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An introduction to the computer program design process.

Topic introduction

Program Design consists of the steps a programmer should do before they start coding the program in a specific language. These steps when properly documented will make the completed program easier for other programmers to maintain in the future. There are three broad areas of activity:

  • Understanding the Program
  • Using Design Tools to Create a Model
  • Develop Test Data

Understanding the program

If you are working on a project as a one of many programmers, the system analyst may have created a variety of documentation items that will help you understand what the program is to do. These could include screen layouts, narrative descriptions, documentation showing the processing steps, etc. If you are not on a project and you are creating a simple program you might be given only a simple description of the purpose of the program. Understanding the purpose of a program usually involves understanding it's:

  • Inputs
  • Processing
  • Outputs

This IPO approach works very well for beginning programmers. Sometimes, it might help to visualize the programming running on the computer. You can imagine what the monitor will look like, what the user must enter on the keyboard and what processing or manipulations will be done.

Using design tools to create a model

At first you will not need a hierarchy chart because your first programs will not be complex. But as they grow and become more complex, you will divide your program into several modules (or functions).

The first modeling tool you will usually learn is pseudocode . You will document the logic or algorithm of each function in your program. At first, you will have only one function, and thus your pseudocode will follow closely the IPO approach above.

There are several methods or tools for planning the logic of a program. They include: flowcharting, hierarchy or structure charts, pseudocode, HIPO, Nassi-Schneiderman charts, Warnier-Orr diagrams, etc. Programmers are expected to be able to understand and do flowcharting and pseudocode. These methods of developing the model of a program are usually taught in most computer courses. Several standards exist for flowcharting and pseudocode and most are very similar to each other. However, most companies have their own documentation standards and styles. Programmers are expected to be able to quickly adapt to any flowcharting or pseudocode standards for the company at which they work. The others methods that are less universal require some training which is generally provided by the employer that chooses to use them.

Later in your programming career, you will learn about using applications software that helps create an information system and/or programs. This type of software is called Computer-aided Software Engineering.

Understanding the logic and planning the algorithm on paper before you start to code is very important concept. Many students develop poor habits and skipping this step is one of them.

Develop test data

Test data consists of the user providing some input values and predicting the outputs. This can be quite easy for a simple program and the test data can be used to check the model to see if it produces the correct results.

Definitions

IPO
Inputs - Processing - Outputs
pseudocode
English-like statements used to convey the steps of an algorithm or function.
test data
Providing input values and predicting the outputs.

Questions & Answers

how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
ninjadapaul
20/(×-6^2)
Salomon
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
ninjadapaul
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
ninjadapaul
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
Salomon
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
Salomon
I got X =-6
Salomon
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
ninjadapaul
oops. ignore that.
ninjadapaul
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
ninjadapaul
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
hello
Sherica
im all ears I need to learn
Sherica
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Tamia
hii
Uday
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
kkk nice
Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
Kim
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Al
y=10×
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
is it 3×y ?
Joan Reply
J, combine like terms 7x-4y
Bridget Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
Hello
Uday
I'm interested in Nanotube
Uday
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
Prasenjit
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Programming fundamentals - a modular structured approach using c++. OpenStax CNX. Jan 10, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10621/1.22
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