We have all been there… faced with a task that is so overwhelming we don’t know where to begin.
The best place to begin is now. But wait… “now” is a point in time not in the sequence.
Yes. That is correct but the best way to tackle something when you don’t know where to begin is to just start. Don’t over analyze and don’t let lack of knowledge stop you.
When you first start programming it’s really easy to get lost with big problems. So it’s best to break big problems into little ones. If you break it down far enough you get a bunch of tiny ones. Those tiny ones are a pinch
However, when you first start programming breaking big problems into little ones is challenging. So if that’s too challenging you can begin by making a list of facts instead; things you know, things you would like to know, any assumptions that you think have a possibility of not being correct.
I think all really big problems begin this way. We usually start by doing something.
Sometimes the best place to begin is now. it may not land you at the beginning of the problem but at least is a location that you can use as to get your bearing.
As you tackle these problems, you will eventually get better at breaking them down into digestible chunks
Keep in mind that every program is a collection of many little programs called functions.
Sometimes those functions need other functions.
Begin with a big problem. Can you break that down into two or three smaller problems or functions? Can you break each of those into 2 or 3 smaller problems? Can some of these smaller problems be reused by any of the others? If they can everything will become much easier.
So… there are you are. Two techniques for tackling big problems:
- Break the problem down into smaller problems
- Make a list of data facts; what you know, what you don’t know, what you assume
One final step that can be beneficial at times is to get feedback on your approach before you even begin to code.
Until next time. Keep Coding or whatever they call it these days!