If only my life came with a flow chart
Sometimes I wake up wishing it would be so nice not to make any decisions. Just a list of instructions that I can follow till all the tasks are done. Wouldn't it be nice not to be in charge sometimes and just get directions from someone else? Okay, who am I kidding. I love to take charge! And taking instructions, not my best trait. But this article is not about me anyway!
Computers are one such incredibly powerful "species" (leaving aside the artificial intelligence kind), that actually have no choice but to only function if given exact instructions. For all its glory, if computers don't have specific instructions they are merely a box of metal and wires. Writing a list of instructions sounds simple, right? Not quite so. If computers are not given a very specific path to follow and a recourse if things don't go as planned, the worst happens - a crash. Then why do so many coders jump into writing the instructions instead of planning it out first? It is tempting to turn on the computer and jump right into the create mode. Only to realize at the end, how many corrections need to be made. To err is human. Then why do some of us assume that we can type out all possible pathways to solve a task or create a game etc.?
When introducing kids to the world of coding, it is important to teach them the best practices as part of the fundamentals training. Preparing a blueprint is an important part of our curriculum at Code it Hacks. Every child starts in a group with their journals. We follow the 80/20 rule. When 80% of the design is complete, coding begins. Doing so over and over for every project, makes it a second nature for the kids, thus developing their logical thinking process.
While my life does not come with a flowchart, nor would I want one. But for creating amazing animations and games, there is no compromise on design. Code just follows and takes its course.