Bugs are going to happen even to the best developer. That unexpected behavior is just part of this profession. But what sets you apart and defines you is your ability to problem solve. It’s about finding the root cause, that thing or things which are at the center of the problem, and then properly resolving it. In this daily tip, let me share with you my four (4) steps to problem solving. These steps are the same no matter if you are on the hunt for a minor issue to some intermittent, pain in the backside, wonky problem.
My four steps are:
- Step 1: Identify the differences between the Expected vs. Actual behavior/result
Step 2: Evaluate
Step 3: Test – let the system tell you what’s going on
Step 4: Adjust and then repeat
These same four steps are how you build a machine learning system which does predictive modeling. You are picking a place to start, testing (with very simplistic tests to peek into the actual values), and then fine-tuning/adjusting bit-by-bit until you find the root cause.
What do you get out of this process? Wow, your code will exponentially increase in quality. It will take you less time to identify issues. It will save you money.
Problem solving should be the first line in any job description, as it is the heart and soul of what we do as software professionals. We solve problems through web technologies. While it may seem like a daunting process, one that maybe makes you feel overwhelmed or flustered at where to start, believe me, it’s not as hard as you might think. Just like programming, it’s a logical, step-by-step process where you start at the 30,000 foot view and then incrementally drill down.
Watch this video as I explain my four steps to problem solving to you.
Let’s Hone Your Problem Solving Skills
To help you level up and flourish in this business, I’m starting a problem solving hands-on lab series. This is the back door approach to teaching you the ins and outs of web development. It will help you immensely!
In these labs, I’ll present a problem and website that is broken or acting wonky. Then together, you and I will walk through the process, step-by-step, using my four steps, and how to resolve it. In doing so, you are diving deep into WordPress Core, PHP, jQuery, the database, Genesis, and problem solving. You are taking a back door look at what code does and how things interact and influence each other. I invite you to come join me.