Hints for Problem Solving
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Before You Come To The Competition -- Prepare
  • Become familiar with your programming language so that on the day of the competition you can focus on the problem and not the syntax.
  • Develop some input and error checking subroutines that you can use or modify during the competition. Don't waste time typing in the code that the other competitor's had ready when they came into the competition. Possible subroutines might include
    • Output a prompt, input a number and check that the number is inside a valid range.
    • Output a prompt, input a character and check against a valid set of characters.
    • Clear the screen, output your name and team number.
  • For examples and more information, visit our Web page:- http://www.cps.enel.ucalgary.ca

Words of Wisdom
  • It is strongly recommended that the team members decide on a PLAN OF ACTION before starting to solve the problems. Five minutes spent planning can save much time and effort rewriting and debugging code.
  • We recommend that when a PLAN for the first problem has been agreed on between team members, one participant should begin to program the solution on paper whole the other participant begins entering the code into the computer

The sooner you start coding the program the longer it will take to finish it.


Before You Start Writing Code
  • Understand the problem. What is given to you (the input)? What is required (the output)? Make a set of input data and calculate expected results by hand, if they are not given to you so you can check your program's output.
  • Outline the solution. State the problem in point form. State, in short sentences, the STEPS to solve the problem. There are marks for showing evidence of this planning process this year.
  • The judges actually mark assuming that you have taken a series of small steps to get a program to work. So many marks for this step, so many for this. This is especially true in Part B where it is not actually expected that ANY BODY will complete the problem.
  • Test the solution. Use the data you generated to check each step. Does your program supply the expected answer? If not, go back and check.
  • Proceed to write the code and test the solution using the computer and the data you generated or were given in the question.

Last Modified:- 1999, April 28, 07:50 PM by M. Smith