?
Solved

Programmer Problem Solver

Posted on 2014-11-05
3
Medium Priority
?
197 Views
Last Modified: 2014-11-07
Hi there,

What subjects should I study or practice in order to sharpen my problem solving abilities in programming. I am not an especially gifted person. I already know PHP, C#, and JavaScript, and web development, but need to develop my problem solving abilities to a very high level.

Thanks
0
Comment
Question by:userTester
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
3 Comments
 
LVL 74

Assisted Solution

by:sdstuber
sdstuber earned 1000 total points
ID: 40424571
To practice: answer questions on EE!  

Seriously.

 You will be exposed to lots of problems including examples of good and bad code you'll need to be able to identify both, leverage the good, fix the bad.

Learn your tools well enough that you can use them to do nearly anything; then, learn them well enough to know when you shouldn't use them.  

For study: go to the classic algorithms - but don't reinvent them.

For instance, most programming classes teach sorting.  There is very little need for you to ever write one of those algorithms from scratch, and even if you did, it would probably be a mistake to do so because there is already a highly optimized, low-level implementation already available.

However, if you know understand WHY quicksort is better than bubblesort, that's useful in understanding fundamentally how operations on objects in memory behave and how little actions add up to big effects.

Learn to work with databases:  MySQL, Access, Oracle, DB2, SQL Server,etc.   If you're writing professionally, at some point you will have to work with a database of some kind.  They are immensely powerful and a very common error is to assume you can process data faster than the database.  Maybe you can in some cases, often you can not.   Even if you can out-do the db,  if you have to also absorb the cost of pulling the data out and pushing that data back in, then you're making the db do work anyway, plus the overhead of the communcation, how fast do you have to make your code to compensate for that overhead?  Learn to leverage the features of your database platform to do what it does best and you'll be miles ahead of your competitors.


Learn libraries/products/industry standards.  Working with Javascript in particular there is plenty to learn.  Seems like new tools and methodologies spring up all the time for it.  Staying on top of those can be difficult but also a competitive advantage.
1
 
LVL 37

Accepted Solution

by:
TommySzalapski earned 1000 total points
ID: 40424952
A lot of code competition sites (like codejam, topcoder, and codechef) have a wealth of practice problems. Many people have told me that these types of challenge problems are the one best way they prepared for interviews and jobs at places like Google.

https://code.google.com/codejam/contests.html
http://www.codechef.com/problems/easy
http://community.topcoder.com/longcontest/?module=ViewPractice

Or if you want to start out with something a bit more basic and simple

http://codingbat.com/

Other than that, you could tackle a large hobby project or contribute to some open source projects (preferably active ones that do code reviews so you can get feedback).
1
 

Author Closing Comment

by:userTester
ID: 40429487
Nice, thanks.
0

Featured Post

Are You Using the Best Web Development Editor?

The worlds of web hosting and web development are constantly evolving. Every year we see design trends change, coding standards adapt and new frameworks/CMS created. With such a quick pace of change it’s easy to get lost trying to keep up.

See if your editor made the list.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Introduction This question got me thinking... (http://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28707487/GLOBALS.html) Why shouldn't we use Globals? This is a simple question without a simple answer.  How do you explain these concepts to a programmer w…
International Data Corporation (IDC) prognosticates that before the current the year gets over disbursing on IT framework products to be sent in cloud environs will be $37.1B.
Wufoo.com provides powerful tools for surveying targeted groups, and utilizing data from completed surveys to find trends, discover areas of demand or customer expectation, and make business decisions on products or services.
Use Wufoo, an online form creation tool, to make powerful forms. Learn how to choose which pages of your form are visible to your users based on their inputs. The page rules feature provides you with an opportunity to create if:then statements for y…

770 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question