The Important of Flowcharts and Pseudocode in Computer Programming
Flowcharts are diagram that indicate relationship between two or more phenomena. They are used to demonstrate associations, structures of organization or process and association between different phenomena (Algorithms & Pseudo-code, 2010). Flowcharts represent information in a simple and diagrammatical form and also present the sequences of how information is linked to one another to form a system. Pseodocodes on the other hand are high level description of algorithms in ways that is easier for humans to understand. Pseudocodes eliminate data that is irrelevant to human and retains only that which humans are able to comprehend.
Pesuedocodes are used in computer programming to describe and document programming algorithm in ways that computer programmers are able to understand them (Algorithms & Pseudo-code, 2010). Pseudocodes are not meant for computer interpretation but for human interpretation and therefore carries only data that makes sense to humans. Pseudocodes assist a computer programmer to describe a programming language especially when using a program he or she is not familiar with. By interpreting the pseudocodes the computer programmer will be able to describe the programming language and come up with a structuring approach for the program.
Pseudocodes do not obey the syntax rules of any language, therefore making them universal. This means that any programmer can be able to interpret the pseudocodes regardless of the language he or she is using.Pseudocodes also eliminate bias and bulkiness brought about by talkative words (Algorithms & Pseudo-code, 2010). Since the pseucodes usually consist of simple digit they are less bulky than when a program would result in using normal language.
Pseudocodes can be interpreted objectively by any professional or trained computer program. This is because the codes are usually universal making it easier to interpret the codes objectively as oppose to when using words which can be translated subjectively.In computer programming flowcharts are graphical alternative to pseudocodes (Moursund, 2006). Flowcharts are usually in the form of a diagram that represents an algorithm or process. They are usually useful in showing the steps involved in each program and how each steps transits into the next. Flowcharts give step by step solution a particular problem.
In the case of designing a program, the flowcharts will provide step by step details of how the program begins to operate to when the program produces its output. The flowcharts are also useful in providing process information about what happens at each step of the algorithm. The descriptions of these processes are contained in the boxes representation of the flow charts. In computer programming these boxes are usually of two types. The rectangular boxes which usually denote a process or a step and a diamond box which usually denote a decision. Flowcharts are also characterized by arrows. The arrows depict the direction of movements (flow) of a particular process.
Start and end symbols are represented as ovals or cycles in computer programming flowcharts.Flowcharts are also useful in designing, analyzing, managing and documentation programming process of function (Brent, 2009). Through flowcharts a computer programmer is able to plan how he or she is going to execute the designing process of a program. The flowcharts will provide the programmer with a systematic procedure to follow while carrying out the designing process. The flowcharts will also be useful in making visible to the programmer on what is expected at every level of program and what must be included to make his program design a functioning one.
At the same time flowcharts and pseudocodes as well provides a means for the computer programmer to document the process he or she has used to contract a program. It is an essential requirement that when computer program design a program he or she must document the design approach he has used. The flowcharts and pseudocodes are the most suitable media through which to document this information.Flowcharts are also very useful in assisting programming experts to analyze an already existing program (Brent, 2009).
Looking at a program based on the output it produces will tell little about how the program functions and how it was constructed. In order to understand these basic foundations of the program, the user must get a description from the programmer of how this program works. Description in words will be to cumbersome and sometime may not drive some points home. The flowcharts provide some sort of a blueprint that describes how the program was constructed and how it functions in order to produce results. Flowcharts help the program analyzer to visualize and have an overview of how the entire program functions in order to enhance his understanding of the program.
This is very useful when trying to analyze a particular program. Similarly, you may be in an organization and you are charged with the responsibility of managing a particular program that is essential to that organization. In order to conduct your duty effectively you must be in a position of understanding how the program functions. The flowcharts and pseudocodes will provide you with a “manual” through which you will be able to know how the program runs. This is will come in handy during trouble shooting when the program malfunctions.
Anonymous (2010). Algorithms & Pseudo-code. Retrieved on March 5, 2011, from http://userpages.wittenberg.edu/bshelburne/Comp150/Algorithms.htm
Brent D. (2009). Introduction to Programming in C++: Alogorithms, Flwcharts and Pseudocode. Retrieved on March 5, 2011, from http://userpages.wittenberg.edu/bshelburne/Comp150/Algorithms.htm
Moursund D (2006). Basic Programming for Computer Literacy. Tata McGraw-Hills Publishing Company Limited