A Computer Programmer as a Problem Solver– 5 Important Facts

Sometime I cringe when I hear people refer to Computer Programmers with expressions like introverts, antisocial, nerd and boring. This is understandably ironical looking at the fact the computer programmers work to produce systems that would be used by people and at the same time they need to be focused enough to get the tasks performed the right way. Their jobs often involves creating systems or working on projects to solve present and future problems. They do this work with so much passion that the principles of problem solving have become part of them such that you can count on them for advice when faced with everyday problem. (principles of problem solving remains the same)

In this article I would outline 5 facts the makes them the best problem solvers in the planet.

Meanwhile, that pix is my office as the Lead Software Engineering in an Oil Servicing Company in Nigeria.


Fact 1: Programmers Understand the Divide and Conquer Method
One basic problem solving technique is the ‘Divide and Conquer’. This technique has it that a large problem can be solved by dividing the task into a number of parts and then solving each part separately and then combining the individual result to achieve an overall solution. I would tell you that this principle is at the finger-tips of every professional computer programmer and to be sure it can be applied in various aspects of life. Though applying this technique is not always very easy, the computer programmer could easily see areas of application from previous similar experience.


Fact 2: Programmer Focus on User-Friendliness
In program design one of the core guiding principle is User-Friendliness. Sometimes this is referred to as Usability. This implies that each time a system is to be developed, the programmer understands that the system would be used by persons and therefore look for ways to improve the ease of use. So in this way, they tend to shift the challenging tasks to themselves and ensure that the user’s challenges would be minimal. Somehow, they envisage and prevent any problem from reaching the user. This is based on a principle by Kindson Munonye which states that:
“The Best Approach to Problem Solving is Problem Solving is Prevention”
Programmers could easily envisage a problem and prevent it before it arises in the first place.


Fact 3: Programmers Exercises High Level of Foresight
When a programmer engages in a programming projects, he envisages the appearance of the finished application right from the outset. So the programmer plays the role of the end user even before the project is completed. I like to think of it as driving a car that is still in the assembly line. So you kind of close your eyes, hold on to the steering wheel, feeling the accelerator and brake pedals with your foot, looking at the speed reading on the dashboard. As such you could tell what challenges a driver may experience.
Problem solving requires a lot of foresight. This is because a given solutions to a particular problem could create a second problem while another solution could also create another problem. Therefore it requires a lot of calculation. That’s  the reason I tend to believe Finch (Person Of Interest) when he says that ‘Life is not like the game of chess..’


Fact 4: Programmers are Very Creative (Programmers are Lazy!)
Some say programmers are lazy. This is arguable, and I would tell you why some believe we are lazy. One thing about programmers is that they prefer challenging tasks to routine tasks. So a secretary entering data in excel sheet could do 200 rows in a day, but a programmer may not do even one. He would spend the day working on how to automate the task so that the routine task could be performed automatically. That is where creativity comes in. Non-programmers continue to work on routine when programmers generated ideas to improve the normal ways of doing things. You call it lazy, I call it smart.


Fact 5: Programmers Love People
I could prove this fact from personal feeling about people. I love the people around me. You can ask me to explain when you see me!

I hope this little explanation helps to clear the misconceptions. So do you have a friend, a relative, a spouse, neighbour or colleague that is a programmer, just know that he’s the best!
Thanks for stopping by though. I remain Kindson The Tech Pro.

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