Problem Solving

Tell your non-tech friend a story about a time you
 (1.) Got blocked on a simple problem

The JavaScript Racer game is my most recent example of getting stuck on a seemingly simple problem.

My JS didn’t seem to run on my first attempt, the alert box didn’t even pop up to get the ball rolling with setting up the track size. One my second attempt, I got as far as being able to have the track built, and some CSS saying on the background running, but not everything. No space ship, no planet target.

The problem solving techniques I used were pseudocode, googling, Rubber ducking, reading what scant error codes there were, did i mention googling? Asking my peers for help in the end, and from a coach for un-blocking.

But the last two I’ve felt bad about doing because of pride I think. I’ve just been trying to box-on. “If others can do it so can I…?”

I’ve felt terrible to be honest. I usually like to feel capable, and able to work through stuff. But I’ve felt stumped, and ashamed to look at other peers work, and to ask for help.

I’m glad for the meditation techniques though. I think I need to get to that accurate assessment place, to see my current weakness, and be in a confident place to ask for help when needed. Ask for help earlier I think is the thing I’ve learnt most.

2. Solved a problem in an elegant way
This is a non-coding problem, as I don’t think I’ve solved anything elegantly yet.

This was a problem of wastage at my workplace. We had paper slips being made at great effort to use as place holders for paying orders ‘once’, and then thrown away.

I proposed a couple of solutions, the first of which didn’t fly, but with a bit of team work, came up with laminated colour-coded slips that could be re-used. saved the old production time and saved the wastage. Problem solved elegantly and effectively.

I felt great through the process. Challenged at first, but euphoric the closer we got to the final solution.


Reflect on how confident you feel using the problem solving techniques and process:

Psuedocode - not too confident, as I’m still finding my feet with the vocabulary.

Trying something - I did that, but it’s hard not knowing which way is up.

Rubber ducky method - this was good, I found some problems using this.

Reading error messages - it’s more the absence of error messages that I found hard.

Console.logging - I’m finding this difficult, as it doesn’t seem to connect for me sometimes.

Googling - so so, knowing the question to ask is the first step.

Asking your peers for help - this was hard. I felt whakama about it.

Asking coaches for help - this is a great step, but it took me a long time to get comfortable with the idea.


Improving your process with reflection - yes, I think this is good, but i can get stuck in loops sometimes.


Explain to your non-tech friend
, using the JS Array docs as a starting point, describe what these functions do in your own words:

.map() - This function makes a new array of results from each element having a function run over each item in the original array.

.filter() - This function makes a new array of just the filtered items, named as the filter.

.reduce()This function reduces arrays to single numbers, or flattens nested arrays, with the use of a reducer and a function. This reducer runs the function across the array, calling over the array until the single result is achieved.