A Beginner's Guide To Writing Pseudocode
15 May, 2023
When you try to figure out the logic of an application, writing the code in your first move might not be the best approach you can take, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the programming language that you want to use. In this case, you need to utilize pseudocode to break your program down in a manner that is logical as well as easy to understand.
Pseudocode is one of the most important concepts in the world of programming. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about pseudocode and how you can use it to solve programming problems.
What is Pseudocode?
Pseudocode can be referred to as 'code in disguise'. It is a casual and artificial approach to designing programs. In this approach, you express the necessary instructions in a way that you can easily grasp.
Pseudocode, however, works exactly the other way around. Here, you need to just use a communication language you are comfortable with. It can be English, Spanish, or any other language. Since you are fluent in the particular language, you don't have to worry about the rules. Here, understanding is the only thing that matters.
Benefits of Writing Pseudocode
Writing pseudocode can be beneficial to you in many ways. They include:
Improves Readability: Programmers frequently collaborate with experts from other fields who are not well-versed in the technicality that is integrated in their applications. In these situations, communication will be much more effective if pseudocode is used to describe the code's workings.
Simplifies Code Construction: Going the pseudocode way will make it much simpler and quicker for programmers to translate that into an actual codebase.
Simplifies Transition: It is not easy to translate an idea into design and then convert it into code. Pseudocode allows us to ease this transition by acting as a bridge that connects all the stages in the process.
Quick Bug Detection: Pseudocode provides us a way to discover bugs in our application even before we have started writing actual code, as it follows a human-readable style. Moreover, the bugs found in the pseudocode can be fixed quicker than the bugs found in the actual code, as the latter requires more time and patience.
How to Write Pseudocode?
In this example, we will use pseudocode to create a blueprint of the logic that we will be using and then convert it into actual code.
Write a C++ program to print all even numbers between 1 and 20.
- Declare a variable n and set 1 as its value
- Iterate n from 1 to 20
- Each iteration will check if n is even
- If even, print n to the screen
- If odd, move on to the next iteration
SET variable to 1
FOR each variable from 1 to 20
IF variable is even
using namespace std;
for (int n = 1; n <= 20; n++)
if (n % 2 == 0)
cout << n << endl;
Best Practices for Writing Pseudocode
Everyone possesses a unique style of writing pseudocode. However, there are some best practices that you can follow to write high-quality pseudocode. They include:
- Capitalize the first word of each line
- Capitalize keywords (FOR, WHILE, etc.)
- Indent to enhance readability and demonstrate the structure
- Maintain clarity (For instance, write 'Add the first variable to the second variable' instead of 'Add m to n')
How to Solve Programming Problems With Pseudocode
Coding problems can prove challenging to resolve. You must take into account both the technical and logical aspects of the problem.
Here is a step-by-step approach that you can follow in order to utilize pseudocode to solve coding problems:
Step 1: Understand the Question
You will be unable to solve the problem and determine the best course of action if you don't fully comprehend the question.
Hence, the first and probably most crucial step in this process is to thoroughly understand the question. Once you do it, you will be eligible to tackle the core problem.
Step 2: Break the Problem Down
The second step is to divide the problem into small chunks of sub-problems. With each sub-problem you resolve, you will go one step closer to fixing the core problem.
Step 3: Test Each Output
The last step is to test the output you get after solving a sub-problem. Keep solving these sub-problems and testing their outputs until you get one that is essentially the desired output of the core problem.
Clearly, pseudocode is an effective tool for expressing the logic behind the solution of a coding problem in an understandable manner.
However, it goes without saying that pseudocode is not an accurate depiction of a computer program. Using pseudocode to write the logic is a terrific idea, but ultimately, you will have to convert it into actual code. Hence, you need to eventually have coding skills in a programming language to compose the code of a computer application.
Nevertheless, pseudocode is an excellent tool for streamlining the process of solving coding problems. So, the next time you try to build a computer application, make sure you integrate pseudocode into the process.
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