Moray College UHI Computing Lecturer Awarded PhD

Moray College UHI is delighted to announce Computing Lecturer, Graham Wilson has been awarded with a PhD from the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Dr Wilson’s thesis titled ‘To What Extent Do Personality and Problem Solving Ability Determine Software Development Role Suitability?’ was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at UHI.

The purpose of the research project was to determine whether the personality and problem-solving skills of novice programmers could determine potential suitability for specific software development roles.

Conducted under the supervision of Dr Gareth Davies and Professor Frank Rennie, Dr Wilson carried out his research at Moray College UHI between September 2015 and April 2019.

Having first examined the personality types and problem-solving skills of professional software development personnel, he then considered relative personality trait strengths in relation to specific software roles including; analysis, design, development and testing. Problem-solving skills acquisition, selection and application were also considered in relation to each role, and data from both studies triangulated.

Dr Wilson’s key findings included, certain personality types, traits or trait strengths, can be associated with specific software development roles. Strategy-gaming, puzzle-gaming, playing music and disassembly/reassembly, are key sources of problem-solving skills, rather than education. Sensing and judging were the most dominant personality traits, while thinking and feeling appeared less important.

Therefore, suitability for specific roles can be determined by problem-solving capability and associated personality trait strengths.

Samantha Bright, Head of Curriculum (STEM) at Moray College UHI said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Dr Graham Wilson which increases Moray College’s research standing throughout the University of the Highlands and Islands.  His PhD will also increase the research capability in the Computing and Digital Media department, in terms of investigating links between learning and teaching and the Computing curriculum. Ultimately the findings of this thesis will enhance and improve the student experience which is good news for all.”

Moray College UHI offer a range of computing and digital media courses from access to Honours degrees including the new BSc (Hons) Applied Software Development starting September 2020.