Tuesday, 17 October 2006

How to program it...

This brief 'essay' on developing a functional algorithm How to program it... is based on a 1945 book describing methods of problem solving.

The four basic steps are:
  1. First, you have to understand the problem.

  2. After understanding, then make a plan.

  3. Carry out the plan.

  4. Look back on your work. How could it be better?


I think it should be required reading for all developers - even pasted on your cubical wall!

Particularly when hiring, one of the "metrics" I try to measure in candidates is their sense of 'logic'. This is easier said than done, however; and actually what I am really interested in their natural ability or inclination to follow such a process.

It's easy to spot less 'logical' developers. They start at (and sometimes only ever do) Step #3! Sometimes, in the process of thrashing about in Step #3 they may accomplish some of Step #1. While fixing the inevitable bugs, they may also accidentally get some Step #4. But it's not an efficient process...

No comments:

Post a Comment