Pseudocode AKA Stop and Think

From Wikipedia:

Pseudocode is an informal high-level description of the operating principle of a computer program or other algorithm.  It uses the structural conventions of a programming language, but is intended for human reading rather than machine reading.

My definition:

A way to force you to think through your program before coding.  Really thinking through what variables you’ll need, what outputs you’ll need. It helps further on with the design. It allows me to work through some of the decision points that I’ll need to program later on, such as:

  • Should I use a macro variable or by groups?
  • Do I need to keep around the results from every simulation or just the end results? Which results do I need?
  • Where do I need counters?
  • Do I need break logic or define my loop with a do while instead?

This is an ideal situation, and I admit I don’t do it all the time. Sometimes experience allows me to skip this step, and sometimes I think experience allows me to skip this step and I shouldn’t.  There are many times, when I wish I hadn’t.

But basically, its a step that says, STOP AND THINK. Because thinking before doing makes things go faster. It’s also a great way to create a program structure that you can then pass on to someone else to actually code, if that’s an option.

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