029: 7 Steps to Solving Code Challenges

In this episode, you’ll learn about problem solving, and how you can approach code challenges using a 7-step approach that will give you enough information to confidently solve your problems. Many students overlook these crucial steps, or blow past them to begin coding—which really doesn’t help them once they hit a wall and are unsure how to proceed.

So, if this sounds like an area where you could use some work, have a listen as Nicole walks through the approach she uses to solve problems. (And become a more confident, competent problem solver in just half an hour!)

Problem solving is a big topic that I cover during the entire second week of my online course, 30 Days to Web Development.

But what exactly is problem solving, and why is it important? And once you know why it’s important, how can you learn problem solving skills to overcome these difficult code challenges independently?

When I first began solving code challenges, I was mortified at how little I felt I had retained from my coding education. In reality, it wasn’t that I hadn’t retained it… I just didn’t know how to use it.

Every code challenge I faced felt like a monumental obstacle that I could never overcome. Even if I knew how to “code”, I did not know how to approach a problem—even if they were telling me pretty much everything I needed to know in order to pass the tests.

If you can identify with this feeling, this episode will certainly help you to see that code challenges aren’t the scary beasts we make them out to be. Because every massive problem is just a lot of little problems—little problems that will build up your confidence and problem-solving comfort with each one you solve.

If this episode helps, I’d love to hear from you! Hit me up on Twitter @lavie_encode, via the LVEC Facebook page, or on my Contact page.

Peace, love, and code,

Show Notes

Codeland Conference
The most inclusive conference I’ve ever been to, hosted by Saron Yitbarek of CodeNewbie. I’ll definitely be here every year, so be sure to check in for sale windows.

CodeNewbie
The most inclusive, friendly group of web developers I’ve ever met. Join our Twitter chat on Wednesday nights at 9 PM EST, using the hashtag #CodeNewbie.

Treehouse
Treehouse is the web development e-Learning platform I used to support my education when I taught myself to program. Try it out and get a free 7-day trial!

freeCodeCamp
freeCodeCamp has a curriculum chock full of algorithm challenges and independent projects. Their later projects are not for the faint of heart (if you’re a newbie!) If you feel like you need a little extra challenge for your skills, check them out!

Web Developer Roadmap (created by Kamran Ahmed)
The Web Developer Roadmap is an invaluable resource that I continue to reference. It effectively maps out a “tree” of skills required for Front-End and Back-End programming, so new learners can visualize and contextualize their learning journey. I will be doing an episode on this next week, so be sure to subscribe below!

What you'll learn

  • Nicole is back, and she’s ok! 😉
  • Why problem solving is critical for self-taught coders
  • What problem solving actually is
  • How to approach complex problems by breaking them down into smaller problems
  • Why you need your problems written down
  • The role of pseudocode in problem solving
  • Why you should automate before actually writing programming code
  • What to look for when automating or optimizing your code

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