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On the Art of Programming

There is something magical in the computer world, you may not be the king of Asgard, Odin, but your words are law, and that law must be obeyed. Programmers, do that. It is an activity called programming. And programming is a very complicated progress that one cannot simply describe, so I took the challenge to simply describe what is programming and what sort of activity it really is.

Programming, in essence, is writing code, and to do that one must have enough skills to understand the problem that is to be solved, to analyze, to generate hypotheses, to test hypotheses, and to finally implement it. Therefore, writing code requires a lot of attention, creativity, problem-solving, reasoning, learning abstract concepts, concept definition, and many other cognitive skills.

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Introduction to Problem-Solving

Problem solving is part of our daily life. Despite solving problems is important for everybody, for programmers, problem solving skill has a different value. It is consider as one of the key skills in profession. Sommerville (2010) argued that it is one of the key factors that should influence the selection of staff. Gomes & Mendes (2007) argued that major cause of the students’ failure in introductory programming course is the lack of problem solving ability.

Note: This is an article that is fractionalized in two parts. In this part relevant psychological research regarding problem-solving is outlined. In next article, topic how should programmers solve the problems will be outlined.

The process of problem solving is complicated and there are still no theory of how problem-solving works. However we are almost certain that problem solving requires knowledge, judgement, decision making, pattern recognition, information gathering skills, personality, emotion, perception, creative or lateral thinking. It has been argued that by studying problem-solving we might be able understand how problems are solved effectively as well as what goes wrong when a problem can’t be solved. Continue Reading →

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