Programming is a complex subject for most of us. Working on your programming assignment can prove to be a nightmare if you do not have a clue as to how to go about solving it. Read on to learn about some of the top problem solving skills you need to equip yourself if you want to deal with your programming assignment as efficiently as possible.
Define the Question Statement Completely
Take a couple of minutes to actually define the statement of the question of your programming assignment. When you do so, a wise strategy to adopt as a first step is to identify what the question is not about. When you have gained a complete understanding of the assignment question, you would have a better idea as to what programming solutions to avoid, as these would not be appropriate for the question asked in the programming assignment.
It is more effective to make sure that you comprehend what is being asked from you in the assignment before proceeding. To that end, you need to analyze the problem and pinpoint what you have to address in the problem statement. You can do this by jotting down the programming question and creating lists, diagrams, etc to help with the analysis.
Plan Your Approach
It is of paramount importance that you do not dive right into solving your programming assignment without a proper plan in place. This is a common mistake programming students make hoping that somehow they will be able to muddle their way through. You need to plan the solution meticulously even before you start working on the problem. This is especially true for programming assignments.
You need to know what exact steps to follow that will help you arrive at the answer to the problem statement. For example, when you start working on a programming assignment, you have to know how you will be coding the program, testing it and then documenting the program (in that order).
Moreover, evaluating the best solutions for the programming question is a large part of the planning phase. If you are working as part of a team, be sure to brainstorm together with your teammates to figure out which solution would yield the best results for the programming assignment. If you are working solo, you can try to list all the possible solutions that come to your mind and then assess each solution individually. This would help you to identify the best solution.
As a case to point, depending on the nature of the problem, you need to know which programming software to use for the assignment. You can make a list of all the software applications you are familiar with such as C++, Java, Python, and so forth. Next, you can write down all the pros and cons of using each software for that particular assignment question. This will help you to make your decision as to which software to use.
Having the ability to research effectively is one of the most important problem solving skills you should possess when dealing with programming assignments. Solving a programming based question requires you to do a lot of research pertaining to the subject of the assignment. Google search is the most common and effective researching tool used to find out all the relevant information you need to tackle the problem at hand.
For instance, if there are certain programming related technical terminologies in the question statement that you do not understand, a simple Google search will yield a plethora of information on the subject. Programming protocols and troubleshooting techniques are other popular topics students tend to research when doing their programming assignments.
Google is the best researching tool you can find, especially if you are a novice programmer and need to understand the basics first before you work on the assignment questions. Alternately, you can read the free materials on various programming topics on websites such as PaperAp to brush up on your programming knowledge.
However, if the assignment topic is of a complex nature, you might have to dig a little deeper if programming skills are not your strong suit. This usually involves perusing research papers written by reputed programmers around the world.
The long and short of it is that while researching, you need to be able to glean the most important details that will help you to solve the assignment.
Practice and Get Feedback
The adage “practice makes perfect” is very true in the programming domain. There is a strong likelihood that when you are tackling your programming assignment, you might not ace it in the first attempt.
Even the most experienced programmers learn by practicing.
If you do not get the answer right in your programming assignment, redo it or solve similar questions to brush up on your skillset. With each new problem you solve, you become a better programmer.
Keep practicing to the point when solving the assignment becomes a smooth sailing endeavor for you. Bear in mind that you do not become a competent programmer overnight. This is a skill that you naturally develop with time and practice.
Also, be sure to get feedback from your professors and teammates. See how the others tackled the problem in the programming assignment and learn from them. There are often several ways to approach the same programming question and it is always a good idea to get a different perspective. A multi-pronged learning strategy goes a long way to bolster your programming skills.
The above-mentioned skills are just some of the many techniques that will help you to deal with your programming assignment. To tackle your programming assignment effectively, you need to think like a programmer and work your way through the problem accordingly by adopting a structured approach. It would benefit you tremendously to hone your problem solving skills (such as those mentioned above) if you want to excel in the world of programming.