DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTER ALGORITHM FOR CONSTRUCTION OF APTITUDE TEST BATTERY FOR COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS

(1998-2002)

D. Dutta Roy
Psychology Research Unit
Indian Statistical Institute
203, B.T. Road
Kolkata
India 700108

 ABSTRACT

Prior studies on aptitudes were limited to aptitude test development for selection, vocational counseling and guidance. In test development, attention was paid to the intuition of test developers resulting gap of knowledge about relative importance of aptitudes for the job occupant. Limitation in understanding cognitive appraisal of aptitudes causes serious problem in vocational counseling and guidance. Before construction of computer aided aptitude test battery, current project attempted to explore relative importance of aptitudes across different occupations of computer programmers and relationship between aptitude and task importance. Data were collected from 201 experienced computer programmers from six occupations (manufacturing, financial, research and development, administration, research and education, computer training institutes) through checklist. Programmers were asked to rate to what extent the listed programming task and aptitudes were important for successful performance in their occupations. Some multivariate statistics were used for data analysis. Correspondence analysis was made for item analysis of checklist. Factor analysis revealed latent relationship among programming tasks and it extracted four task factors program writing and testing, Human relations, Data analysis and User satisfaction. . Using ANOVA, it was noted that besides data analysis, other task factors were not significantly different across occupations. Disregarding occupational differences, five specific aptitudes namely comprehension, inference, expressional fluency, associational fluency and alternative usage were found relatively more important. The last three aptitudes were not found in earlier study on computer programming aptitude. Cluster analysis classified six occupations into two clusters in terms of task and into three clusters in terms of aptitude importance. Results noted correlation coefficients between task and aptitude importance across occupations. In considering relative importance of aptitudes, a computer aided test battery was developed. The test battery consists of twelve general aptitudes as absurdity, anagram, vocabulary, number series, inference, arithmetical reasoning, coding and decoding, memory for commands, short term memory, comprehension, and creativity using three different programming languages QBASIC, JAVA, and C