Learning to code is not just about learning a programming language and how to develop a software solution. It involves learning an approach to problem solving where we break down complex problems into a series of smaller, achievable problems to solve and use trial and error to identify a suitable solution to each problem. Our problem solving approach requires a delicate balance of being methodical, creative and resilient.
1. Make a plan
We can break down large projects into a series of small steps. All large problems are made up of smaller, achievable problems. A plan helps us to solve the problems and be clear in our approach to building our project. This also helps us to determine which steps we should work on before others.
2. Do one step at a time
Projects can become complex very easily. We work on one step at a time in the plan. By working on one step at a time we can more easily solve the problems at hand.
3. Have a go
We learn from trial and error. We can’t always know the answer. Why not have a guess then check how your code runs.
4. Test your code
As part of working on one step at a time, we test our code before moving on to the next step. This helps us to identify errors early and correct them. Testing our code helps us to be confident that our code is working. Once we are confident with our code, we can move onto the next step.
5. Don’t give up
Learning to code requires resilience. We learn from breaking down large problems into a series of smaller problems. We learn from trial and error. We keep going even when things seem difficult. In persevering we can learn and improve ourselves.