Problem Solving With Computers

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One of the most important skills you learn in your computer science courses is how to problem solve.

Although we cover some general problem solving paradigms in class, the best way to improve these skills is to get practice, practice, and more practice.

Pseudocode generally does not actually have specific rules in particular but sometimes, I might end up including some syntax from a language just because I am familiar enough with an aspect of the programming language. For example, you can use Either way is fine as long as you are writing it out line-by-line and understand the logic on each line.

Refer back to the problem to make sure you are on track.

Look for patterns and see if there’s anything you can generalize.

See if you can reduce any steps or if you are repeating any steps.If you see someone else’s code or have someone to guide you, you can follow along.But maybe you feel uncertain about doing it yourself and have trouble turning your thoughts into code at first even though you understand the syntax or logic.Take advantage of your Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and debugger.When I encounter bugs, I trace the code line-by-line to see if there was anything that did not go as expected.This comes in handy when I am working on more complex problems.It helps understand what a particular function is doing and why.Edge case: problem or situation that occurs only at an extreme (maximum or minimum) operating parameter and so forth in the array without fully being aware of each and every step your brain is taking to solve it. That is why I try to go through a couple of different sets.If this is challenging, try using large sets of data as it will override your brain’s ability to naturally solve the problem just by looking at it. I have some sets with just one element, some with floats instead of just integers, some with multiple digits in an element, and some with negatives just to be safe.You will have different strengths, and you can always improve.You will learn from your mistakes, so that’s always a plus!

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