How to think like a Programmer
Noah Olatoye

Noah Olatoye


How to think like a Programmer

If you can think like a programmer, you can become one of them.

Programming goes beyond just writing code or giving instructions to the machines. So many things go into consideration before any application or product can be launched.

Why is this information important?

Problem-solving is a necessity in every discipline!

Our world comprises big and small problems, and the way we handle them depends on how very clear we are with the issues.

Unless there is a system that helps you check this parameter, it is most likely you have been doing things the less effective way all this while.

In this post, I will show you how you can take advantage of the science part of programming and how you can start applying the techniques in your day to day activities.

Please note that you don't need any technical skills to be able to apply this basic principle. And if you already possess some programming skills, this information will make life easier for you.

Alright, let us dive into it.

1. Be open-minded

When we are given tasks to do, especially those that we have done so many times, we often feel comfortable with the way we do them without wanting to try other methods.

We are all guilty of this!

It makes sense to keep to a process, mainly when that method works. But often, that process might not be the most efficient.

That method might be why there hasn't been any significant progress.

That process or method can be why you haven't figured out other opportunities.

Because when the company hired you or when you started that new project, that is the method others are using etc. That shouldn't stop you from thinking outside the box.

To be able to unlock new opportunities, one has to be open-minded.

That doesn't mean reinventing the wheel. I am saying that, think differently always to figure out a better way—these are what programmers often do.

2. Access and modify

If you have heard that there is nothing hidden under the sun, information is part of it.

To make sense of this word, you must have the correct information. The problem, however, is where do I get the correct information based on your area of speciality.

Getting accurate information doesn't happen overnight. So it would be helpful if you were deliberate in searching for it.

If you give a programmer a project to do, often, they will end up spending 70% - 80% of the timeline on research alone.

With the correct information, implementing a solution is not that difficult.

Search the internet to see what others have done, and consider how you can modify them to suit your projects. Another great skill programmers use to succeed.

3. Simplify complex problems

You cannot effectively solve a problem you do not understand. Therefore, before implementing any project, seek clarity. It helps a lot!

There shouldn't be an assumption when it comes to problem-solving; the more specific you are with your findings, the higher the chances for success.

Write down what you think on a plain sheet in other in which you believe they will be done.

Critique that note and make sure you spot errors and roadblocks before you start implementations.

Doing this will make you see the end from the beginning. Programmers always refer to this as pseudocode.

According to Wikipedia, "pseudocode is a plain language description of the steps in an algorithm or another system. Pseudocode often uses structural conventions of a standard programming language but is intended for human reading rather than machine reading."

Do not mistake this process for a project plan. Instead, simplifying your problem into bullet points should be something you incorporate into your execution process.

So, when next you want to start a new project, please write down the steps before implementing them.

4. Be Prepared for Feedback

Preparing for feedback is essential. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to give constructive feedback; the more you are open to critiques, the better you will at ignoring areas that can make you feel bad.

To achieve optimal results, you need always to control your emotion to focus on the reason and not the expressions.

Imagine after you finished writing a proposal and your manager came back to say that what you've written doesn't make sense!

If you ignore how he said parsed the comment and focus on "why", you could further ask him which aspect.

You might find out that he only refers to some minor typos in the proposal.

Do not let your emotion take the best of you. Instead, focus on the reason and ignore the incentive parts.

5. Conclusion

In wrapping things up, always consider the most efficient way in everything you do. Do a lot of research, simplify complex problems and expect lots of feedback.

I hope you learned new ways to get things done efficiently. Leave a comment below and share it with someone that may need it.

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