In this paper we review the literature relating to the psychological/educational study of programming. We identify general trends comparing novice and expert programmers, programming knowledge and strategies, program generation and comprehension, and objectoriented versus procedural programming. (We do not cover research relating specifically to other programming styles.) The main focus of the review is on novice programming and topics relating to novice teaching and learning. Various problems experienced by novices are identified, including issues relating to basic program design, to algorithmic complexity in certain language features, to the "fragity" of novice knowledge, and so on. We summarise this material and suggest some practical implications for teachers. We suggest that a key issue that emerges is the distinction between effective and ineffective novices. What characterises effective novices? Is it possible to identify the specific deficits of ineffective novices and help them to become effective learners of programming?