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Nwaogwugwu Oluomach Faith
Nwaogwugwu Oluomach Faith

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6 Steps to Problem-Solving: Think like a Developer

Trying to tackle a problem but don’t know where to start?
Have you been thinking for hours and come up with nothing good?
Does it appear that problem-solving is a big deal?
No worries; thinking like a developer will help you solve and complete your challenges in a matter of hours.

Problem-solving is a common component of most activities and is the process of reaching a goal by overcoming difficulties. Simple daily duties to complicated concerns in the commercial and technological domains are all examples of problems that need to be solved.

If you’re interested in programming, you may well have seen this quote before:

“Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer because it teaches you to think.” — Steve Jobs

Since coding is what makes you think, people will think the goal is to learn how to use a programming language. This may be a reasonable assumption. This, however, is not what he meant. Unless you are a coder, you will not understand what Steve Jobs was trying to express. I’m sure I’d have had a different opinion if I hadn’t learned to program.


What exactly is the job of a software engineer, software developer, or programmer?

Even though a programmer is responsible for designing and testing code that allows computer applications and software programs to run properly, the primary purpose of a programmer is to solve problems. Surprisingly, it takes months, if not years, for novice programmers to comprehend what they are doing.

You probably also wondered what it meant to think like a programmer. And how do you do it?

Essentially, it’s all about finding a more effective way to problem-solving.

What is a developer's mindset?

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Think like a developer…
The first principle of the developer mentality is cultivating code zen: you must learn to remain calm, break your problem down into the smallest stages possible, and go through your scripts line by line to find the bug. Most importantly, you can’t give up until it’s done.

Why is this important?

Problem-solving is the meta-skill.

We all have problems, big and small. Sometimes, though, our responses to them are rather haphazard.

What is the importance of problem-solving?

We may recognize and take advantage of environmental possibilities and exercise some degree of control over the future by solving problems. Both as an individual and as an organization, problem-solving abilities and the problem-solving process are essential components of daily life.

Given your newfound understanding of what it means to think like a programmer or developer, let's begin by learning the procedures they take to approach and resolve problems.

Step1: Define your problem

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Define your problem…
Understanding the problem that a programmer is trying to resolve is the first step in everything. It seems like a straightforward action to take. But failing to do so may result in time loss and a failure to solve a problem. Why? because if there isn’t a problem identified, then we are searching for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

Once they are aware of the problem, the programmers’ minds may turn to anything associated with it, such as “What caused the issue? What subjects are connected to the issue? Why is it crucial for us to find a solution to this problem? Is this problem a top concern? These and other ideas may cross the mind of a programmer.

Asking questions enables programmers to consider the various situations they must account for, design a solution that fits the problem, and do research in light of the numerous unanswered questions they have regarding the problem.

Step2: Limit the problem’s reach

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Programmers query the size of the challenge after specifying its nature. To solve the larger problem, there may be several lesser problems that need to be resolved first. When that’s the case, programmers pay attention to one side issue at a time while keeping the bigger problem in mind.

Aren’t programmers meant to solve significant issues?

Programmers commonly think about making incremental, minor changes. The bigger issue has to be resolved in order to go forward; the lesser issues act as roadblocks. They act as a prompt for the problems that need to be handled each day. Consequently, the secret to achieving big goals is to overcome little challenges one at a time.

Step 3: First, analyze, then code.

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Before tackling the core issue, you must address the who, what, whom, where, when, and why problems that arise during the analyzing stage.

Analyze before solving a problem…
Programmers will rush to the computer and start writing the erroneous solution as soon as they know exactly what problem they are going to tackle.

Let’s take a moment to consider this possibility. You can’t work on a solution if you don’t know what it is. Again, there must be some degree of assurance. Programmers aim to define the problem and the solution as clearly as possible. It is feasible to brainstorm ideas rather than execute them. This leads to being efficient at doing the “hard work,” which is putting the programmer’s solution ideas into code.

There will be instances where the problem is simple or common enough for programmers to be aware of the best course of action. But if you don’t take a moment to think things through, you can miss out on solving important problems that aren’t immediately apparent.

Perhaps you've noticed that programmers do more than just write code. There were three steps taken before the coder began drafting the response. Yes, this is the time when programmers finally put their hands to work and bash the keyboard of the computer, which is the implementation face.

The brain is where all the labour-intensive work is done. Because it gives their minds room to rest and concentrates on what is important to them as well, programmers like to work in solitary areas to avoid distractions so they can think of the best possible answer without being distracted.

step 4: Find the solution to the problem

After going through the analytical processes, programmers already have ideas in their thoughts. Such ideas must be combined in a number of ways in order to find a solution. It is usually up to the programmer to choose the best solution from a set of alternatives.

A range of factors can impact the choice of a solution. When developing software, programmers consider problems like "How long would it take to implement the solution?" and "Have I already figured out this problem?" How easily is the remedy scaleable? The goal is to select a solution that makes sense. Will the code-based solution interact with other components of an application?

Sometimes, there are several excellent answers to a single problem. There may be further background for the problem and refusing to realize if a certain situation makes a particular solution optimal might result in picking the wrong one.

step 5: Create backup plans, then put them into action.

You will always find more answers to a problem than the first one that comes to mind. It is crucial to compile a list of potential solutions so that you and your team can assess them and decide which is best for the given problem. I often use the 13 + 1 Rule to get to a consensus on the top one, two, or three proposals that will benefit everyone.

Then rank them according to their effectiveness, cost, long-term value, resource accessibility, and level of commitment to the problem's solution. After carefully analyzing each of those options, choose the one you feel would work best for this problem.

Creating an implementation strategy can help you put your solution into practice. Planning for what happens next if something goes wrong with the solution or if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected it to might also be included. Making sure that everyone in your team is aware of and understands their role throughout implementation entails setting up a system to track if the solution has effectively solved the problem in developing execution schedules and in making the solution function.

Step 6: Evaluate the Outcomes.

According to your execution approach In step 6, make sure to measure and document the results so you can reply to questions such as, “Did it work? Was this a wise decision? Did this implementation teach us anything that we might use for future problems?

You may increase your effectiveness and efficiency as a problem solver in your company by following these six easy steps. As you follow this strategy and refine your abilities to the point where you use them without even noticing them, these phases will become more natural to you.

Solving-Problems Mentality.

You must be aware that a programmer's main responsibility is to find solutions to problems. As already established, problems will always arise with humans. They are in charge of coming up with solutions. Programmers are equipped with the correct attitude when they see solutions rather than problems, or challenges rather than barriers.

In conclusion, a developer says:

  1. Set goals
  2. Search for clarity
  3. Improve and explore new ways to accomplish the same goal with more effective and efficient solutions.
  4. Have a common strategy for problem-solving and
  5. Overcome obstacles no matter how challenging they are.

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