9) Scientific Method
The problems/challenges of coding can seem infinite, daunting, and impossible to begin. That’s where using the scientific method to break down obstacles and projects themselves can become extremely helpful. In most jobs, you develop and learn many ways to solve problems in the first year or so, then apply them from there on, occasionally developing new solutions as well. But in programming, a good deal of your time will be spent developing solutions to problems that have never been solved (at least not in the exact way you’re encountering them). You won’t have information on how to go about solving them, you’ll have to use trial and error. Seeing coding as research or experimentation will be extremely useful. It’ll also aid you in terms of deadlines. Because you’re doing something new, you can honestly expect leeway because it’s unclear how long it will take to properly solve a problem. Following these steps will help you with whatever project you’re working on.
Start with a hypothesis. What do you think the program you’re writing will accomplish? Or, what do you think a program look like that could solve a particular problem? Next, you outline how you will write the code, either on paper or in your head. Then you take a crack at it, and see what you came up with. That’s followed by comparing what you created, and the control, or what the program was supposed to do. It’s also aided by showing the program to others and getting their input on what you’ve done. Does the program you created match what you expected? Does it serve the function it’s supposed to? Finally, you begin debugging, or bringing the program closer to the ideal you’d imagined.