From CUNY Academic Commons

Problem Solving Techniques

Developing your problem solving skills is not only a useful endeavor for your programming career, but most of these techniques can be applied to many problems outside of Information Systems. As you will read in the following links, before you write any lines of code, you need to fully understand the problem and come up with a potential solution. The following links will help you develop your critical thinking skills that you will need when solving real world programming problems.

One of the quintessential guides to problem solving is the book “How to Solve It” by George Polya. From amazon.com: “A perennial bestseller by eminent mathematician G. Polya, How to Solve It will show anyone in any field how to think straight”. The book is available freely online as a PDF.

Another short guide is “How To Program It“. This guide is a bit more specific to programming than the book above. It lists the questions you should asking yourself when approaching a problem. When approaching assignment problems, you can use this guide to help organize your thinking. Another short guide is Chapter 1 of Programming and Problem Solving with VB.NET. You do not need to know Visual Basic to udnerstand the concepts). While I think its important to read the whole thing, the problem solving section starts in section 1.8.

Other books you should consider reading: