 10 experienced (more than 5 years) computer programmers, a Likert type 6 point rating (0 = inapplicable or does not occur in the job, 1 = may occasionally be a minor part of the job, 2 = a small part of the job, 3 = a moderately significant part of the job, 4 = a substantial part of the job, 5 = a very significant part of the job) checklist with 14 items was prepared to determine relative importance of computer programming job characteristics. Sample respondents were asked to judge to what extent each item of the checklist was suitable for their job. Cronbach’s alpha shows high internal consistency (alpha = 0.74) among the items.

RESULTS

Job characteristics

Principal component analysis of 14 items of the checklist extracted four job dimensions as program writing and testing, human relations, data analysis and user satisfaction. Programmers gave more priority on program writing and testing and least priority on data analysis.

Aptitudes

Five specific aptitudes ( comprehension, inference, expressional fluency, associational fluency and alternative usage ) were found as relatively more important for success in computer programming.

Softwares used

Programmers in financial , R&D organizations and administration reported more use of data base management, object oriented softwares, and software packages or tools.

Working Conditions

Most of the respondents worked in cool environment. Few reported noise in their work place.

Team assignment across occupations

Programmers in R & D organizations preferred alone assignment more than other groups

Social interaction

Most programmers preferred team work to alone assignment . Those who were engaged in writing total program related to research problem, preferred alone assignment more. Programmers in R & D organizations preferred alone assignment than other groups. Whereas programmers in computer training institutes preferred team work than other groups.

Occupational disorders

Most of them suffered from spondiolosis and sleep disorders.

REFERENCES

  1. Agarwal,K.K. (1977). Prediction of scholastic success in science subjects: A battery of Psychological Test, Indian Journal of Psychology, 52, 95-97.
  2. Anastasi, A. (1988). Psychological Testing, 6th Edition, NY, McMillan
  3. Avtar,H.S.G. 91965). Validation of psychological tests used for the selection of special class railway apprentices. Indian journal of applied psychology, 2, 45-57.
  4. Balgurusamy, E.(1991), Programming in BASIC, (third edition), Tata McGraw Hill Co. Ltd., New Delhi.
  5. Bisht,A. R. (1982). Stars and isolates among teachers compared on teaching aptitude. Punitiveness and liking by students. Psychological studies, 27, 90-92.
  6. Chadha,N.K.(1996), Theory and Practice of Psychometry, New Delhi, New Age International Limited.
  7. Chatterjee, S. and Mukherjee, M. (1978). Higher secondary science achievement as related to scientific interest and aptitudes, Indian Journal of Psychology, 53,125-129.
  8. Cronbach, l.J. (1970) Essentials of Psychological testing, 3rd edition, N.Y.:Harper & Row, Publishers.
  9. Cronbach, l.J. (1970) Essentials of Psychological testing, 3rd edition, N.Y.:Harper & Row, Publishers.
  10. Deb, M. (1968) Abilities important for achieving science course. Psychological Studies, 81,31-34.
  11. Deb,M. (1973). A factor analytical study of revised form of engineering aptitude test and final form of engineering aptitude test. Psychological studies, 81, 31-34.
  12. Dutta Roy, D. and Mallik, R. (2000). Ranking General Aptitudes for Success in computer programming. Journal of the Indian Academy Applied Psychology, 26, 1-2, 135-139.
  13. Dutta Roy,D. and Mallik,R,(1999). Factor analysis of computer programming tasks, 5th International and 36th Indian academy of Applied psychology Conference, University of Bangalore, December 27-29, P.7.
  14. Dutta Roy,D.(1994). Relative importance of personality factors in discriminating four occupational groups, Indian Journal of Applied Psychology, 31, 1, 34-38.
  15. Freeman, F.S. (1963) Theory and practice of Psychological testing, Calcutta: Oxford & IBH Publishing Co.
  16. Garrett,H.E. (1979) Statistics in Psychology and Education, Hyderabad:International Book Bureau.International aptitude testing., 4115 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 100, X 306, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  17. Garrett,H.E. (1979) Statistics in Psychology and Education, Hyderabad: International Book Bureau.
  18. Jain, V.K.(1987),BASIC Computer Programming, Pustak Mahal, Khari Bari, Delhi, IVth Edition.
  19. Kothari, C. R.(1998), Research Methodology: Methods, Techniques, Wishwa Prakashan, New Delhi, second Edition, Reprint.
  20. Kristof, A.L. (1996) Person-organization fit: An integrative review of its conceptualizations,measurement, and implications. Personnel Psychology,49,1-49.
  21. Kurkreti,B.R. (1993). Teaching aptitude and successful teachers : A correlational study: Indian Psychological review. 40,7-8.
  22. Mehta, M. (1982). Relationship between scientific interest and scientific aptitude among higher secondary boys. Journal of Psychological Researches, 26, 13-16.
  23. Mohon,V. and Brar,A. (1988). Working efficiency of technical pesonnel in relation to their aptitudes, Journal of Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 14, 23-40.
  24. Munn,N.L., Fernald,L.D., Fernald, P.S. and Carmichael, L. (1978) Introduction to Psychology, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co.
  25. Naik, R.B. (1973). Office work aptitude test, Indian Psychological Review, 11, 20-24.
  26. Perry, K. (1967), Vocational interest and success of Computer programmers, Personnel Psychology, 20, 4, 517-524.
  27. Psychometrics Inc. , Southern California, USA.
  28. Psychometrics Inc., http://www.psy-test.com/Baptd.html
  29. Raina,V.K. (1981). Relationship between personality measures and teaching abilities. Journal of Psychological Researches, 25,111-115.
  30. Roy, G.(1996), Basic fot Personal Computer, W. Newman & Company Ltd. Calcutta(Third Edition).
  31. Schneider,B. (1987). The people make the place, Personnel Psychology, 40,437-453.
  32. Science Research Associates, Inc., 259 East Erie St.,Chicago, III, 60624.Psychometrics Inc. , Southern California, USA.
  33. Science Research Associates,Inc., 259 East Erie St.,Chicago,III,60624.
  34. Sharma, P. and Shukla,P. (1992). Factor analysis of the comprehensive scientific aptitude test. Indian Journal of Psychology, 67, 47-59.
  35. Snow, R. E. (1978). Theory and method for research on aptitude process : A Perspectives. Intelligence, 2, 225-78.
  36. The International Programming Aptitude Test , http://pages.netaxis.ca/winrow/
  37. Tiffin, J and McCormick, E.J. (1971) Manufacturing Psychology, New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited
  38. Torrance,E.P. (1966) Torrance tests of creativity, Princeton: Personal Press.
  39. Walden Personnel Testing Consulting , http://www.waldentesting.com/wolfe/wspat.htm

 

Dutta Roy, D. (2002) Development of computer algorithm for construction of aptitude test battery for computer programmers, project report, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

Contact: Dr. D. Dutta Roy