In this study, the differences between gender and general problem solving skills in programming knowledge were investigated. The types of programming knowledge were considered in three groups: conceptual, syntactic, and strategic knowledge. In the data analysis, latent growth model was used with longitudinal data. The results demonstrated the significant differences in favor of male students in prior conceptual and strategic knowledge. Male students were more increased their conceptual knowledge scores and strategic knowledge scores than female students during course of programming. Female students were more successful than male in initial status and in development of syntactic programming knowledge. According to other results, the higher level of the problem solving skill had student, the higher level of all knowledge of programming increased over time. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.