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PEDAC - A problem solving approach

Many people assume that software developers (or call us: software engineers, programmers, coders, etc.) are paid to write code. While writing code is certainly one of the tasks we do, it is not really the part that adds the most value.

What adds the most value is solving problems. We solve these problems in the language of computer code. If we are hired to write a company's employee database we are actually being paid to figure out all of the needs they have that involves keeping track of employees and to improve that situation through solving the related problems and implementing it in code.

A formal approach for solving problems

There is surprisingly little written about problem solving. One of the best resources we have seen is this article from launch school. It does an excellent job at specifying an approach to problem solving.

They call the approach PEDAC which stands for:

  • Problem
  • Examples
  • Data Structure
  • Algorithm
  • Code

Their article is good and we recommend this approach any time you are solving a programming related problem. This includes homework assignments as well as any code challenges you do.

Also see these resources:

  • Watch this video about making PB&J sandwiches and see if you could do better.
  • Here is a book and another book about how to solve problems. Do NOT feel compelled to buy these books.
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