Sarah E. Chasins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at University of California—Berkeley. Her research group develops programming tools for social scientists, data scientists, and other non-technical domain experts. Their goal is to put the power of computation in reach for a broader and more diverse audience.
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A look at how block-based programming let us meet the needs of social scientists and other non-technical domain experts in the challenging domain of web automation programming. After two decades of end-user programming tools that didn't quite meet real users' web automation needs, we'll discuss the key insights and techniques that made our tool successful: (i) a usable program drafting tool and (ii) a custom language hosted in a block-based programming environment.