Constructing coding duels in pex4fun and code hunt

Nikolai Tillmann, Jonathan De Halleux, Tao Xie, Judith Bishop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Pex is an automatic white-box test-generation tool for .NET. We have established that games can be built on top of Pex to open the tool to students and to the general public. In particular, we have released Pex4Fun (www.pexforfun.com) and its successor Code Hunt (www.codehunt.com) as web-based educational gaming environments for teaching and learning programming and software engineering. In Pex4Fun and Code Hunt, the main game type is a coding duel, where a player writes code in a method to achieve the same functionality as the secret method implementation, based on feedback provided by the underlying Pex tool. Players iteratively modify their code to match the functional behavior of the secret method. The scope of duels extends from the simplest one-line method to those including advanced concepts such as writing parameterized unit tests and code contracts. We have also used the game type for competitions with thousands of players, and have found that it differentiates well between beginners and top coders. This tool demonstration shows how coding duels in Pex4Fun and Code Hunt can be constructed and used in teaching and training programming and software engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2014 - Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages445-448
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450326452
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 21 2014
Event23rd International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2014 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Jul 21 2014Jul 25 2014

Publication series

Name2014 International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2014 - Proceedings

Other

Other23rd International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period7/21/147/25/14

Keywords

  • Educational platforms
  • Gaming for learning
  • Symbolic execution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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