Back in 2013, Andy Begel and Tom Zimmermann at Microsoft Research asked software engineers to find out what questions they wanted software engineering researchers to answer. Their analysis of responses resulted in a list of 145 questions, which they grouped into 12 categories. They then asked a different pool of developers to rate those questions in order to identify which ought to be worked on first. The results were published in ICSE 2014, and the paper is available for those who are interested.

I’d really like to see someone do this exercise for computing education. What do people teaching computing skills most want to know? How do priorities differ between people teaching in grade school, university, and free-range settings? And most importantly, how well do the things the CS Ed community is studying align with what people care about?