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Using Design Tools to Create a Model

5 February, 2015 - 11:20

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: fowcharting, hierarchy or structure charts, pseudocode, HIPO, Nassi-Schneiderman charts, Warnier-Orr diagrams, etc. Programmers are expected to be able to understand and do fowcharting and pseudocode. These methods of developing the model of a program are usually taught in most computer courses. Several standards exist for fowcharting 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 fowcharting 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.