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Problem Solving Through Programming in C

In this lesson, we are going to learn Problem Solving Through Programming in C. This is the first lesson while we start learning the C language.

So let’s start learning the C language.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Problem Solving Through Programming in C

Regardless of the area of the study, computer science is all about solving problems with computers. The problem that we want to solve can come from any real-world problem or perhaps even from the abstract world. We need to have a standard systematic approach to problem solving through programming in c.

computer programmers are problem solvers. In order to solve a problem on a computer, we must know how to represent the information describing the problem and determine the steps to transform the information from one representation into another.

In this chapter, we will learn problem-solving and steps in problem-solving, basic tools for designing solution as an algorithm, flowchart , pseudo code etc.

A computer is a very powerful and versatile machine capable of performing a multitude of different tasks, yet it has no intelligence or thinking power.

The Computer performs many tasks exactly in the same manner as it is told to do. This places responsibility on the user to instruct the computer in a correct and precise manner so that the machine is able to perform the required job in a proper way. A wrong or ambiguous instruction may sometimes prove dangerous.

The computer cannot solve the problem on its own, one has to provide step by step solutions of the problem to the computer. In fact, the task of problem-solving is not that of the computer.

It is the programmer who has to write down the solution to the problem in terms of simple operations which the computer can understand and execute.

Problem-solving is a sequential process of analyzing information related to a given situation and generating appropriate response options.

In order to solve a problem with the computer, one has to pass through certain stages or steps. They are as follows:

Steps to Solve a Problem With the Computer

problem solving through programming in c

Step 1: Understanding the Problem:

Here we try to understand the problem to be solved in totally. Before with the next stage or step, we should be absolutely sure about the objectives of the given problem.

Step 2: Analyzing the Problem:

After understanding thoroughly the problem to be solved, we look at different ways of solving the problem and evaluate each of these methods.

The idea here is to search for an appropriate solution to the problem under consideration. The end result of this stage is a broad overview of the sequence of operations that are to be carried out to solve the given problem.

Step 3: Developing the solution:

Here, the overview of the sequence of operations that was the result of the analysis stage is expanded to form a detailed step by step solution to the problem under consideration.

Step 4: Coding and Implementation:

The last stage of problem-solving is the conversion of the detailed sequence of operations into a language that the computer can understand. Here, each step is converted to its equivalent instruction or instructions in the computer language that has been chosen for the implantation.

The vehicle for the computer solution to a problem is a set of explicit and unambiguous instructions expressed in a programming language. This set of instruction is called a program with problem solving through programming in C .

A program may also be thought of as an algorithm expressed in a programming language. an algorithm, therefore, corresponds to a solution to a problem that is independent of any programming language .

To obtain the computer solution to a problem once we have the program we usually have to supply the program with input or data. The program then takes this input and manipulates it according to its instructions. Eventually produces an output which represents the computer solution to the problem.

The problem solving is a skill and there are no universal approaches one can take to solving problems. Basically one must explore possible avenues to a solution one by one until she/he comes across the right path to a solution.

In general, as one gains experience in solving problems, one develops one’s own techniques and strategies, though they are often intangible. Problem-solving skills are recognized as an integral component of computer programming.

Note: Practice C Programs for problem solving through programming in C.

Problem Solving Steps

Problem-solving is a creative process which defines systematization and mechanization. There are a number of steps that can be taken to raise the level of one’s performance in problem-solving.

A problem-solving technique follows certain steps in finding the solution to a problem. Let us look into the steps one by one:

1. Problem Definition Phase:

The success in solving any problem is possible only after the problem has been fully understood. That is, we cannot hope to solve a problem, which we do not understand. So, the problem understanding is the first step towards the solution of the problem.

In the problem definition phase, we must emphasize what must be done rather than how is it to be done. That is, we try to extract the precisely defined set of tasks from the problem statement.

Inexperienced problem solvers too often gallop ahead with the task of the problem – solving only to find that they are either solving the wrong problem or solving the wrong problem or solving just one particular problem.

2. Getting Started on a Problem:

There are many ways of solving a problem and there may be several solutions. So, it is difficult to recognize immediately which path could be more productive. Problem solving through programming in C.

Sometimes you do not have any idea where to begin solving a problem, even if the problem has been defined. Such block sometimes occurs because you are overly concerned with the details of the implementation even before you have completely understood or worked out a solution.

The best advice is not to get concerned with the details. Those can come later when the intricacies of the problem have been understood.

3. Use of Specific Examples:

To get started on a problem, we can make use of heuristics i.e the rule of thumb. This approach will allow us to start on the problem by picking a specific problem we wish to solve and try to work out the mechanism that will allow solving this particular problem.

It is usually much easier to work out the details of a solution to a specific problem because the relationship between the mechanism and the problem is more clearly defined.

This approach of focusing on a particular problem can give us the foothold we need for making a start on the solution to the general problem.

4. Similarities Among Problems:

One way to make a start is by considering a specific example. Another approach is to bring the experience to bear on the current problems. So, it is important to see if there are any similarities between the current problem and the past problems which we have solved.

The more experience one has the more tools and techniques one can bring to bear in tackling the given problem. But sometimes, it blocks us from discovering a desirable or better solution to the problem.

A skill that is important to try to develop in problem-solving is the ability to view a problem from a variety of angles.

One must be able to metaphorically turn a problem upside down, inside out, sideways, backwards, forwards and so on. Once one has developed this skill it should be possible to get started on any problem.

5. Working Backwards from the Solution:

In some cases, we can assume that we already have the solution to the problem and then try to work backwards to the starting point. Even a guess at the solution to the problem may be enough to give us a foothold to start on the problem.

We can systematize the investigations and avoid duplicate efforts by writing down the various steps taken and explorations made.

Another practice that helps to develop the problem-solving skills, once we have solved a problem, to consciously reflect back on the way we went about discovering the solution.

General Problem Solving Strategies:

problem solving through programming in c

There are a number of general and powerful computational strategies that are repeatedly used in various guises in computer science.

Often it is possible to phrase a problem in terms of one of these strategies and achieve considerable gains in computational efficiency.

1. Divide and Conquer:

The most widely known and used strategy, where the basic idea is to break down the original problem into two or more sub-problems, which is presumably easier or more efficient to solve.

The Splitting can be carried on further so that eventually we have many sub-problems, so small that further splitting is no necessary to solve them. We shall see many examples of this strategy and discuss the gain in efficiency due to its application.

2. Binary Doubling:

This is the reverse of the divide and conquers strategy i.e build-up the solution for a larger problem from solutions and smaller sub-problems.

3. Dynamic Programming:

Another general strategy for problem-solving which is useful when we can build-up the solution as a sequence of the intermediate steps. Problem Solving through programming in C.

The travelling salesman problem falls into this category. The idea here is that a good or optimal solution to a problem can be built-up from good or optimal solutions of the sub-problems.

4. General Search, Back Tracking and Branch-and-Bound:

All of these are variants of the basic dynamic programming strategy but are equally important.

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An algorithm is a process or set of rules which must be followed to complete a particular task. This is basically the step-by-step procedure to complete any task. All the tasks are followed a particular algorithm, from making a cup of tea to make high scalable software. This is the way to divide a task into several parts. If we draw an algorithm to complete a task then the task will be easier to complete.

The algorithm is used for,

  • To develop a framework for instructing computers.
  • Introduced notation of basic functions to perform basic tasks.
  • For defining and describing a big problem in small parts, so that it is very easy to execute.

Characteristics of Algorithm

  • An algorithm should be defined clearly.
  • An algorithm should produce at least one output.
  • An algorithm should have zero or more inputs.
  • An algorithm should be executed and finished in finite number of steps.
  • An algorithm should be basic and easy to perform.
  • Each step started with a specific indentation like, “Step-1”,
  • There must be “Start” as the first step and “End” as the last step of the algorithm.

Let’s take an example to make a cup of tea,

Step 1: Start

Step 2: Take some water in a bowl.

Step 3: Put the water on a gas burner .

Step 4: Turn on the gas burner 

Step 5: Wait for some time until the water is boiled.  

Step 6: Add some tea leaves to the water according to the requirement.

Step 7: Then again wait for some time until the water is getting colorful as tea.

Step 8: Then add some sugar according to taste.

Step 9: Again wait for some time until the sugar is melted.

Step 10: Turn off the gas burner and serve the tea in cups with biscuits.

Step 11: End

Here is an algorithm for making a cup of tea. This is the same for computer science problems.

There are some basics steps to make an algorithm:

  • Start – Start the algorithm
  • Input – Take the input for values in which the algorithm will execute.
  • Conditions – Perform some conditions on the inputs to get the desired output.
  • Output – Printing the outputs.
  • End – End the execution.

Let’s take some examples of algorithms for computer science problems.

Example 1. Swap two numbers with a third variable  

Step 1: Start Step 2: Take 2 numbers as input. Step 3: Declare another variable as “temp”. Step 4: Store the first variable to “temp”. Step 5: Store the second variable to the First variable. Step 6: Store the “temp” variable to the 2nd variable. Step 7: Print the First and second variables. Step 8: End

Example 2. Find the area of a rectangle

Step 1: Start Step 2: Take the Height and Width of the rectangle as input. Step 3: Declare a variable as “area” Step 4: Multiply Height and Width Step 5: Store the multiplication to “Area”, (its look like area = Height x Width) Step 6: Print “area”; Step 7: End

Example 3. Find the greatest between 3 numbers.

Step 1: Start Step 2: Take 3 numbers as input, say A, B, and C. Step 3: Check if(A>B and A>C) Step 4: Then A is greater Step 5: Print A Step 6 : Else Step 7: Check if(B>A and B>C) Step 8: Then B is greater Step 9: Print B Step 10: Else C is greater Step 11 : Print C Step 12: End

Advantages of Algorithm

  • An algorithm uses a definite procedure.
  • It is easy to understand because it is a step-by-step definition.
  • The algorithm is easy to debug if there is any error happens.
  • It is not dependent on any programming language
  • It is easier for a programmer to convert it into an actual program because the algorithm divides a problem into smaller parts.

Disadvantages of Algorithms

  • An algorithm is Time-consuming, there is specific time complexity for different algorithms.
  • Large tasks are difficult to solve in Algorithms because the time complexity may be higher, so programmers have to find a good efficient way to solve that task.
  • Looping and branching are difficult to define in algorithms.

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Problem Solving with Computer

By Bipin Tiwari

Problem Solving is a scientific technique to discover and implement the answer to a problem. The computer is the symbol manipulating device that follows the set of commands known as program.

Program is the set of instructions which is run by the computer to perform specific task. The task of developing program is called programming.

Problem Solving Technique:

Sometimes it is not sufficient just to cope with problems. We have to solve that problems. Most people are involving to solve the problem. These problem are occur while performing small task or making small decision. So, Here are the some basic steps to solve the problems

Step 1: Identify and Define Problem

Explain you problem clearly as possible as you can.

Step 2: Generate Possible Solutions

  • List out all the solution that you find. Don’t focus on the quality of the solution
  • Generate the maximum number of solution as you can without considering the quality of the solution

Step 3: Evaluate Alternatives

After generating the maximum solution, Remove the undesired solutions.

Step 4: Decide a Solution

After filtering all the solution, you have the best solution only. Then choose on of the best solution and make a decision to make it as a perfect solution.

Step 5: Implement a Solution:

After getting the best solution, Implement that solution to solve a problem.

Step 6: Evaluate the result

After implementing a best solution, Evaluate how much you solution solve the problem. If your solution will not solve the problem then you can again start with Step 2 .

Algorithm is the set of rules that define how particular problem can be solved in finite number of steps. Any good algorithm must have following characteristics

  • Input: Specify and require input
  • Output:  Solution of any problem
  • Definite:  Solution must be clearly defined
  • Finite: Steps must be finite
  • Correct:  Correct output must be generated

Advantages of Algorithms:

  • It is the way to sole a problem step-wise so it is easy to understand.
  • It uses definite procedure.
  • It is not dependent with any programming language.
  • Each step has it own meaning so it is easy to debug

Disadvantage of Algorithms:

  • It is time consuming
  • Difficult to show branching and looping statement
  • Large problems are difficult to implement

The solution of any problem in picture form is called flowchart. It is the one of the most important technique to depict an algorithm.

Advantage of Flowchart:

  • Easier to understand
  • Helps to understand logic of problem
  • Easy to draw flowchart in any software like MS-Word
  • Complex problem can be represent using less symbols
  • It is the way to documenting any problem
  • Helps in debugging process

Disadvantage of Flowchart:

  • For any change, Flowchart have to redrawn
  • Showing many looping and branching become complex
  • Modification of flowchart is time consuming

Symbol Used in Flowchart:

Example: Algorithm and Flowchart to check odd or even

Coding, Compiling and Execution

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What is The C Programming Language? A Tutorial for Beginners

Dionysia Lemonaki

This tutorial will give you a broad overview of basic concepts of the C programming language.

We'll go over the history of the language, why and where it is used, the compilation process, and some very basic programming concepts that are common in most popular programming languages.

This is not a complete guide to the language, but will rather give you a high level understanding of important C concepts and ideas as an absolute beginner to coding.

Each language has its own syntax and specific ways of doing things, but the concepts covered here are common and applied to all programming languages.

Having an understanding of how things work and these universal concepts can take you a long way in your coding journey. It makes learning a new technology easier in the long run.

This tutorial takes heavy inspiration from the material covered in the first couple of weeks of the course CS50: Introduction To Computer Science which I highly recommend to anyone wanting to dive deeper into computer science and programming no matter their level of experience.

Table of Contents

  • The History behind the origins of C - An Overview
  • Language Characteristics and why to consider learning C

Where Is C used?

  • Compilation process: Write-Compile-Run
  • Header files
  • Main program
  • Output or printing to the console
  • Declaring vs initialising a variable
  • A couple rules for naming a variable
  • The scope of a variable
  • Format codes
  • Arithmetic operators
  • Assignment operator
  • Logical operators
  • Comparison operators
  • Function arguments
  • Function outputs
  • Defining a method
  • Calling a function
  • Boolean Expressions
  • Conditional Statements
  • Loops 1. While loops 2. Do-While loops
  • Extra Reading

The History of the C Programming Language

The history of the C programming language is closely tied to the history of the development of the Unix Operating System.

If we look back to understand what led to the development of the operating system that changed the world of computing, we'll see the steps that led to the development of C.

Simply put, C was derived from the need to initially find and eventually create a language to apply on the Unix Operating system.

Project MAC and MULTICS

It all started in 1965 when the experimental project MAC was completed at MIT – the first system of its kind. This was the beginning of the MULTICS era. It used something called CTSS, or the Compatible Time Sharing System.

This was a key innovation at that time. Up to this point, we were in the early mainframe era, where massive, powerful, and extremely costly computers used to take up entire rooms.

To get tasks done, programmers would write code by hand. Then they'd punch a deck of paper tape cards that were encoded with the program written by hand.

They did this by handing the sheets of paper the program was written on to operators who used a key punch machine that would punch the card's holes and represent the data and instructions on the card.

Then they'd feed the punched cards to a punch card reader connected to the mainframe computer. It then converted the sequences in the cards holes to digital information. Simple tasks took a long time using this method and only one person could use each machine at a time.

The idea of time sharing changed everything. Instead of using cards, it attached multiple consoles (which at the time were mechanical terminals called teletypes) to a main computer. This allowed many people to use the same computer simultaneously.

Over 100 typewriter terminals spread around MIT's campus could be attached to one main big computer. This system supported up to 30 remote users at the same time, each using one of those terminals.

The operating system of the main computer multitasked and circled around the people who wanted to perform computing tasks from their connected terminals and gave a few seconds to each one.

It provided what seemed like a continuous service, appearing to be loading and running many programs simultaneously. But in reality it just went through each user's program very quickly. This gave the illusion that one person had the whole computer to themselves.

This system proved to be extremely efficient, effective, and productive, saving time and in the long run money, since those computers were extremely expensive.

Something that might have taken days to complete now took much less time. And this started enabling greater access to computing.

Following the success of the CTSS, MIT decided it was time to build upon this system and take the next step. This next step would be to create a more advanced time sharing system.

But they imagined a more ambitious endeavor than that: they wanted to build a system that would serve as a computing utility for programers that would be capable of supporting hundreds of users accessing the mainframe at the same time. And it would share of data and resources between them.

This would require more resources, so they joined forces with General Electric and Bell Labs.

This new project was named MULTICS, which stood for 'Multiplexed Information and Computing Service' and was implemented on one of General Electric's mainframes, the GE 635.

This team worked on MULTICS for a number of years. But in 1969 Bell Labs left the project because it was taking too long and was too expensive.

Bell Labs: The Innovation Hub

Bell Labs pulling out of the MULTICS project left some employees frustrated and looking for alternatives.

While working on MULTICS, the team created an unparalleled computing environment. They were used to working with time sharing systems and had seen their effectiveness. These programmers had a vast knowledge of operating systems, and the innovations from that project made them want to expand more.

A group led mainly by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie wanted to use communal computing and create a file system that they could share. It would have the innovative characteristics they liked from MULTICS but they'd implement it in a simple, smaller, and less expensive way.

They shared their ideas and started to iterate.


Bell Labs fostered an open and supportive environment that allowed creative expression and innovative ideas to bloom. It was research heavy, and they encouraged independent thinking problem solving to help them improve upon their initial solutions.

Through lots of discussion and experimentation they made the biggest breakthroughs and wrote history.

While still working on MULTICS, Ken Thompson had created a game called Space Travel. He initially wrote it on MULTICS, on the GE 635, but when Bell Labs pulled out he adapted the gamae to a Fortran program to run on the GECOS operating system that ran on the GE 635.

There were many problems with the game – it did not work as well on GECOS as it did on MULTICS and he needed a different and less expensive machine to run it on.

Ken Thompson faced rejection when asking for funding to create a different operating system, since Bell labs had pulled out from such a project already. But he did end up finding an old and little-used DEC PDP-7 minicomputer that he could try out – it was the only system available.


He started to write his game on that simple system but was limited by the software on the computer. So while he was working on it, he ended up implementing the bare bones of the file system his team had been envisioning.

He started with a hierarchical file system, a command line interpreter, and other utility programs. Within a month he had created an operating system with an assembler, editor, and shell. They were smaller and simpler features of MULTICS. This operating system was the first version of Unix.

The Early Days of Unix with Assembly language

At the beginning of the project, Ken Thompson could not program on the DEC PDP-7 computer. DEC PDP-7 programs had to be compiled and translated on the more powerful GE 635 mainframe and then the output was physically transferred to the PDP-7 by paper tape.

The DEC PDP-7 had very little memory, just 8KB. To deal with this restriction, the filesystem, the first version of the Unix kernel, and practically everything else in the project were coded in Assembly. Using Assembly allowed Thompson to directly manipulate and control each part of the memory on that computer.

Assembly language is a low level programming language which uses symbolic code and is close to the machine's native language, binary. The instructions in the code and each statement in the language closely corresponds to machine instructions specific to the computer's architecture.

It's machine dependent and machine specific, meaning one set of instructions has very different results from one machine to another. Programs written in Assembly language are written for a specific type of processor – so a program written in Assembly will not work on a variety of processors.

It was common to write operating systems using Assembly language back then. And when they first started working on Unix, they did not have portability in mind.

They didn't care if the operating system worked on different machine systems and architectures. That was a thought that came later. Their main priority was the efficiency of the software.

While working on MULTICS, they used high level programming languages, like PL/I in the beginning and later BCPL. Programmers had gotten used to using high level languages for writing operating system kind of software, utilities, and tools because of the advantages they offered (they were relatively easy to use and understand).

When using a higher level programming language, there is an abstraction between the computer's architecture and various obscure details. This means that it is above the level of the machine and there is no direct manipulation of the hardware's memory.

High level languages are easier to read, learn, understand, and maintain which makes them an easier choice when working on a team. Commands have an English like syntax, and terms and instructions look more familiar and human-friendly compared to the symbolic format of Assembly.

Using high level languages also means writing less code to achieve something, whereas assembly programs were extremely long.

Thompson wanted to use a higher level language for Unix from the very start, but was limited by the DEC PDP-7.

As the project progressed and as more people started working working on it, using Assembly was not ideal. Thompson decided that Unix needed a high level system programming language.

In 1970 they managed to get funding for the bigger and more powerful DEC PDP-11 that had substantially more memory.

With a fast, structured, and more efficient high level programming language that could replace Assembly, everyone could understand the code and compilers could be made available to different machines.

They started exploring different languages for writing system software that they could use to implement Unix.

From B to C: The Need for a New Language

The aim was to create utilities – programs that add functionality – to run on Unix. Thompson initially attempted to create a FORTRAN compiler but then turned to a language he used before, BCPL (Basic Combined Programming Language).

BCPL was designed and developed in the late 1960's by Martin Richards. Its main purpose was for writing compilers and system software.

This language was slow and had many restrictions, so when Thompson started using it in 1970 for the Unix project on the DEC PDP-7, he made adjustments and modifications and ended up writing his own language, called B.

B had many of the features of BCPL but it was a smaller language, with a less verbose syntax and simpler style. It was still slow and not powerful enough to support Unix utilities, however, and couldn't take advantage of the powerful features of the PDP-11.

Dennis Ritchie decided to improve upon these two previous languages, BCPL and B. He took features and characteristics from each and added additional concepts. He created a more powerful language – C – just as powerful and efficient as Assembly. This new language overcame the limitations of its predecessors and could use the power of the machine in an effective way.

So in 1972 C was born, and the first C compiler was written and implemented for the first time on the DEC PDP-11 machine.


The C Programming Language

In 1973 Dennis Ritchie rewrote the Unix source code and most Unix programs and applications using the C programming language. This made it the standard implementation language of the operating system.

He reimplemented the Unix kernel in C, and almost all of the operating system (well over 90%) is written in this high level language. It mixes both high level readability features and the low level functionality, making it the perfect choice for writing an operating system.

Towards the late 1970's, C's popularity started to rise and the language started getting more widespread support and use. Up until that point, C was still only available for Unix systems and compilers were not available outside of Bell labs.

This increase in popularity came from not only the power C gave to the machine but also to the programmer. It also helped that the Unix operating system was gaining the same popularity at an even faster rate.

Unix stood out from what came before because of its portability and its ability to run on a variety of different machines, systems, and environments.

C made that portability possible and since it was the language of the Unix system, it gained more notariety – so more and more programmers wanted to try it out.

In 1978 Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie co-wrote and published the first edition of 'the C programming language' book, also known in the programming community as 'K&R'. For many years this text was the go-to for C language description, definition, and reference.


In the 1980's, C's popularity skyrocketed as different compilers were created and comercialized. Many groups and organisations that were not involved in C's design started making compilers for every operating system and computer architecture structure. C was now available on all platforms.

As these organisations created compilers of their own, they started to change characteristics of the language to adapt to each platform the compiler was being written for.

There were various versions of C that had slight differences between them. While writing the compilers, these groups came up with their own interpretations of some aspects of the language, which were based on the first edition of the book 'C programming language'.

With all the iterations and adjustments, though, this book no longer described the language as it was, and the changes to the language started to cause problems.

The world needed a common version of C, a standard for the language.

The C Standard

To make sure there was a standard, machine independent definition of the language, ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) formed a committee in 1983. This committee was named the X3J11 committee, and their mission was to provide a clear, comprehensive definition and standardization of C.

After a few years, in 1989, the committee's work was done and made official. They defined a commercial standard for the language. That version of the language is known as 'ANSI C' or C89.

C was used all around the world, so a year later in 1990 the standard was approved and adopted by ISO, the International Standards Organization. The first version, C90, was called ISO/IEC 9899:1990.

Since then, many revisions to the language have taken place.

The second version of the standard, C99, was published in 1999 called ISO/IEC 9899:1999 and introduced new language additional features. The third version, C11, was published in 2011. The most recent version is the forth, C17, and is called ISO/IEC 9899:2018.

The Continuation of C

C forged a path for the creation of many different programming languages. Many of the modern high level programming languages that we use and love today are based on C.

Many of the languages created after C wanted to solve problems that C couldn't, or overcome some of the issues that limit C. For example, the most popular child of C is its Object Oriented extension C++ – but Go, Java, and JavaScript were also inspired by C.

C Language Characteristics and Why You Should Consider Learning C

C is an old language, but it still remains popular to this day, even after all these years.

It owes its popularity to the rise and success of Unix, but nowadays it has gone far beyond just being the 'native' language of Unix. It now powers most, if not all, of the world's servers and systems.

Programming languages are tools we use to solve specific computing problems that affect us on a large scale.

You don't need to know C to create web pages and web applications. But it comes in handy when you want to write an operating system, a program that controls other programs, or a programming utility for kernel development, or when you want to program embedded devices or any systems application. C excells at all these tasks. So let's look at some reasons to learn C.

It helps you understand how your computer works

Despite the fact that C is a general purpose programming language, it is mainly used to interact with low level machine functions. Besides the practical reasons behind learning the language, knowing C can help you understand how the computer actually works, what is happening underneath the hood, and how programs actually run and execute on machines.

Since C is considered the base of other programming languages, if you can learn the concepts used in this language it will be easier to understand other languages too later on.

Writing C code lets us understand the hidden processes happening in our machines. It allows us to get closer to the underlying hardware of the computer without messing with Assembly language. It also lets us get a handle on a multitude of low level tasks while staying readable like high level languages.

C is fast and efficient

At the same time, we don't lose the functionality, efficiency, and low level control of how code executes that Assembly provides.

Rememeber that each processor in every device's hardware has its own Assembly code that is unique to that processor. It's not at all compatible with any other processor on any other device.

Using C gives us a faster, easier, and overall less cumbersome approach to interacting with the computer at its lowest level. In fact, it has a mixture of both high and low level features. And it helps us get the job done without the hassle and fuss of long incomprehensible Assembly code.

So, C is as close as you can get to the computer's underlying hardware and is a great replacement for Assembly (the old standard for writing operating systems) when you're working with and implementing system software.

C is powerful and flexible

This close proximity to the hardware means that C code is written explicitly and precisely. It gives you a clear picture and mental model of how your code is interacting with the computer.

C does not hide the complexity with which a machine operates. It gives you a lot of power and flexibility, like the ability to manually allocate, manipulate, and write directly to memory.

The programmer does a lot of the heavy work and the language lets you manage and structure memory in an efficient way for the machine delivering high performance, optimisation, and speed. C lets the programmer do what needs to get done.

C is portable, performant, and machine-independent

C is also highly portabile and machine independent. Even though it is close to the machine and has access to its low level functions, it has enough abstraction from these parts to make code portability possible.

As Assembly instructions are machine specific, programs are not portable. One program written on one machine would have to be re-written to run on another. And that is hard to maintain for every computer architecture.

C is universal and programs written in it can be compiled and run across many platforms, architectures, and a variety of machines without losing any performance. This makes C a great choice for creating systems and programs where performance really matters.

C inspired the creation of many other programming languages

Many languages that are commonly used today, like Python, Ruby, PHP and Java, were inspired by C. These modern languages rely on C to work and be efficient. Also, their libraries, compilers, and interpreters are built in C.

These languages hide most of the details about how programs actually work underneath the hood. Using these languages, you don't have to deal with memory allocation and bits and bytes since there are more levels of abstraction. And you don't need this level of granular control with higher level applications where interaction with memory is error-prone.

But when you're implementing part of an operating system or embedded device, knowing those lower-level details and direct handling can help you write cleaner code.

C is a fairly compact language

Although C can be quite cryptic and hard to learn for beginners, it is actually a fairly small and compact language with a minimal set of keywords, syntax, and built-in functions. So you can expect to learn and use all of the features of the language when exploring how it works.

Even if you're not interested in learning how to program an operating system or a systems application, knowing C basics and how it interacts with the computer will give you a good foundation of computer science concepts and principals.

Also, understanding how memory works and is laid out is a fundamental programming concept. So understanding how the computer behaves on a deeper level and the processes that are happening can really help you learn and work with any other language.

There is a lot of C code in the devices, products, and tools that billions of us use in our everyday lives. This code powers everything from the world's supercomputers to the smallest gadgets.

C code makes embedded systems and smart devices of all kinds work. Some examples are household appliances like fridges, TVs, coffee makers, DVD players, and digital cameras.

Your fitness tracker and smart watch? Powered by C. The GPS tracking system in your car, and even traffic light controllers? You guessed it – C. And there are many examples of embedded systems used in the industrial, medical, robotics, and automobile industries that run on C code.

Another area where C is widely used is Operating Systems and kernel development. Besides Unix, for which the language was created, other major and popular Operating Systems are coded to some extent in C.

The Microsoft Windows kernel is scripted mostly in C, and so is the Linux kernel. Most supercomputers are powered by Linux, and so are most Internet servers. This means that C powers a large section of the Internet.

Linux also powers Android devices, so C code not only makes supercomputers and personal computers work, but smartphones too. Even OSX is coded to some extent in C, which makes Mac computers run on C, too.

C is also popular for developing desktop applications and GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces). Most Abode Applications we use for video and photo editing and graphic design (like Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, and Adobe Premiere) are coded with C or its successor, C++.

Compilers, interpreters, and assemblers for a variety of languages are designed and built with C – in fact these are some of the most common usages of the language.

Many browsers and their extensions are built with C, like Google Chromium and the Google file system. Developers also use C often in database design (MySql and Oracle are two of the most popular database systems built in C), and it powers advanced graphics in many computer games.

From this general overview, we can see that C and it's derivative C++ run a large part of the internet and the world at large. Many of the devices and technologies we use in our daily lives are written in or depend on C.

C Compilation Process: Write-Compile-Run

What is a program in c.

A computer program written in C is a human readable and ordered set of instructions that a computer executes. It aims to provide a solution to a specific computing problem and tell the computer to perform a certain task with a sequence of instructions that it needs to follow.

Essentially all programs are just plain text files stored on your computer’s hard drive that use a special syntax which is defined by the programming language you're using.

Each language has its own rules that dictate what you can write and what's considered valid, and what is not.

A program has keywords, which are specific words that are reserved and are part of the language. It also has literal pieces of data like strings and numbers. And it has words that follow the language’s rules, which we define and introduce to the language that don’t already exist (like variables or methods).

What is a compiler?

Programs are written by us and for us. They are meant to be understood by humans.

When we write programs in human readable form, we can understand them – but the computer may not be able to. Computers don’t directly understand programming languages, they only understand binary. So programs need to be translated into this other form so the computer can actually understand our program's instructions.

Programs in high level languages can be either compiled or interpreted. They use special pieces of software called compilers and interpreters, respectively.

What's the difference between an compiler and an interpreter?

Both compilers and interpreters are programs, but they're far more complex ones, and they act as translators. They take a program that's written in a human readable form and turn it into something that computers can make sense of. And they make it possible to run and execute programs on different computer systems.

Compiled programs are first converted into machine-readable form which means they are translated into machine code before they run. Machine code is a numerical language – binary instructions composed of sequences of 0s and 1s.

This compliation produces an executable program, that is a file containing the code in the machine language that the CPU (Central Processing Unit) will be able to read, understand, and execute directly.

After this, the program can run and the computer does what the program tells it to do. Compiled programs have a stronger correspondence with the underlying hardware and can more easily manipulate the computer's CPU and memory.

Interpreted programs, on the other hand, are not directly executed by the machine nor do they need to be translated into a machine language program. Instead, they use an interpreter that automatically and directly translates and executes each statement and instruction in the code line by line during run time.

C is a compiled programming language. This means that it uses a compiler to analyse the source code written in C and then turns it into a binary file that the computer's hardware can directly execute. This will be specific for each particular machine.

How to use the GCC Compiler with examples

Unix and Unix-like systems already have a C compiler built in and installed. This means that Linux and MacOS have a popular compiler built in, called the GCC Compiler (or GNU Compiler Collection).

In the rest of this section we'll see examples using this compiler and I've based these examples on a Unix or Unix-like system. So if you have a Windows system, make sure to enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux .

First, make sure you have the GCC compiler installed. You can check by opening your terminal and typing gcc --version in the prompt which is typically after the $ character.

If you're using MacOS and have not installed the command line developer tools, you will get a dialog box pop up asking you to install them – so if you see that, go ahead and do so.

Once you have those installed, open a new terminal session and re-type the gcc --version command. If you have already installed the command line tools, you should get the output below:


The term compiling alone is an abstraction and simplification, though, since in reality there are many steps happening behind the scenes. These are the finer lower level details that happen between us writing, compiling, and then running our C program. Most even happen automatically, without us even realising it.

How to write C source code

In order to develop C programs, we first need to have some type of text editor. A text editor is a program we can use to write our code (called our source code) in a text file.

For this you can use a command-line text editor like nano or Vim if you are comfortable with those.

You can also use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), or text editor with IDE-like features (an integrated terminal, the ability to write, debug, run and execute our programs all in one place without leaving the editor, and much more).

One editor with these capabilities is Visual Studio Code, using the C/C++ extension . Throughout the rest of this tutorial we'll use VSCode.

Back in your terminal, go ahead and type the commands below to create a file where our C code will live.

So we have just created a plain text file, hello.c . This file will have code written in the C language meaning it will be a C program. This is indicated by the .c file extension which is a convention.

Inside it we can write any C program we like, starting from a very basic one like a program that outputs 'hello world' to the screen.


In order to see what our code does, we have to run the program we have just written. Before running it, though, we have to first compile it by typing some commands in the terminal.

We can continue using the command line on our computer or we can use the integrated terminal in VSCode (by holding the control ~ keys at the same time a new terminal window opens).

So far we can see on the left panel that there is only one file in our cprogram directory, hello.c , which contains our C code.

The term 'compiling our C code' doesn't just happen in one step. It also involves some smaller actions that occur automatically for us.

As a reminder, when we refer to compiling, we typically mean that the compiler takes our source code as input (the code we wrote in C which has English like syntax), and translates it to produce machine code statements as output.

This machine code corresponds directly to our source code instructions, but it's written in a way the CPU can understand so it can carry out the instructions and execute them.

How C source code gets transformed into binary code

This is the general idea – but there are 4 smaller steps involved that happen in between. When we compile our code we are actually preprocessing, compiling, assembling, and linking it.

These steps start happening when we type the command gcc hello.c in the terminal which is the name of the compiler and the source code file, respectively.

If we wanted, we could alternate and customise that command by typing a more specific one like gcc -o hello hello.c , where:

  • -o stands for 'output this file'
  • hello is the name we ourselves specify for the executable program file we want to output that will be created, and
  • hello.c is the file the gcc compiler will take as input (which is the file where our source code lives and we want to compile).

Preprocessing in C

Another program that is part of the compiler conducts this first step – the preprocessor. The preprocessor does many things – for example, it acts as a ‘find and replace tool’ as it scans through our source code looking for special statements and searches for lines starting with a # .

Lines starting with a # ,like #include , are called preprocessor directives. Any line starting with a # indicates to the preprocessor that it must do something. In particular, it tells that it should substitute that line with something else automatically. We don't see this process, but it's happening behind the scenes.

For example, when the preprocessor finds the line #include <stdio.h> in our hello world program from earlier, the #include literally tells the preprocessor to include, by copying and pasting, all the code from that header file (which is an external library, stdio.h ) in the place of that statement in our own source code. So it replaces the #include <stdio.h> line with the actual contents of the stdio.h file.

Inside the <stdio.h> library there are function prototypes and definitions or hints. This way all the functions are defined so the computer recognizes them during compilation time, and we can use them in our program.

For example, the function printf(); is defined as int printf(const char *format,…); inside <stdio.h> . The same steps happen for other header files, that is files with a .h extension.

During the preprocessing step, our comments in our code are also removed and macros are expanded and replaced with their values. A macro is a fragment of code which has been given a name.

At this stage if there are no errors in our code, there should be no output in the terminal, which is a good sign.

We see no output, but a new file has been created with a .i extension which is still C source code. This file includes the output from the preprocessing, so it is called preprocessed source code. In this case a new file, hello.i , is generated but it won't be visible in our editor.

If we run the command gcc -E hello.c :


We will be able to see all the contents of this file (which is a lot) and the ending looks something like this:


If there are any mistakes with the correctness of our code or we're not following the semantics of the language, we'll see some errors and the compilation will end. We would have to correct the mistakes and start the process from the beginning.

Compiling in C

After the preprocessing step which produces preprocessed C source code, next we have to compile the code. This involves taking the code that is still source code and changing it into another intermediate form. We use a compiler for this step.

To review, a compiler is a program which takes as input the source code and translates it into something closer to the native language of computers.

When we refer to compiling we can either mean the entire process of translating source code to object code (machine code) or just a specific step in the whole compilation process.

The step we're discussing now is when compiling converts every statement of the preprocessed C source code program to a more computer friendly language. This language is closer to binary which the computer can actually directly understand.

This intermediate language is assembly code, a low level programming language used to control the CPU and manipulate it to perform specific tasks and get close access to the computer's memory. Remember assembly code from the history section?

Every CPU – the brains of the computer – has its own set of instructions. Assembly code uses specific statements and commands that directly correlate to those instructions and low level operations that a CPU performs and carries out.

So in this step of the compilation process, each statement in the preprocessed C source code in the file hello.i is translated by the compiler to the equivalent statement in assembly language at a lower level.

The output of this action creates a file ending in .s (so hello.s behind the scenes) that contains instructions in assembly.

By typing the command gcc -S hello.c we can view the contents and the somewhat incomprehensible assembly commands of the hello.s file that the compiler created (but that was not visible to us when we typed gcc hello.c alone).

If we look closely we'll see a couple familiar keywords and statements used in our C source code like main and printf :


Assembling in C

Assembling means taking the hello.s file containing assembly code statements as input and, with the help of another program that is executed automatically in the compilation process, assembling it to machine code instructions. This means it will have as output actual 0s and 1s, or binary format statements.

This step also happens behind the scenes, and it results in the final language the instructions in our source code are translated to. And now the computer can finally understand those instructions.

Each of the commands we wrote in our C source code were transformed to assembly language statements and finally into the equivalent binary instructions. All this happened just with the command gcc . Whew!

The code we wrote is now called object code, which a specific computer's CPU can understand. The language is incomprehensible to us humans.

People used to code in machine language, but it was a very tedious process. Any symbols that are non-machine code symbols (that is, anything that's not 0s and 1s) are hard to make sense of. Coding in such a language directly is extremely error-prone.

At this stage, another file is created with a .o extension (for object) – so in our case it'll be hello.o .

We can see the actual contents of the object file containing the machine level instructions with the command gcc -c hello.c . If we do this, we'll see the not human readable contents of hello.o :


Linking in C

In the images above, you might have noticed an a.out file in our directory.

This is the default step and file that gets created when we type the compiler command and our filename, gcc hello.c in our case.

If we had used the command gcc -o hello hello.c mentioned earlier, we would have seen a custom named hello executable program in place of a.out .

The a.out stands for assembly output . If we type ls in the terminal to list the files in our directory, we see that a.out even looks different from the rest:


Linking is the final stage of the compilation process where the final binary file hello.o is linked with all the other object code in our project.

So if there are other files containing C source code (like files included in our program that implement C libraries which are already processed and compiled, or another file we have written named, for example, filename.c besides hello.c ), this is when the object file filename.o will be combined with hello.o and the other object codes, linking them all together.

This forms one big executable file with the combined machine code, a.out or hello , which represents our program.

Since we're finally done compiling, the program is in its final form. And now we can execute and run the file on our machine by typing ./a.out . This means 'run the a.out file that is in the current directory', since ./ represents the folder we are in. We then see the output of our program in the terminal:


Whenever we make changes to our source code file, we have to repeat the process of compiling from the beginning in order to see the changes when we run the code again.

How to Write Hello World in C

A hello world program is a very simple one, but it's a tradition that also acts as a test message when you're first starting to learn how to code in a new programming language.

If you execute your "Hello World" program successfully, this lets you know that your system is correctly configured.


A 'hello world' program contains the basic syntax for the language and we can break it down into smaller parts:

Header files in C

Header files are external libraries. This means they are a set of code already written by some developers for other developers to use.

They provide features that are not included at the core of the C language. By adding header files to our code, we in return get additional functionality that we can use in our programs.

Header files like include <stdio.h> end in the extension .h . In particular, a header file like stdio.h comes already built into the compiler.

The line include <stdio.h> is an instruction for the pre-written functions in the stdio.h library file which tells the computer to access and include them in our program.

stdio.h gives us the functionality standard input and standard output , which means we'll be able to get input and output from the user. We therefore get to use input/output functions like printf .

If you don't include the stdio.h file at the top of your code, the computer will not understand what the printf function is.

The main program in C

Here's the code:

This is the main starting function of a C program. The curly braces ( {} ) are the body which wraps all the code that should be in our program.

This line acts as a boilerplate and starting point for all C programs. It lets the computer know where to begin reading the code when it executes our programs.

Comments in C

Whatever we write after the // will not affect how our code runs and the computer will not take it into account during compilation and execution time.

Those two lines indicate that you're adding comments, which are notes to our future selves and to our coworkers. Comments can help us remember and remind others what a certain line of code does or why we wrote that code in the first place. It also reminds us what exactly is the purpose of that code when we come back to it the next day of even months later.

Output or printing to the console in C

printf("Hello world/n"); prints the phrase 'Hello world' to the console. We use printf when we want to say something and to see the output on the screen. The characters we want to output need to be surrounded by double quotes "" and parentheses () .

The /n is an escape character, which means that it creates a newline and tells the cursor to move to the next line when it sees it.

The ; indicates the end of of sentence and the end of that line of code.

Variables in C

Here's how we define a variable in C:

A data item that may take on more than one value during the runtime of a program.

In the simplest terms, you can think of variables as a named box. A box that acts as a storage place and location for holding different information that can vary in content.

Each box has a unique name which acts like a label put on the outside that is a unique identifier, and the information/content lives on the inside. The content is the variable's value.

Variables hold and point to a value, to some useful data. They act as a reference or abstraction to literal data. That data is stored in the computer's memory, and takes up an certain amount of space. It lives there so we can retrieve it later and use it in our programs when we need to.

As the name suggests, what variables point to can vary. They are able to take different values over time as information changes during the life of the program.

Variable Assignment in C

The process of naming a variable is called assignment. You set a specific value that is on the right, to a specific variable name that is on the left. You use the = or the assignment operator to do this.

As I mentioned, you can change a variable's value, so you can assign and reassign variables. When you reassign a value, the new value points to the variable name. So the value can be a new one, but the variable name stays the same.

How to declare vs initialise a variable in C

The C programming language is a strongly statically typed language, unlike many other modern programming languages.

In statically typed languages, you need to explicitly declare your variables to be of a certain data type. That way the compiler knows during compilation time if the variable is able to perform the actions it was set out and requested to do.

In dynamically typed languages, a variable can change between different data types without the need to explicitly define that data type.

So, when declaring a new variable in the C language, you need to define and specify what type it is, and what type of data its value holds.

A variable's type is the type of the value it holds. This lets the program and later the compiler know what kind of information it's storing.

To declare a variable, you specify the data type, and give a name to the variable . An optional step is to set an initial value. Do not forget the semicolon at the end, which ends the statement!

What is the difference between initialising and declaring a variable?

In summary:

int n; is declaring a variable. Declaring means we define a name for the variable and specify its type.

We don't necessarily need to specify a value for the variable just yet. This is enough, as declaring a variable tells the computer we want a variable to exist and we need to allocate some space in memory for it. The value can and will be stored at a later time.

When we do assign the variable a value later, there is no need to specify the data type again. We can also declare multiple variables at once.

If we declare a variable and assign it a value at once, this is called initialising the variable.

int n = 27; is initialising the variable. It refers to assigning an initial value which we can change later.

If the new value is the same data type, we don't need to include the data type, just the new value. If the data type is different, we will get an error.

Rules for naming variables in C

  • Variable names must begin either with a letter or an underscore, for example age and _age are valid.
  • A variable name can contain letters (uppercase or lowercase), numbers, or an underscore.
  • There can be no other special symbols besides an underscore.
  • Variable names are case sensitive , for example age is different from Age .

The scope of a variable in C

The scope of a variable refers to where the variable can be referenced and accessed from. It is essentially where the variable lives and is valid and how visible it is to the rest of the program.

Local scope

If a variable is declared within a set of culry braces, {} , like for example a specific function, that will be its scope and we can't access it and use it outside those braces in the rest of the program. The rest of the program won't know it exists.

Therefore it is not a good idea to declare variables that way since their scope and use is so limited which can lead to errors. This scope is called local scope.

Global scope

If variables are declared outside of functions, they have global scope. Having a global scope means they are visible within the whole program and can be accessed from anywhere.

But keep in mind that it can be difficult to keep track of them. Also, any changes we make to them along the way can get confusing since they can happen in any part and location of the program.

Data Types in C

Data types specify in what form we can represent and store information in our C programs. They let us know how that information will be used and what operations can be performed on it.

Data types also determine what type of data our variables can hold, as each variable in C needs to declare what data type it represents.

There are 6 data types built into the language. But you can convert between different types which makes it not as strongly typed.

Each of the data types requires a different allocation of memory and each data type can have different ranges up to which they can store values.

Adding keywords in front of a type name modifies and makes changes to the type. These keywords can be either unsigned or signed .

An unsigned keyword means that the type can only be positive and not negative, so the range of numbers start from 0. A signed keyword lets you make a number negative or positive.

Let's look at these data types in more detail.

The char data type in C

The most basic data type in C is char . You use it to store a single character such as letters of the ASCII chart like 'a', 'Z', or '!". (Notice how I used single quotation marks surrounding the single character – you can't use double quotes in this case.)

char also lets you store numbers ranging from [-128 to 127] and in both cases uses 1 byte of memory.

An unsigned char can take a range of numbers form [0-255]

The int data type in C

int is a an integer, a whole number, that can hold a positive or negative value or 0 but that has no decimal.

It is a value up to a certain number of bits. When you declare an int , it the computer allocates 4 bytes of memory for it. More specifically it uses at least 2 bytes but usually 4. 4 bytes of memory means it allocates 32 bits (since 1 byte = 8 bits). So an int has 2 32 possible values – more than 4 billion possible integers.

The range is of a -2 31 to 2 31 -1,specifically from [-2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647].

  • An unsigned int has still the same size as an int (4 bytes) but that doesn't include the negative numbers in the range of possible values. So the range is from 0 to 2 32 -1, more specifically [0 to 4,294,969,295]
  • A short int has smaller values than an int and allocates 2 bytes of memory. It allows for numbers in a range of [-32,768 to 32,767]
  • An unsigned short int uses again 2 bytes of memory and has a range of numbers from [0 to 65,535]
  • A long int is for when we need to use a larger number. It uses at least 4 bytes of memory, but usually 8 bytes with values from [-2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647]
  • An unsigned long int has at least 4 bytes of memory with a range from [0 to 4,294,967,295]
  • A long long int is an integer with more bits that's able to count to higher and larger numbers compared to ints and long ints. They use 8 bytes instead of 4 and so use 64 bits. This allows for a range from -2 63 to 2 63 -1 ,so for numbers from [-9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807]
  • An unsigned long long uses 8 bytes and has a range of numbers from [0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615]

The float data type in C

Floats are a floating point value which is a number with a decimal (also called a real number), with single precision. It allocates 4 bytes of memory.

The double data type in C

A double is a floating point value which has bigger values than that of a float. It can hold more memory – 8 bytes – compared to a float, and is double precision.

  • A long double is the largest size compared to floats and doubles, holding at least 10 bytes of memory, but can even hold up to 12 or 16 bytes.

And lastly, the void type essentially means nothing or no value.

Format Codes in C

Format codes or format specifiers are used for input and output in C.

These are a way to tell the compiler what type of data it takes in as input with a variable, and what type of data it produces as output when using the printf() function. The f in printf() stands for formated .

They act as a format code placeholder and substitute for variables. They let the compiler know in advance what type they are when the value of the standard output (that is, what we want to print) is not already known.

The syntax we use is % format specifier for data type :

There are different format specifiers for each data type we discussed earlier. Here are some of them:

Operators in C

Arithmetic operators in c.

Arithmetic operators are mathematical operators that perform mathematical functions on numbers. Operations can include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The most commonly used operators are:

  • + for addition
  • - for subtraction
  • * for multiplication
  • / for division
  • % for modulo division (calculating the remainder of the division)

Assignment operator in C

The assignment operator, = , assigns a value to a variable. It 'puts' a value into a variable.

In other words, it sets whatever is on the right side of the = to be the value of the variable on the left side of the = .

There are specific assignment operators for updating a variable by modifying the value.

In C, there are various ways we can update the values of variables. For example, if we want to increment the variable by 1 there are three possible ways to do so.

It is worth mentioning first that incrementing means to take the existing value of a variable, whatever value is on the right, and add 1 to it. The new value is then stored back to the variable and automatically updated.

The simplest way to increment or update is to have a variable called x with an initial value of 5 , so:

To add 1 to the variable x , we do x = x + 1 which means x = 5 + 1 .

The new value of x is now 6 , x=6 .

There is a shorthand for this operation, using a special syntax that increments variables.

Instead of writing x = x +1 we can write x += 1 .

An even shorter way is to use the increment operator, which looks like variable_name ++ , so in our case x++ .

The same goes for decreasing, that is decrementing, a variable by 1.

The three ways to do so are:

x = x-1 , x -= 1 , x -- (using the decrement operator) respectively.

Those are the ways to increment and decrement a variable by 1 in C. We are able to update a variable by taking its value and adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing that value by any other number and setting the result of that operation as the new value. Those operations would be += , -= , *= , and /= respectively.

So x = x * 5 or the shorthand x *= 5 will take the value of the variable x and multiply it by 5 and store it back to x .

Logical Operators in C

We use logical operators to make decisions in C. The result of an operation can be either true or false.

There is the logical AND operator, && . Operands on both the left and right sides of && need to be true for the condition to be true.

There is also the logical OR operator, || . At least one or both of the operands on the right and left sides of || need to be true for the condition to be true.

Lastly, there is the logical NOT . This inverts the value of the operand. If an operand is true, then the NOT operator makes the condition false and vice versa.

Comparison operators in C

Comparison operators are:

  • Greater than >
  • Greater than or equal to >=
  • Less than <
  • Less than or equal to =<

There is also an equality comparisson operator, == . Don't confuse this with = , the assignment operator.

We use the == to compare two values and test to see if they are equal or not. This operator asks the question 'Are these two equal?', whereas = assigns a value to a variable.

When using the equality comparisson operator and asking the above question, there is always a return value that can either be true or false , otherwsie knokn as a Boolean value in the context of computer programming.

Lastly, there is the inequality operator, != , that we use to test whether two values are NOT equal.

Functions in C

Functions are verbs, that is, small actions. They do something. They perform a particular, specific task.

They encapsulate a piece of behaviour that is meant to be used again and again. The purpose of functions is to have that behaviour written out just once somewhere so you can reuse it whenever you need to, at different times and in different places throughout a program. This makes your code simpler and better organised.

Functions exist to perform one task, serve a particular purpose, and be reused. And they can take in inputs and produce outputs.

Function arguments in C

The inputs that functions take in are called arguments. A function can have one or more arguments.

A common function in the C programming language is printf(); . This prints something to the screen. It's a function used to say something.

The parentheses () are the inputs to the function, where the arguments go in – that is, what we actually want to say and print to the screen. What is between the parentheses gets printed out.

In printf("Hello world!"); , Hello world! is the input to the printf function. Here, we are calling a function called printf and we are giving it an argument that is a string. This says literally, print 'Hello world! 'to the screen.

Function outputs in C

There are two types of function output:

First, outputs can just be something visual, an immediate visual effect, something quickly printed to the screen.

You can't do anything more with that output after the effect. Like in the case of printf("Hello world!"); , the output is the string "Hello world!" printed to the screen, and that's it. You can't use that string in some other way, because printf has no return value.

These types of functions are known as side effects , meaning they have an immediate observable effect without returning a value.

Also, a function like printf is a function invocation and in the stdio library is defined as int printf(const char *format,...); .

Second, the output can be reusable, and has a return value. A return value is a value passed back to the programmer and stored in a variable for later use.

In such cases, there is no immediate effect – nothing gets printed to the screen. The output is instead return to us, stored as information and saved in a variable.

How to Define a Method in C

There are three things you need to have in the first line, the decelerating line, when defining a function.

  • The return type

This is the very first keyword used, and how a function starts indicates the return value.

For example in a function like: void say_something(void) , the first void means that the function has no return value.

In another example with a different function, int main(void) , we specify and define its return data type, in this case an int . The function's output will be an int data type and will be returned to where the function is called.

  • The function name

The name can be anything we want, although it is best practice to name the methods after what they intend to do.

  • None or one or more arguments

These are the function's inputs, and the data type of those inputs.

In void say_something(void) , the void inside the parentheses is a keyword for the argument and a placeholder for 'nothing'. It means it takes In no inputs. In cases like this, the argument is also called a parameter.

Parameters are essentially variables declared in the function, inside the parentheses like the void keyword. They act as a placeholder to access the function input data, the arguments.

Parameters refer to the value being passed in to the method. This means that when we later call the function, we pass the actual values to it, the arguments to the function.

How to Call a Function in C

We can call a function like:

By writing the function's name, followed by any arguments in parentheses and a semicolon like say_hi(); . The say_hi function takes in no inputs and has no return value. When called it just prints 'hello' to the screen.

Another function like:

is called in the same way as the previous example. In this case, the square function take in an input and has a return value (both are int s). The input it takes in is the parameter called n , that returns an int when the function is called.

The word return specifies that what will get returned, the input n multiplied by itself.

For example, when the function is called square(3); , n acts as a variable that points to the parameter that has been passed in to the function, like 3 . It is like we have set n = 3 . The value that gets returned is 9 .

Functions are meant to be reused, so we can use it anytime we wish to square a number:

How to Use Boolean Expressions in C

A boolean expression is an expression that evaluates to one of two values, true or false. They get their name after the mathematician, philosopher, and logician George Boole.


We use boolean expressions to compare two values and they are particularly helpful in control flow.

Every non-zero value is true and 0 is false .

We can combine boolean expressions with the use of the different logical operators, like && (and), || (or) and ! (not) mentioned earlier in the article.

Different combinations of values and operators lead to different output results, which can be expressed in a truth table , a mathematical table used to represent logical equations wich result to 1 or 0 or their equivalent true or false .

When comparing two boolean values using the && (and) operator, both values have to equate to true for the combined experssion to be true.

For example if someone asks us "Do you want a pizza and a salad?", the only way for the expression to be true is for us to want both a pizza and a salad (so our answer is yes to both). If the answer to one of them is not true then the whole expression is false.

Truth Table for &&

Unlike && , the || operator lets us take action if one or both values are true. So this operator is not exclusive, either one of the comparissons has to be true for the experssion to evaluate to true or even both.

This is quite unique to computing, since in our example question used earlier, if instead of AND we changed it to OR, the statement 'Do you want pizza or a salad?' does not mean that you want both. You want one or the other, not necessarily both together.

Truth table for ||

Lastly, the ! (not) operator is used for negation, meaning it turns true to false and false to true .

How to Use Conditional Statements in C

Conditional statements take a specific action based on the result of a comparisson that takes place. The act of doing one thing if a particular condition is true and possibly a different thing if that particular condition turns out to be false is called control flow .

Certain parts of the program may not run depending on the results or depending on certain user input. The user can go down different paths depending on the various forks in the road that come up during a program's life.

Programs with conditional statements use if blocks primaraly. The if blocks use boolean expressions that can only be true or false and they make decisions depending on those resulting values. We denote an if block statement by using curly braces, {} , and indendation of the code that follows.

An if statement on its own is not that helpful especially as the programs grow larger and larger. So in that case the if statement is accompanied by an else statement.

These mean that ' if this condition is true do the following, else do this instead'. The else keyword is the solution for when the if condition is false and therefore doesn't run.

If we wish to chose between more than just two options and want to have a greater variety in statement and actions, then we can introduce an else if condition.

This means that 'If this condition is true, do this. If it is not, do this thing instead. However, if none of the above is true, finally do this instead.'

How to Use Loops in C

A loop is an isolated behavior or a specific set of instructions that are repeated a certain number of times, over and over again, until a condition is met. It is the same action, the same code, being repeated again and again.

While loops in C

Before they run any code, while loops have to check a condition. If it is met, the code runs. If not, the code doesn't take any action. So, code is not guaranteed to run even at least one time if a condition is not met.

There are different types of while loops. One of them is an infinite loop.

The while keyword is used along with a required boolean expression, true in this case (which always stays true ).

After printing the line of code inside the curly braces, it continuously checks wether it should run the code again. As the answer is always yes (since the condition it needs to check is always true each and every time), it runs the code again and again and again.

In this example the only way to stop the program and escape from the endless loop is running Ctrl + C in the terminal.

If the condition was false , it would never run the code inside the curly braces.

Another loop, is a loop that repeats something a certain number of times.

Do-while loops

Compared to the while loop, the do- while loop is guaranteed to run at least once and execute the code inside the curly braces at least one time.

It first does something and then checks a condition. This is useful when we want to repeat something at least once but for an unknown number of times.

In our example, the code will run at least one time and the statement will be printed at least once. Next, the value is incremented. It then checks if the value is less than 20, and if so, it runs the code again. It will stop running the code once the value being incremented each time is no longer less than 20.

Resources to continue learning C

This marks the end of this intoduction to the C programming language! Nice work for making it through to the end.

I hope this gave you an insight into the 'whys' and the 'hows' of the language and the fundamentals you need to know to start writing basic programs in C.

If you want to go more in depth, build some projects, and problem solve using C, give CS50 Introduction To Computer Science a go.

If you enjoy learning by reading books, I recommend the ones below:

  • C programming absolute beginners guide
  • Programming in C

If you enjoy learning by watching videos and coding along,check out the C Programming Tutorial for Beginners video on freeCodeCamp's YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading and happy coding!

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Mastering the C Programming Language: Comprehensive Guide


Hey there, ? So, today, let’s talk about this one language that has set the foundation for most modern programming languages – the C programming language . Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t that like, super old?” Well, yeah, it’s been around the block a time or two, but honey, it’s still got the moves! With C, you can do anything from creating operating systems to cracking code in competitive programming. Pretty neat, huh? ?

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Mastering C isn’t a cakewalk. But don’t you worry! Your girl’s got your back. With my Comprehensive Guide , you’ll be sauntering down C-Lane like it’s a stroll in Lodhi Gardens.

Table of Contents

Understanding the basics of c programming language.

Delving into the world of C , we’ll first provide an overview to familiarize you with this powerful tool. We’ll then take a journey back in time to learn about the brief history and early days of C, providing context to its development and relevance. Finally, we’ll explore why C could be the perfect choice for your first foray into programming. This language, with its deep roots and widespread use, promises to provide a solid foundation for your coding journey. Let us persuade you with emotional appeals, logical arguments, and solid evidence, and guide you towards making the perfect choice.

Understanding the Basics of C Programming Language

Overview of the C Programming Language

So, now we’re moving onto the next biggie, right? The nitty-gritty of a certain coding dialect that’s C .

Now hold up, why C? Well, C isn’t just an alphabet, it’s a power-packed language. It’s like, imagine you’re baking a cake, and C is your basic flour. You can’t miss it, right? ?

C is efficient, lets you get up close and personal with your computer’s inner workings, and it’s everywhere ! It’s in your operating system, in your web browser, even in your microwave. Crazy, right? And guess what? It’s not that hard to learn either.

It’s like driving a manual car.

The History and Early Days of C

So, you’re all buckled up and ready to dive into the world of programming, huh? ? Let’s hit the rewind button and take a quick trip down memory lane…

Did you know C was born in the early 1970s ? Such a retro vibe, right? This was a time when the Beatles ruled the charts and bell-bottoms were the rage. It was developed at the legendary Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie . Yup, the same place that’s a birthplace to loads of other revolutionary inventions.

Now, why should you pick C as your first language? Simple! It’s like learning the ABCs before you start writing essays. It forms the foundation of many modern languages.

Why Choosing C as Your First Programming Language

Oh my gosh , diving right into it, ain’t we? ? So, you’re probably thinking, “Why should I start my coding journey with C?” Well, let me tell y’all something. C is the mother of all languages . It’s like the root from which different programming languages sprout. I mean, Java, Python, C++, all have their syntax influenced by C, don’t they?

Starting with C helps you grasp the fundamental concepts of programming like loops, array, and functions. It’s like learning the ABCs before writing essays, you get me? Plus, it’s super efficient and gives you a closer understanding of how your computer works. So, why not kick off your coding journey with C? Sounds pretty rad, right?

Getting Started with C Programming Language

Embarking on your journey into the world of programming? Let’s make it fun and easy! Set up your development environment first, which is like building a creative workspace for your coding journey. Next, let’s craft your very first “Hello World” program, a classic initiation into any coding language. You’ll be amazed at your own ability to communicate with a computer! Once you get the hang of it, we’ll delve into understanding the main function in C. It’s like the heart of your program, pumping life into your code. Trust me, mastering the main function will empower you to create wonders!

Setting up Your C Development Environment

Okay, now that we’ve gotten our feet wet with the basics, let’s dive right into the pool of C coding ! ??‍?

To get started, you gotta set up your dev space. You heard me, your C development environment . This is the cozy little nest where all your code will hatch. ?

You might be sitting there thinking, “But I have no clue how to do that!” Don’t worry, babe, we’ve all been there. It’s as simple as downloading and installing a C compiler. You’ve got loads of options, but GCC or Mingw-w64 are a good place to start.

Writing Your First ‘Hello World’ Program in C Programming Language

So, we’ve gotten the basics down pat, yeah? Now, let’s dive into the really fun stuff – writing your first ‘hello world’ program in C! ?

Here’s a little secret: Your first program, irrespective of the language, is probably going to be a ‘hello world’ program. C is no different. It’s like a rite of passage, you know?

Alrighty then, ready to create your first magic spell in C? Let’s go!

Write this down:

See that there? That’s your <i>main function</i>. The place where all the magic happens! It’s like the heart of your program.

Understanding the Main Function in C

So, waving goodbye to basics, let’s waltz into our main topic, the main function . Now, why is it named so? Well, the main function is like the heart of your C Programming Language, the starting point of execution. It’s the boss lady, you know! ? It calls all other functions and elements into action. No kidding!

Imagine you’re a stage director. Your actors are the variables and commands in C. The main function is your script. Just like without a script, there’s no play, without the main function , there’s no running program. Simple, right?

Now, every main function has two parts – the parameters and the body.

Deep Dive Into Data Types in C Programming Language

Let’s embark on a delightful journey to delve into basic data types in C, a fundamental yet powerful concept. We’ll also examine the intriguing double data type , unveiling its in-depth features and utilities. This exploration will leave you with a firm grip over this subject! As we advance, we’ll learn the art of naming variables , which is as exciting as creating a character in a story! Imagine having the power to give a name and an identity to your data. So, buckle up and let’s start this interesting exploration of double data typ and so much more!

Deep Dive Into Data Types in C

Understanding Basic Data Types in C

Alright, my programming pals, now that we’ve gotten our feet wet with C , let’s dive deeper into the ocean of knowledge. ?‍♀️? You ready? Let’s talk about the ABCs of C – Data Types .

Hold up, you’re thinking ‘Hey, didn’t we just talk about this?’ Well, kind of, but there’s more to it. The beauty of C is its simplicity, and that extends to the types of data we can manipulate.

Let’s start with the basics. We’ve got integers (whole numbers), floats (decimal numbers), and chars (characters). Simple, right? But the magic lies in how you use them.

Double Data Type in C: a Closer Look

Alrighty folks, we’ve just had a little chit-chat about getting started with C, ain’t it? Now, let’s dive headfirst into something more specific, shall we? So, what’s next on the agenda? Oh, I see! We’re taking a closer peek at the double in C Programming Language.

Now, what in the world is that, you ask? Well, it’s nothing but a type that deals with decimal numbers. Imagine having the power to hold up to 15 decimal places in your hands! Wowza, ain’t that cool?? But hold up, there’s a twist – it gobbles up more memory than the basic types. You gotta be wise when to use it, right?

Naming Variables and Data Types in C Programming Language

Well, aren’t you just revved up from our last deep dive into C coding? ? Now, let’s journey further and explore a topic that’s absolutely crucial for understanding and mastering C Programming Language. Buckle up, because we’re venturing into the world of naming conventions and categories of data in C!

Oh, darling! Trust me, the way you christen your variables can be the game changer between a smooth ride and a bumpy one. Think of it as naming your kids. You wouldn’t want them to have confusing names, right? So, don’t do that to your variables either. Stay organized, keep ’em simple and easy to understand.

Remember, naming is power ! Choose wisely.

Understanding Operators in C

Dive deep into the world of C with the assignment operator , a handy tool that simplifies your coding journey. It’s your trusty sidekick, making variable assignments a breeze. But wait, there’s more! Ever wondered how C compares variables? Comparison operators are the answer, enabling you to analyze and make decisions based on variable relationships. And last but not least, we will delve into the realm of compound assignment operators . These multitaskers perform an operation and assignment in one step, making your code more efficient. Discover the power of these operators, making your C coding experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Understanding Operators in C

Role of Assignment Operator in C

Phew! After conquering the mountain of datatypes, let’s dive into the ocean of operators. ?‍♀️ Starting with the assignment operator , a superstar in C’s league of operators.

The assignment operator in C, represented by the “=” symbol, has a pretty straightforward job. It’s like the diligent courier guy who takes a value from one place and delivers it to another. He picks up a value and assigns it to a variable.

Now, you might think, “Oh, that’s simple!” But here’s where it gets interesting. The assignment operator is also a bit of a chameleon.

An Overview of Comparison Operators

Alright! Now that we’ve swum deep into the ocean of data types, let’s sail towards the captivating island of comparison operators ! ?

Comparison operators, dear friends, are like the eyes of the programming world. They help us see and compare values! Isn’t that cool?

Know what else is cool? The assignment operator . It’s like the hand that gives or assigns a value to a variable. Now, don’t confuse this buddy with the assignement operator . Yeah, it’s a common typo, but guess what? It doesn’t exist in C Programming Language! ?

But back to comparison operators – these guys are so critical in making decisions. They’ll tell you if one value is greater, less, equal, or not equal to another.

A Detailed Look Into Compound Assignment Operators

So, after having a roller-coaster ride through the world of Data Types in C, let’s jump onto the thrill of understanding one of the most fascinating topics in coding – Compound Assignment Operators . ?

Think about the assignment operator as a go-getter friend who is always ready to take on new responsibilities. Just like that friend, the assignment operator is always ready to take on new values and constantly evolves. It’s like a chameleon, changing its color according to the situation.

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into the world of Compound Assignment Operators . These operators are a shorter way of assigning values. For instance, instead of writing a = a + 5; we can simply write a += 5; . Easy peasy, right?

Mastering Control Flow in C Programming Language

Mastering control flow in C is a breeze once you understand its key components. Conditional statements hold the power to direct your code’s journey, making it crucial to grasp their usage. By comprehending conditional statements, you’ll create code that can make decisions. Next, we’ll explore the break statement . This mighty tool allows you to take control and halt loops at their most optimal point. Finally, we’ll delve into the world of the ternary operator , a compact, efficient way to write conditional statements. Embrace these concepts, and you’ll be setting the pace of your code like a pro!

Mastering Control Flow in C Programming Language

Understanding Conditional Statements in C Programming Language

So, moving on from the maze of operators, let’s dive right into the whirlpool of conditional statements ! Quite the adventure, isn’t it? ?

You might be wondering, what’s the big deal with these conditional statements in C anyway? Well, let me tell you, they’re pretty darn important !

Imagine you’re throwing a bash, and you’ve got a door policy – only those who know the secret password can enter. In your code, this decision-making is all thanks to conditional statements .

They’re like the bouncers of your C code, deciding who gets to party and who gets the boot. They use the ternary operator and other elements to make these decisions.

But hold up!

Getting Familiar with the Break Statement in C Programming Language

Alright, jumping right in from where we left off – operators, we now land into the terrain of control flow in C. Today, we’re going to get cozy with the break command. ?

Now, remember how we use conditional statements to control the flow of our code? Well, the break command is like a secret shortcut. It’s a getaway car that allows you to zoom right out of a loop, no questions asked! It’s like saying, “I’m done here, let’s move on.”

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Try it out! Write a loop, add a condition and then let the break command do its magic.

The Role and Usage of Ternary Operator in C Programming Language

And just like that, we’re done with operators! Now, let’s take a sharp turn and dive into the deep end of control flow . Let’s start with the ternary operator —a lifesaver when it comes to making your code crisp and clean. ?

Have you ever felt like conditional statements can sometimes be too verbose? That’s where the ternary operator comes into play! It’s a slick way to represent simple conditional statements —all in one line. Picture this: You’re at a fork in the road. To the left is a long, winding path (representing if-else statements). To the right is a short, straight path (that’s our hero, the ternary operator). Which one would you choose?

Understanding Loops in C Programming Language

Starting off our journey to understand loops in C, let’s focus on the dowhile loop . This loop offers a simple, yet powerful tool for tasks requiring repetition. Moving on, we’ll delve into the practical application of the dowhile loop in performing repetitive tasks efficiently. This will demonstrate how this loop can save you time and effort. Next, we’ll explore the crucial Loop Control Statements in C Programming Language . These control statements will help you master the dowhile loop and flexibly control how your programs run. So, gear up to dive into the world of dowhile loop and become an efficient programmer.

Understanding Loops in C Programming Language

Introduction to do…while Loop in C

Alrighty, then! Having a ball with control flow? Now, let’s jump on to the next joy ride – Loops, specifically the dowhile loop . ?

So, what’s the deal with this loop, you ask? Well, it’s like your favourite Bollywood song on repeat, but with a twist. It runs a piece of code once, and then continues to run the same code as long as the given condition is true. Why would you want to use it? This loop is your bestie when you don’t know how many times the loop needs to run, but you know it should run at least once.

Using Loops for Repetitive Tasks

Alright, mates, moving on from the control flow topic, let’s dive into the slightly more intriguing aspect of C – Using Loops for Repetitive Tasks . ?

Loops, yaar, they’re like your best buddies when it comes to repetitive tasks. Just picture this – you’re stuck in a boring task, doing the same thing over and over again. Ugh , sounds dull, right? Now imagine, having a friend who willingly does it all for you. Sweet, ain’t it? That’s what loops do in programming!

Loops help you say goodbye to monotonous tasks and yes to efficiency. They are your one-way ticket to minimizing code and maximizing output .

Loop Control Statements in C

Shifting gears from mastering control flow, let’s plunge into the dizzying world of loop control statements in C. ?

Now, you’re probably thinking – “What’s the big deal about loop control statements?” Well, my dear, they’re the VIPs of repetitive tasks! They’re like the DJ at a party, setting the vibe with their never-ending beat.

In C, we have two main loop control statements – continue and break – which play crucial roles in managing loop execution. The continue statement skips the current iteration and jumps to the next, while the break statement can terminate the entire loop prematurely.

Think of these as the “fast-forward” and “stop” buttons on your old cassette player.

Mastering Input/output Functions in C

Mastering I/O functions in C is greatly achievable! Imagine yourself easily manipulating the printf function , displaying professional-level results. You’ll delight in its power to format and output data. Equally empowering is the scanf function , your key to unlocking meaningful user input . This function is the gatekeeper of user interactions, translating them into executable commands. But we don’t stop there! Dive deeper into advanced I/O techniques , exploring beyond the standard IO functions. Your journey towards C Programming Language mastery is a thrilling adventure, propelled by your command of these essential functions. Your code will thank you, and so will your future self!

Using Printf Function for Output in C

Alright, my coding comrades! ✨ Let’s put a full stop to the loop narrative and open a new page that speaks of the magic of the printf function . ?

Now, who wouldn’t appreciate a good chat, right? ?️ It’s the same with our code – it has to talk to us! And among the many ways it can do that, the printf function is like a superstar on the stage. ? It’s the one that gives voice to our code, allowing it to share with us all its secrets, its victories, its challenges.

It’s like having an intimate tête-à-tête with your code, with the printf function acting as the translator, transmitting the code’s thoughts right onto your screen.

Using Scanf Function for User Input in C

Waving bye to the loops, let’s march ahead, shall we? Now, we’re going to dive into the world of input/output functions . And today’s superstar is none other than the scanf function ! ?

See, in the realm of coding, communication is crucial. Your program needs to interact with you, right? And the scanf function is like a friendly postman, delivering your messages to the program. It’s like saying, “Hey, Mr. Program, here’s some info for you!” And just like that, your sweet little program gets the message. ?

Now, wouldn’t you rather have a chatty program than a silent one? Think about it. It’s not rocket science, is it?

Advanced I/o Techniques in C

So, we’ve just covered loops in C, right? But what’s next ? The glamorous world of advanced I/O techniques in C Programming Language, of course! ?

I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a bit of advanced stuff? It’s like spicing up your bland dal with a dash of masala. It’s challenging but also incredibly satisfying when you get it right.

Just think about it , it’s like being able to communicate with your computer at a more intimate level. With advanced I/O techniques, you can read files, write files, and even handle errors – just like a pro! You can validate the data you receive and produce more accurate and reliable programs.

Digging Deeper Into C Programming

Dive deeper into the world of C programming and uncover its intimate relation to assembly language . This connection is crucial as it unveils the intricacies of the language’s craftsmanship. Moving forward, we’ll delve into related languages to C and understand how they share elements, yet stand distinct. This exploration will broaden your programming horizon, and strengthen your grasp on C Programming Language. Lastly, we’ll venture into the role of C in intermediate language development. These intermediate languages serve as bridges, translating high-level languages to assembly language. With C taking center stage in their development, a deep understanding of its role is pivotal.

Understanding C’s Relation to Assembly Language

Alrighty then, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of C Programming Language, shall we? Now that we’ve mastered input/output functions, we’re gonna delve deeper.

Assembly language , my dear friends, shares a close bond with C Programming Language. Yeah, you heard it right! It’s like they’re siblings from the same programming family. The beauty of C is that it’s low-level, yet high-level. It’s like the chameleon of C programming languages! It can chill with assembly languag and also have a hearty conversation with related languages .

Assembly language, it’s like the middle child, an intermediate language that bridges the gap between high-level language and machine code. Now, doesn’t that sound cool?

Exploring Related Languages to C

So, my lovelies, we’ve tackled the behemoth that is Input/Output Functions in C Programming Language, huh? Wipes sweat off forehead. ? Well, it’s time to dive right back into the deep end!

Have you ever stopped to wonder about the kinship between C and other languages? ? Well, darlings, it’s time we explored that. C has a close relationship with both assembly language and intermediate language . They all have their own unique charm, like siblings in a family, each with their own distinct quirks.

Now, I know some of you might be thinking, “But why should I care about these other languages?

The Role of C in Intermediate Language Development

Alright, buddy! ? We’ve just wrapped up the nitty-gritty of input/output functions, now let’s roll up our sleeves and dig deeper into the world of C. Next on our platter is understanding the mammoth role C plays in Intermediate Language Development .

Now, you might be wondering – what’s this hullabaloo about C and Intermediate Language Development? Well, lemme spill the beans. You know assembly language ? Yeah, that low level language that has us all in knots. It’s like learning Sanskrit in a world where everyone speaks Hinglish, right? ?

Here’s the kicker – C Programming Language acts as our interpreter! Yeah, you heard that right.

Exploring the C Standard Library

Embark on an exciting journey to Explore the C Standard Library . Beginning with an easy-to-understand introduction to header files , you’ll comprehend their pivotal role in C coding. Then, we’ll unveil the power and versatility of standard functions in the C library, essential tools that’ll supercharge your coding skills. Ultimately, we’ll dive into advanced topics, expanding your understanding and command of the C library. So, why wait? Discover the magic within the C Standard Library today!

Mastering Input/output Functions in C

An Introduction to Header Files in C

Alrighty then, folks! Let’s march ahead and take the plunge into the intriguing world of Header Files in C Programming Language. ? You know, those files ending with .h? They are the unsung heroes of the C cosmos! They are not just any random files; they serve as the backbone for our code, holding together all the function declarations and macro definitions.

Think of them as the chef’s secret spice mix that add flavor to your code! Every time you call a function, it’s like dipping into this spice mix. The better your understanding of these files, the more delicious your code will be. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Standard Functions in C Library

So, we’ve dug up some real gold in the trenches of C programming, haven’t we? But now, let’s leave the trenches behind and venture into the library. The C Standard Library , that is! ?

Now, don’t let the word ‘library’ intimidate you. It’s not like you need to be a librarian or anything. But, you do need to know some things. One of them being, Standard Functions .

Standard functions in the C library are like your secret weapons in coding. They’re pre-written code that make your life a whole lot easier. Think about it, why reinvent the wheel when you can simply use one that’s already been perfected?

Advanced Topics in C Library

Alrighty folks, done digging deep into the soil of C programming, have we? ? Let’s now venture into the unknown – the advanced topics in the C library!

I can tell you, it’s gonna be like walking on the moon ! ? This part of the journey will introduce you to advanced functions that are as exciting as they are essential.

Ever wondered about those bits and bytes and how to manipulate them? Or maybe how to handle signals and process control? Well, guess what? The C Programming Language library has got you covered! It’s like your genie in a bottle, ready to grant your code-fueled wishes.

But here’s the thing, guys. Just like with any genie, you gotta know how to make your wishes.

Working with Strings in C

Welcome to the captivating world of Working with Strings in C ! Our journey begins with an engaging Introduction to Strings in C , where you’ll learn the essentials and more. We then move onto Manipulating Strings in C Programming Language , a subtopic that will empower you to tweak and transform strings with confidence and ease. Lastly, we delve into the realm of Advanced String Handling Techniques in C , exploring the more complex aspects of this chapter strings. Each step of this journey equips you with the tools to master and create dynamic code. So, are you ready to embark on this exciting adventure?

Introduction to Strings in C

So, after getting our hands dirty with the exciting world of the C library, let’s now dive into a whole new topic: Strings in C . Now, why should you care about strings, you might ask? Well, let me tell you, my dear reader, strings are like the lifeblood of any C program. Without them, how would we store and manipulate text? How would we make sense of all the data we’re dealing with?

Strings, my friends, are an array of characters. They are used to store text in C, and boy, they sure do a fantastic job at it! With strings, you can store anything from a single character to a whole novel!

Manipulating Strings in C

Whew! After delving deep into the C Standard Library, it feels like we’ve journeyed through an intriguing maze, doesn’t it, fam? ? But wait, there’s more to explore! Let’s now pivot to the magic of Manipulating Strings in C Programming Language .

Think about it. Isn’t it mind-blowing that a string in C is just an array of characters? ? And each of these characters can be manipulated to create powerful programs. From displaying messages to storing data, the possibilities are endless! ?

I encourage you, my fellow code warriors, to play around with strings. Experiment with string functions like strcat , strcpy , strlen , and many more. Trust me, it’s a whole new world out there!

Advanced String Handling Techniques in C

So, darlings , let’s leave the standard library behind and dive into the world of Strings in C . Now, don’t you worry your pretty heads, this isn’t going to be anything like sewing strings onto a piece of cloth, but it does require a certain finesse. ?

Today, we’re going to up our game and dive right into Advanced String Handling Techniques in C . It’s like learning to drive a car. You’ve got the basics down, now it’s time to learn how to navigate those tricky lanes and unexpected potholes. You know, like handling string concatenation, character replacement, and even string reversal if you’re feeling a bit adventurous.

Witness the power of C Programming Language, without the fuss of complex syntax.

File Handling in C

Delve into the world of file handling with a friendly guide to the fundamentals, starting with a captivating Introduction to File Handling in C . You’ll discover the power of reading and writing files, a vital aspect of any software application. Next, we’ll explore the art of Reading and Writing Files in C , and witness how it transforms the way you manage data. No stone will be left unturned as we discuss Advanced File Handling Techniques in C . Here, we’ll unleash the full potential of file handling, with advanced techniques that will make your programs more dynamic and efficient.

Introduction to File Handling in C Programming Language

Alrighty, peeps! So, we’ve had our fun with strings and cozied up real good with them, right? So, what do you say we kick it up a notch now? ? Let’s dip our toes into some more serious stuff, shall we? I’m talking about file handling in C .

When you think about it, file handling is like the magic wand in a programmer’s toolkit. It’s what lets us read, write, and do all sorts of funky stuff with files. Without it, we’d be pretty much stuck, wouldn’t we?

Reading and Writing Files in C

Alright, my coder pals! After we’ve had our fun with strings in C, let’s drive straight into the fascinating world of file handling in C. ?

Have you ever wondered how your favorite computer games remember your high scores? How does your photo editing software recall your favorite filters? It’s all because of the magic of reading and writing files in C Programming Language!

Imagine this, you’re penning down a lovely poem on a piece of paper, and suddenly, your pen runs out of ink! The same can happen in C – when you’re writing to a file, you might run out of disc space. That’s why it’s important to check if the file was opened successfully before you start writing.

But don’t worry!

Advanced File Handling Techniques in C Programming Language

And just like that, we’re waving goodbye to the world of strings and diving headfirst into the sea of files. Now, who’s ready to decode the mysteries of advanced file handling techniques in C ? ??

Y’know, often when we’re working with files, it’s not just about opening and closing them. Nah, we’re better than that! We need to get our hands dirty with functions like fseek() , rewind() , and ftell() . These babes are the real deal when it comes to maneuvering around files.

Think of fseek() as your personal file GPS, letting you zoom to any part of the file you fancy.

Additional Resources for Learning C Programming Language

Delving deep into additional topics of learning C can be rewarding. We recommend a variety of related books that will provide important information to bolster your knowledge. Remember, mastering C requires more than just reading; it’s vital to put theory into practice. The Importance of Practice in Learning C cannot be overstated. With consistent practice, you’ll swiftly grasp complex concepts. Moreover, when faced with perplexing problems, don’t despair. There are numerous resources for problem-solving in C that can help you overcome obstacles. Be aware though, problem filtering reviews can occur, so ensure you’re accessing quality resources.

Recommended Books on C Programming Language

Alright, folks! Now that we’ve conquered the topic of file handling , it’s time to dive deeper into our C journey. This ocean is vast and deep, and to navigate it, we’re going to need some trusty guides. ??

Let’s chat about books that could be your best pals on this journey. I know, I know, books might sound old-school, but they have a charm that online resources can’t match. There’s nothing quite like holding a book, flipping through its pages, and inhaling that unique aroma of ink and paper. ??

One of my absolute favorites is “C Primer Plus” by Stephen Prata.

The Importance of Practice in Learning C

So, after we’ve cracked the code on handling files in C, let’s navigate into another significant aspect of this journey – practicing C. You know what they say, right? Practice makes perfect. ?

Just like mastering the art of making the perfect chai, learning C requires repetition, trial, and error. You can’t just skim through a book or breeze through a few online tutorials and call it a day. Nope, it doesn’t work that way. ?‍♀️

Imagine trying to learn how to ride a bike by just reading about it. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? ? That’s because hands-on practice is the key to retaining knowledge and enhancing your coding skills.

Resources for Problem-Solving in C

So, you’ve got a grip on file handling in C, huh? ? That’s terrific! But honey, the journey doesn’t stop here. Let’s dive deeper into the ocean of C programming , and explore additional topics, shall we? ?

The beauty of learning is in the doing, hands-on experience! And where do you get that from? Problem-solving ! That’s right! There are some amazing platforms out there that provide resources for problem-solving in C. Websites like GeeksforGeeks, CodeChef, and HackerRank are just a click away. They offer loads of problems you can solve using C, ranging from easy-peasy to mind-boggling ones!

But why problem-solving, you may ask?

User Reviews on Learning C

Navigating through resources to learn C can be challenging, but top reviews on C courses can effectively guide you. These reviews can provide invaluable insights, from product details to firsthand experiences. Additionally, customer reviews on C resources can be a goldmine of information, offering the best and worst aspects of each course. However, remember that answers not the answer ; your unique learning needs should dictate your choice. Learning to sift through these reviews effectively can be crucial in your journey. Remember, in the world of C learning, top examples and reviews are your guiding lights.

Top Reviews on C Programming Courses

After dwelling on additional resources, let’s pivot to the real deal , the top reviews on C Programming courses. So, y’all might be wondering, “What’s the buzz about these courses?” Well, let me spill the beans!

Users are raving about how these courses are perfectly balancing the theory and practical aspects, making them the go-to resources for newbies and pros alike! And guess what? They’re also praising the abundance of real-world examples, which trust me, is a lifesaver when you’re getting your hands dirty with code.

So, get jazzed up, folks! It’s time to dive into these courses and up your C game. Trust the reviews, they don’t lie!

Filtering Through Customer Reviews on C Resources

Alrighty then! So, we’ve explored the vast sea of resources available for learning C. Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty – filtering through customer reviews on these resources. Now, you might wonder, “Why bother?” Well, think of it as your compass in this vast ocean. Reviews can help you navigate towards the most effective learning material. It’s kinda like having your own personal guide who’s been there, done that!

But here’s the catch – not all reviews are created equal. It’s crucial to consider the credibility of the reviewer, their experience level, and their learning style. Why, you ask? Well, a beginner’s perspective might differ from a seasoned pro, right? And we all have unique ways of learning.

How to Utilize Reviews for Effective Learning

Here’s the tea, folks, after you’ve sifted through a mountain of reviews for resources on C, the real question is – how do we make the most of them for effective learning?

Well, it’s not rocket science! Just keep an eye out for common patterns. Are there resources that multiple folks rave about? Or perhaps a book that’s got a bunch of thumbs down? These nuggets of info are worth their weight in gold.

Also, remember to read reviews with a pinch of salt. Don’t let them sway you completely. After all, everyone has different learning styles, right? Your experience might be totally different from Joe’s or Neha’s.

Innovation in C Programming Language

Step into the innovation hub of the tech world and explore the power of C. Its role in shaping modern technology cannot be overstated. It’s not just a language, it’s the backbone of technological innovation. How C Drives Innovation in Programming is a testament to its impact, powering new ideas, and transforming the tech landscape. This influence permeates all the way to enduser applications , a testament to C’s Impact on End-user Applications . From embedded systems to game development, C’s reach is universal. So, let’s delve deeper into understanding the magic of C .

The Role of C in Modern Tech: an Overview

Now, shifting gears from user reviews, let’s dive into the depths of C’s significance in the contemporary tech realm.

C, my friends, is the beating heart of today’s tech infrastructure. It’s the backbone that holds everything together. From the operating systems we use daily, like Linux and Windows, to the IoT devices that make our lives easier, C Programming Language is there, silently running the show.

Think about it. Without C, we wouldn’t have the efficient, high-speed tech we bask in today. It’s the unsung hero of modern innovation.

So, in the grand scheme of things, C ain’t just a language, it’s a vital part of our digital existence. A behind-the-scenes maestro.

How C Drives Innovation in Programming

So, you’ve heard all about learning C, huh? ? Now, let’s dive into the thrilling world of how C is driving innovation in programming, shall we?

C, folks, is like the secret sauce in the tech world’s recipe. It’s the backbone of most modern C programming languages. Yep, even in this era of Python, Java, and Ruby, C is the unsung hero, quietly powering the works.

Why, you ask? Because it’s lean , it’s mean , it’s efficient . There’s a reason why your operating system, your web browsers, your databases all have C in their DNA.

C’s Impact on End-User Applications

Transitioning from user reviews, let’s dive right into the ocean of innovation brought about by C. Now, let’s shed some light on C’s impact on end-user applications . ?

C Programming Language, my friend, is not just a language; it’s a powerhouse that fuels several applications we use daily. Ever wondered how your operating systems run so smoothly? Or how your database systems manage to handle tons of data with ease? It’s all C, sweetie! C, with its low-level access to memory, simple set of keywords, and clean style, has made a significant impact on software development. It’s like the secret ingredient in your mom’s special recipe—it just makes everything better!

So, don’t just learn C, embrace it .

The Scope of C Programming Language

First, we’ll delve into the concept of local scope , a domain where variables exist briefly, helping to keep our code clean and efficient. It’s a tightly-knit community where variables interact and thrive. Next, we’ll expand our horizons to the global scope ; a vast and open space where variables can roam freely, but with great power comes great responsibility. Lastly, we’ll discuss the best practices in managing scope , providing you with the tools to create beautifully structured and efficient code. So, let’s embark on this journey together, navigating the fascinating landscape of local and global scopes in C Programming Language!

Understanding the Local Scope in C

Swooping in from our chat about innovation , let’s shift our focus a bit and dive into understanding the local scope in C . The local scope, my friend, is like your personal diary. It’s your little world, invisible to outsiders. It’s an area of the code where your variables live and breathe, but only for a short while – just like that summer crush you had last year, remember? ?

It starts when you define something, like a variable, in a function. That variable? It’s only known within that function, it has no clue about the world outside. It’s like it’s in its own little bubble. And when the function is done? Poof! The variable disappears.

The Global Scope in C: an Overview

Phew, after dabbling with those innovations in C, let’s just shift our gears a bit, shall we? Let’s talk about the Global Scope in C. Now, you may ask, “What’s so important about this, huh?” Well, darling, it’s just like the world stage for our diva variables! ?

In C, a variable declared outside all function bodies is a global variable. It can be accessed from any function throughout the program! Now, ain’t that just grand? And guess what? They retain their value even after the function ends. Like, always ready for an encore, huh?

But remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

Best Practices in Managing Scope in C

Bidding adieu to the innovative aspects of our beloved C, let’s dive into what’s cooking in the scope management department. Ever wondered why your code sometimes behaves like a moody teenager? ? Well, buddy, it’s all about scope management ! To prevent your code from turning into a spaghetti mess, here are some tips to master the art of managing scope in C Programming Language.

Firstly, keep it local . Limit the use of global variables. Like seriously, they are like gossipy aunties, meddling in everyone’s businesses. Secondly, declare variables close to where they are used . It’s like keeping your coffee mug next to the coffee machine. Makes sense, right? Lastly, use static variables wisely.

Exploring External Links in C Programming

Unravel the mysteries surrounding the use of external connections in C! Initially, we’ll dive into the purpose and influence these links hold within your code. Then, let’s embark on an enlightening journey as we masterfully traverse and make use of these connections. Finally, we’ll equip you with top strategies to manage these links effectively. By the end, you’ll not only understand their importance but also harness their power to enhance your coding prowess. So, are you ready to delve into this exciting world of external connections in C Programming Language? Join us, and let’s conquer this together!

The Role of External Links in C

So, we’ve been nerding out over the vastness of scope in C, right? Well, hold onto your keyboards folks, because things are about to get a lot more exciting! ? Let’s venture into the magical world of external links in the realm of C Programming Language.

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal about these external links anyway?” Well, darling, they’re like the secret sauce in your favorite dish! They add that unique flavor to your C code, making it more robust and dynamic. These links are like the invisible threads, connecting different pieces of your code, allowing them to chat with each other.

There’s so much more to them than meets the eye, but we’ll delve into that later.

Navigating and Utilizing External Links in C

Drifting away from the realm of local scope in C, let’s embark on an excursion to the universe of external linking . Now, don’t fret! I know it sounds like a whole new ball game, but trust me, it’s just a hop, skip and jump away from what you’ve already mastered! ?

Navigating and utilizing external links in C Programming Language is akin to, say, using Google Maps. It’s all about finding the right path, right? So, let’s get our hands dirty and dive right in!

You see, the key to mastering this is just understanding how to chart out your course. It’s about knowing where to look and how to link.

Best Practices in Managing External Links in C Programming Language

Alright, pals! ? So, after a deep dive into the scope of C Programming Language , let’s turn our attention to a rather spiffy topic – managing external links in C. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “OMG, not another techno jargon!” But trust me, this ain’t your regular geeky stuff! ?

The art of handling external links is kinda like a treasure hunt, you know? It’s all about finding those hidden gems that can supercharge your C Programming Language codes. But mind you, it’s not always a bed of roses. There’s a whole set of best practices you gotta follow!?

Never go overboard , folks!

The Role of C in Product Development

Imagine a world where C amplifies the intricacies of your goods, transporting your clientele into a realm of enriched understanding. C’s influence on user experience cannot be overstated, as it fosters an engaging, intuitive platform that leaves users yearning for more. Furthermore, C’s strategic participation in simplifying product creation is a game-changer, transforming the most complex tasks into manageable ones. Let’s delve into How C Enhances Descriptions , The Impact of C on User Interactions , and C’s Role in Streamlining Product Development . Together, we’ll uncover the magic of C Programming Language and how it can revolutionize your product development process!

The Role of C in Product Development

How C Enhances Product Details

Alright, peeps! Now that we’ve navigated through the labyrinth of external references in C, let’s sail into the fascinating sea of how C adds that extra zing to product specifics!

You know what I mean, right? It’s like when your favorite masala chai gets that extra punch with a hint of ginger, making it taste just perfect, no? ?

Just like that, C Programming Language plays a major role in enhancing the product details, making them more precise and comprehensive. It’s like the secret spice that boosts the flavor of a product, making it irresistible for the users. And trust me, this spice doesn’t just add flavor, but also simplifies the complexities, making it easier for us to comprehend the product specifications.

The Impact of C on User Experience

After diving into the depths of external links in C, let’s take a detour and explore the impact of C on user experience. Now, you might be wondering, why should I care? Here’s why: C has an uncanny knack to empower user experiences like no other. It’s not just coding, it’s about creating an experience that the user can resonate with, ya know? ?

C plays a pivotal role in enhancing the user journey by ensuring speedy and efficient applications. These applications are swift as a gazelle, and as smooth as butter! Imagine the frustration of waiting for an application to load. Cringe , right? But with C, that’s an experience of the past.

C’s influence extends beyond just creating a product.

C’s Role in Streamlining Product Development

As we move away from the realm of external links , let’s dip our toes into the intriguing world of product development and explore how C plays a vital role in streamlining the whole process. ?

Guys, look, C is that friend who always has your back when you’re devising a new product. It makes the job easier and faster, ya know? This coding language, with its simple syntax and structure, makes it a breeze to write, debug, and maintain the code. Gone are the days of slogging through complex code! With C, you’re all set to create robust and efficient products.

Remember, a smooth, streamlined process can be the deciding factor in the success or failure of a product.

The Role of C in Color Selection

Let’s embark on a vibrant journey through the world of color and coding! We’ll start with an engaging introduction to Color Picker in C , a tool that can revolutionize your work in UI design. Further, we’ll explore how C aids in color selection in UI Design , revealing the potential of this powerful tool in creating visually stunning interfaces. Finally, prepare to be amazed as we delve into advanced techniques in color selection using C . It’s time to harness the power of C and elevate your design game to another level. Let’s color the world of coding together!

Introduction to Color Picker in C

? So, you had a taste of how C plays a vital role in product development! Now, let’s dive into a dash of color, shall we? Picture this – you’re designing a user interface and you need to choose the perfect shade of blue. A color picker in C comes to the rescue, like a knight in shining armor! ?

This nifty tool, coded in C Programming Language, allows you to select a color from a palette and returns its RGB (red, green, blue) values. It’s perfect for those times when you need to get the hue just right. It’s like having your own personal rainbow at your fingertips! ?

Isn’t it fascinating how a simple coding language can help bring your vision to life?

How C Aids in Color Selection in Ui Design

Alright, so we’ve chatted about how C plays a role in product development. Now, let’s shift gears and chat about the colorful world of UI design and how C lends a helping hand. ?

As a lover of all things vibrant, C has been a game changer for me. It’s like the magic wand in my design toolkit, helping me select and implement colors seamlessly. It’s like, you know, when you’re trying to pick the perfect shade of pink for your app and C comes to your rescue.

C Programming Language has inbuilt methods to manipulate RGB values, and guess what? It can even convert between different color models! And here’s a fun fact – did you know the human eye can distinguish almost 10 million different colors?

Advanced Techniques in Color Selection Using C

Dashing from the product’s backbone to its aesthetics, let’s dive into the colorful world of C ! ? Want to know the secret sauce? It’s all about the advanced techniques in color selection, and trust me, C Programming Language is your genie in a bottle here ?.

Ever wondered how apps get those vibrant, eye-catching palettes? Well, it’s not just magic dust! It’s the power of C Programming Language bringing it to life. Imagine being able to manipulate colors, gradients, and shades, all in a day’s work. It’s like painting with code! What’s the catch? Well, no catch. Just a C-coded algorithm that can generate colors based on user preferences! Cool, huh?

Community Support in Learning C

Immerse yourself in the rich community of C coders where knowledge flows freely, and solutions are just a question away. Tapping into C Programming Communities is a surefire way to accelerate your learning journey. But how can you maximize the benefits? Dive into the heart of our next topic, How to Get the Most from Community Help , and learn the art of effective participation. However, beware of the Common Pitfalls in C Programming that can hamper your progress. Let us guide you on how to avoid these stumbling blocks and smoothen your path to mastery in C Programming Language.

Tapping Into C Programming Communities

Alrighty then, moving from the color-filled world of C Programming Language to the buzzing bazaars of programming communities . Delving into these forums is like entering a living library, brimming with knowledge and experience. It’s like having a million mentors at your fingertips.

Communities like StackOverflow, GitHub, and C Board are the absolute bees knees and a gold mine for any C enthusiast. They can be your compass, guiding you through the tricky terrains of C, or simply a space to share ideas and learn from others.

But here’s the thing, folks. Just diving in won’t cut it. You gotta participate, ask questions, answer some and most importantly, respect the community etiquette.

How to Get the Most From Community Help

Whisking away from the riveting world of colors in C, let’s dive into the heart of the community that’s always there to lend us a hand when we’re in a coding crunch! ? Embracing the community can be your secret weapon to mastering C.

Alright, how can you squeeze the most juice outta this amazing resource? First and foremost, don’t be shy ! Ask questions, even if they seem silly. You’d be surprised how many people have the same doubts. Also, be specific about your problem. A clear question gets a clear answer, right? ?

Remember, learning is a two-way street. Pay it forward by helping others when you can.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in C Programming

Let’s dive right in from the kaleidoscope of colors to the nitty-gritty of C ! Now, I know, we all have our fair share of oopsie-daises when learning to code. But hey, who doesn’t? So, let’s learn how to dodge some common blunders in the C Programming Language, shall we? ?

Firstly, always remember to initialize your variables. Uninitialized variables are like an open invitation to bugs. Next, the common pitfall is forgetting to deallocate memory after use. This could lead to memory leaks, and trust me, you don’t wanna go there! Lastly, be mindful of the array bounds.

Embracing the C Programming Language  journey is like entering a world full of opportunities. It’s not just about codes and syntax, but a mindset that aids in problem-solving, making you an asset in any product creation process. With every loop, operator, and function you master, you’re one step closer to becoming an exceptional coder who can create efficient, elegant solutions.

By diving deep into the C language, you’ll find a supportive community, ready to help you overcome any hurdles. You’ll also discover resources and tools that will aid your learning journey. So, why wait? Dive into the world of C Programming Language , and let your code speak volumes about your skills and creativity!

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What is Problem Solving? (Steps, Techniques, Examples)

By Status.net Editorial Team on May 7, 2023 — 5 minutes to read

What Is Problem Solving?

Definition and importance.

Problem solving is the process of finding solutions to obstacles or challenges you encounter in your life or work. It is a crucial skill that allows you to tackle complex situations, adapt to changes, and overcome difficulties with ease. Mastering this ability will contribute to both your personal and professional growth, leading to more successful outcomes and better decision-making.

Problem-Solving Steps

The problem-solving process typically includes the following steps:

  • Identify the issue : Recognize the problem that needs to be solved.
  • Analyze the situation : Examine the issue in depth, gather all relevant information, and consider any limitations or constraints that may be present.
  • Generate potential solutions : Brainstorm a list of possible solutions to the issue, without immediately judging or evaluating them.
  • Evaluate options : Weigh the pros and cons of each potential solution, considering factors such as feasibility, effectiveness, and potential risks.
  • Select the best solution : Choose the option that best addresses the problem and aligns with your objectives.
  • Implement the solution : Put the selected solution into action and monitor the results to ensure it resolves the issue.
  • Review and learn : Reflect on the problem-solving process, identify any improvements or adjustments that can be made, and apply these learnings to future situations.

Defining the Problem

To start tackling a problem, first, identify and understand it. Analyzing the issue thoroughly helps to clarify its scope and nature. Ask questions to gather information and consider the problem from various angles. Some strategies to define the problem include:

  • Brainstorming with others
  • Asking the 5 Ws and 1 H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How)
  • Analyzing cause and effect
  • Creating a problem statement

Generating Solutions

Once the problem is clearly understood, brainstorm possible solutions. Think creatively and keep an open mind, as well as considering lessons from past experiences. Consider:

  • Creating a list of potential ideas to solve the problem
  • Grouping and categorizing similar solutions
  • Prioritizing potential solutions based on feasibility, cost, and resources required
  • Involving others to share diverse opinions and inputs

Evaluating and Selecting Solutions

Evaluate each potential solution, weighing its pros and cons. To facilitate decision-making, use techniques such as:

  • SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • Decision-making matrices
  • Pros and cons lists
  • Risk assessments

After evaluating, choose the most suitable solution based on effectiveness, cost, and time constraints.

Implementing and Monitoring the Solution

Implement the chosen solution and monitor its progress. Key actions include:

  • Communicating the solution to relevant parties
  • Setting timelines and milestones
  • Assigning tasks and responsibilities
  • Monitoring the solution and making adjustments as necessary
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the solution after implementation

Utilize feedback from stakeholders and consider potential improvements. Remember that problem-solving is an ongoing process that can always be refined and enhanced.

Problem-Solving Techniques

During each step, you may find it helpful to utilize various problem-solving techniques, such as:

  • Brainstorming : A free-flowing, open-minded session where ideas are generated and listed without judgment, to encourage creativity and innovative thinking.
  • Root cause analysis : A method that explores the underlying causes of a problem to find the most effective solution rather than addressing superficial symptoms.
  • SWOT analysis : A tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to a problem or decision, providing a comprehensive view of the situation.
  • Mind mapping : A visual technique that uses diagrams to organize and connect ideas, helping to identify patterns, relationships, and possible solutions.


When facing a problem, start by conducting a brainstorming session. Gather your team and encourage an open discussion where everyone contributes ideas, no matter how outlandish they may seem. This helps you:

  • Generate a diverse range of solutions
  • Encourage all team members to participate
  • Foster creative thinking

When brainstorming, remember to:

  • Reserve judgment until the session is over
  • Encourage wild ideas
  • Combine and improve upon ideas

Root Cause Analysis

For effective problem-solving, identifying the root cause of the issue at hand is crucial. Try these methods:

  • 5 Whys : Ask “why” five times to get to the underlying cause.
  • Fishbone Diagram : Create a diagram representing the problem and break it down into categories of potential causes.
  • Pareto Analysis : Determine the few most significant causes underlying the majority of problems.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis helps you examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to your problem. To perform a SWOT analysis:

  • List your problem’s strengths, such as relevant resources or strong partnerships.
  • Identify its weaknesses, such as knowledge gaps or limited resources.
  • Explore opportunities, like trends or new technologies, that could help solve the problem.
  • Recognize potential threats, like competition or regulatory barriers.

SWOT analysis aids in understanding the internal and external factors affecting the problem, which can help guide your solution.

Mind Mapping

A mind map is a visual representation of your problem and potential solutions. It enables you to organize information in a structured and intuitive manner. To create a mind map:

  • Write the problem in the center of a blank page.
  • Draw branches from the central problem to related sub-problems or contributing factors.
  • Add more branches to represent potential solutions or further ideas.

Mind mapping allows you to visually see connections between ideas and promotes creativity in problem-solving.

Examples of Problem Solving in Various Contexts

In the business world, you might encounter problems related to finances, operations, or communication. Applying problem-solving skills in these situations could look like:

  • Identifying areas of improvement in your company’s financial performance and implementing cost-saving measures
  • Resolving internal conflicts among team members by listening and understanding different perspectives, then proposing and negotiating solutions
  • Streamlining a process for better productivity by removing redundancies, automating tasks, or re-allocating resources

In educational contexts, problem-solving can be seen in various aspects, such as:

  • Addressing a gap in students’ understanding by employing diverse teaching methods to cater to different learning styles
  • Developing a strategy for successful time management to balance academic responsibilities and extracurricular activities
  • Seeking resources and support to provide equal opportunities for learners with special needs or disabilities

Everyday life is full of challenges that require problem-solving skills. Some examples include:

  • Overcoming a personal obstacle, such as improving your fitness level, by establishing achievable goals, measuring progress, and adjusting your approach accordingly
  • Navigating a new environment or city by researching your surroundings, asking for directions, or using technology like GPS to guide you
  • Dealing with a sudden change, like a change in your work schedule, by assessing the situation, identifying potential impacts, and adapting your plans to accommodate the change.
  • How to Resolve Employee Conflict at Work [Steps, Tips, Examples]
  • How to Write Inspiring Core Values? 5 Steps with Examples
  • 30 Employee Feedback Examples (Positive & Negative)


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The Problem-Solving Process

Looking at the basic problem-solving process to help keep you on the right track.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

Problem-solving is an important part of planning and decision-making. The process has much in common with the decision-making process, and in the case of complex decisions, can form part of the process itself.

We face and solve problems every day, in a variety of guises and of differing complexity. Some, such as the resolution of a serious complaint, require a significant amount of time, thought and investigation. Others, such as a printer running out of paper, are so quickly resolved they barely register as a problem at all.

how many steps included in problem solving in c

Despite the everyday occurrence of problems, many people lack confidence when it comes to solving them, and as a result may chose to stay with the status quo rather than tackle the issue. Broken down into steps, however, the problem-solving process is very simple. While there are many tools and techniques available to help us solve problems, the outline process remains the same.

The main stages of problem-solving are outlined below, though not all are required for every problem that needs to be solved.

how many steps included in problem solving in c

1. Define the Problem

Clarify the problem before trying to solve it. A common mistake with problem-solving is to react to what the problem appears to be, rather than what it actually is. Write down a simple statement of the problem, and then underline the key words. Be certain there are no hidden assumptions in the key words you have underlined. One way of doing this is to use a synonym to replace the key words. For example, ‘We need to encourage higher productivity ’ might become ‘We need to promote superior output ’ which has a different meaning.

2. Analyze the Problem

Ask yourself, and others, the following questions.

  • Where is the problem occurring?
  • When is it occurring?
  • Why is it happening?

Be careful not to jump to ‘who is causing the problem?’. When stressed and faced with a problem it is all too easy to assign blame. This, however, can cause negative feeling and does not help to solve the problem. As an example, if an employee is underperforming, the root of the problem might lie in a number of areas, such as lack of training, workplace bullying or management style. To assign immediate blame to the employee would not therefore resolve the underlying issue.

Once the answers to the where, when and why have been determined, the following questions should also be asked:

  • Where can further information be found?
  • Is this information correct, up-to-date and unbiased?
  • What does this information mean in terms of the available options?

3. Generate Potential Solutions

When generating potential solutions it can be a good idea to have a mixture of ‘right brain’ and ‘left brain’ thinkers. In other words, some people who think laterally and some who think logically. This provides a balance in terms of generating the widest possible variety of solutions while also being realistic about what can be achieved. There are many tools and techniques which can help produce solutions, including thinking about the problem from a number of different perspectives, and brainstorming, where a team or individual write as many possibilities as they can think of to encourage lateral thinking and generate a broad range of potential solutions.

4. Select Best Solution

When selecting the best solution, consider:

  • Is this a long-term solution, or a ‘quick fix’?
  • Is the solution achievable in terms of available resources and time?
  • Are there any risks associated with the chosen solution?
  • Could the solution, in itself, lead to other problems?

This stage in particular demonstrates why problem-solving and decision-making are so closely related.

5. Take Action

In order to implement the chosen solution effectively, consider the following:

  • What will the situation look like when the problem is resolved?
  • What needs to be done to implement the solution? Are there systems or processes that need to be adjusted?
  • What will be the success indicators?
  • What are the timescales for the implementation? Does the scale of the problem/implementation require a project plan?
  • Who is responsible?

Once the answers to all the above questions are written down, they can form the basis of an action plan.

6. Monitor and Review

One of the most important factors in successful problem-solving is continual observation and feedback. Use the success indicators in the action plan to monitor progress on a regular basis. Is everything as expected? Is everything on schedule? Keep an eye on priorities and timelines to prevent them from slipping.

If the indicators are not being met, or if timescales are slipping, consider what can be done. Was the plan realistic? If so, are sufficient resources being made available? Are these resources targeting the correct part of the plan? Or does the plan need to be amended? Regular review and discussion of the action plan is important so small adjustments can be made on a regular basis to help keep everything on track.

Once all the indicators have been met and the problem has been resolved, consider what steps can now be taken to prevent this type of problem recurring? It may be that the chosen solution already prevents a recurrence, however if an interim or partial solution has been chosen it is important not to lose momentum.

Problems, by their very nature, will not always fit neatly into a structured problem-solving process. This process, therefore, is designed as a framework which can be adapted to individual needs and nature.

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Table of Contents

What is pseudo-code in c, advantages and disadvantages of pseudo-code in c, disadvantages of pseudo-code in c, an ultimate guide to learn everything on pseudo-code in c.

An Ultimate Guide to Learn Everything on Pseudo-Code in C

In C programming language, it becomes mandatory to follow syntax while executing the program, and it becomes challenging to understand the logic of the complex program. Therefore, to understand the program logic in a better way and to solve the complex problem, you must write it in pseudocode, which is written in simple English that makes it easy to understand. This tutorial will help you learn more about pseudocode in C.

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The pseudocode in C is an informal way of writing a program for better human understanding. It is written in simple English, making the complex program easier to understand. 

Pseudocode cannot be compiled or interpreted. It doesn't follow the programming language's syntax; it is thus written in pseudocode so that any programmers or non-programmers can easily understand it. 

Consider the following source code example:

Int  n = 10

for( i=0;i<n;i++)

The above source code is converted into a pseudo-code to understand in a better way.

The value ten is assigned to the variable n.

For value = zero to less than a number.

Display the numbers.

Consider the above image as an example of how the factory workers are supplying the packages. The other workers are tracking items, and engineers are processing the business report; In general, the whole process is done step by step. 

Similarly, you have C programming language algorithms, which follow a step-by-step procedure to solve a problem. You have the algorithm to execute a set of instructions in a particular order to get an output.

You will go through a few examples that will help you understand how to write Pseudo-code in C.

Algorithm for the Program Factorial of a Given Number.

Step 1: start 

Step 2: initialize fact = 1

Step 3: input from the user value n

Step 4: for i=1 to i <= n repeat the process

Step 5: fact = fact * i

Step 6: i++ [increament i by one]

Step 7: print fact value

Step 8: stop

Now let’s implement pseudo-code from the above algorithm.

Start program

Declare fact and n 

Enter number for n 

for i=1 to i <=n 

Perform fact = fact * i

Display fact

End program

By referring to the above pseudo-code, create a program for factorial of a given number using for loop.

Source Code:

#include <stdio.h>

void main()

int n, fact=1,i;

printf("enter value for n");


for(i=1; i<=n; i++)


printf("\n factorial of %d is %d", n, fact);


Now that you have understood pseudo-code writing in C and executing a program from it. 

It is time to consider another example.

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Algorithm to Find the Sum of Natural Numbers.

Step 1: start

Step 2: declare and initialize

            n, sum = 0 and i

Step 3: Input number n

Step 4: for i=1 to i<=n

Step 5: sum = sum + i

Step 6: i++ [increment i value by one]

Step 7: print sum

Let’s implement pseudo-code from the above algorithm.

Start program 

Declare variables n, sum = 0 and i

Enter the number for n

For i=1 to i<=n

Perform operation sum = sum + i

Increment i value by one

Hence, from the above pseudo-code, it becomes easy to understand the logic of the program.

Now, turn out pseudo-code into the program to find the sum of natural numbers.

int n, sum=0, i;

printf("enter the number of terms:");

scanf("%d", &n);

sum = sum+i;

printf("sum of series=%d",sum);


Up next, you have another example program on the Fibonacci series.

Now, perform the same steps to implement the program from the pseudo-code.


            n, i = 0

Step 3: input number n

Step 4: while ( i < n)


 Step 5: if ( n ==0) || (n == 1)

            return 0


            if(n == 2)

            return 1


            return (fib (n-1) + fib (n-2))

Step 6: print fibonacci series

Step 7: stop 

Declare variables n and i = 0

Enter the number for n to generate fibonacci series

while i < n

++i  [ increment i value ]

if n ==0 or n ==1

if (n ==2 )

Return ( fib(n-1) + fib (n-2))

Print fibonacci series

Followed by pseudo-code, generate the Fibonacci series program.

fib (int n)

if(n==0 || n==1)

return (1);

else return (fib(n-1)+fib(n-2));

printf("enter the number to generate fibonacci series:");

printf("fibonacci series:\n");


printf("%d \n",fib(i));


You will go through a few advantages and disadvantages for a better understanding.

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  • It is easy to understand even a complex program
  • It does not follow C programming language syntax
  • C programs can be easily generated by pseudo-code
  • It allows us to understand the logic of a program very quickly 
  • Pseudo-code can be modified easily 
  • Unlike the c programs, a pseudo-code cannot be compiled or interpreted from which errors cannot be identified 
  • As pseudo-code can be written in any order, so it becomes difficult to understand the flow of a program 

"Data Structures in C" can be your next topic. So far, you have learned the pseudo-code in the C programming language. The next fundamentals will be the data structures and the varieties in data structures used for different purposes.

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1.5: Problem Solving

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Unlike exercises, there is never a simple recipe for solving a problem. You can get better and better at solving problems, both by building up your background knowledge and by simply practicing. As you solve more problems (and learn how other people solved them), you learn strategies and techniques that can be useful. But no single strategy works every time.

Pólya’s How to Solve It

George Pólya was a great champion in the field of teaching effective problem solving skills. He was born in Hungary in 1887, received his Ph.D. at the University of Budapest, and was a professor at Stanford University (among other universities). He wrote many mathematical papers along with three books, most famously, “How to Solve it.” Pólya died at the age 98 in 1985.

In 1945, Pólya published the short book How to Solve It , which gave a four-step method for solving mathematical problems:

  • First, you have to understand the problem.
  • After understanding, then make a plan.
  • Carry out the plan.
  • Look back on your work. How could it be better?

This is all well and good, but how do you actually do these steps?!?! Steps 1. and 2. are particularly mysterious! How do you “make a plan?” That is where you need some tools in your toolbox, and some experience to draw upon.

Much has been written since 1945 to explain these steps in more detail, but the truth is that they are more art than science. This is where math becomes a creative endeavor (and where it becomes so much fun). We will articulate some useful problem solving strategies, but no such list will ever be complete. This is really just a start to help you on your way. The best way to become a skilled problem solver is to learn the background material well, and then to solve a lot of problems!

Problem Solving Strategy 1 (Guess and Test)

Make a guess and test to see if it satisfies the demands of the problem. If it doesn't, alter the guess appropriately and check again. Keep doing this until you find a solution.

Example \(\PageIndex{1}\)

Mr. Jones has a total of 25 chickens and cows on his farm. How many of each does he have if all together there are 76 feet?

Step 1: Understanding the problem

We are given in the problem that there are 25 chickens and cows.

All together there are 76 feet.

Chickens have 2 feet and cows have 4 feet.

We are trying to determine how many cows and how many chickens Mr. Jones has on his farm.

Step 2: Devise a plan

Going to use Guess and test along with making a tab

Many times the strategy below is used with guess and test.

Make a table and look for a pattern:

Procedure: Make a table reflecting the data in the problem. If done in an orderly way, such a table will often reveal patterns and relationships that suggest how the problem can be solved.

Step 3: Carry out the plan:

Step 4: Looking back:

Check: 12 + 13 = 25 heads

24 + 52 = 76 feet.

We have found a solution to this problem. I could use this strategy when there are a limited number of possible answers and when two items are the same but they have one characteristic that is different.

Check in question 1:


Place the digits 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13 in the circles to make the sums across and vertically equal 31.

Check in question 2:

Old McDonald has 250 chickens and goats in the barnyard. Altogether there are 760 feet. How many of each animal does he have? Make sure you use Polya’s 4 problem-solving steps.

Problem Solving Strategy 2 (Using a variable to find the sum of a sequence.)

Gauss's strategy for sequences:

last term = (fixed number) ( n -1) + first term

The fix number is the amount each term is increasing or decreasing by. "n" is the number of terms you have. You can use this formula to find the last term in the sequence or the number of terms you have in a sequence.

Example \(\PageIndex{2}\)

2, 5, 8, ... Find the 200th term.

Last term = 3(200-1) +2

Last term is 599.

Check in question 3:

Find the 320th term of 7, 10, 13, 16 …

Problem Solving Strategy 3 (Working Backwards)

This is considered a strategy in many schools. If you are given an answer, and the steps that were taken to arrive at that answer, you should be able to determine the starting point.

how many steps included in problem solving in c

Example \(\PageIndex{3}\)

Karen is thinking of a number. If you double it and subtract 7, you obtain 11. What is Karen’s number?

1. We start with 11 and work backwards.

2. The opposite of subtraction is addition. We will add 7 to 11. We are now at 18.

3. The opposite of doubling something is dividing by 2. 18/2 = 9

4. This should be our answer. Looking back:

9 x 2 = 18 -7 = 11

5. We have the right answer.

Check in question 4:

Christina is thinking of a number.

If you multiply her number by 93, add 6, and divide by 3, you obtain 436. What is her number? Solve this problem by working backwards. (5 points)

Problem Solving Strategy 4 (Looking for a Pattern)

Definition: Sequence

A sequence is a pattern involving an ordered arrangement of numbers.

We first need to find a pattern.

Ask yourself as you search for a pattern – are the numbers growing steadily larger? Steadily smaller? How is each number related?

Example \(\PageIndex{4}\)

1, 4, 7, 10, 13… Find the next 2 numbers.

The pattern is each number is increasing by 3. The next two numbers would be 16 and 19.

Example \(\PageIndex{5}\)

1, 4, 9, 16 … Find the next 2 numbers.

It looks like each number is a perfect square. \(1^2=1\), \(2^2=4\)

So the next numbers would be

Example \(\PageIndex{6}\)

10, 7, 4, 1, -2… Find the next 2 numbers.

In this sequence, the numbers are decreasing by 3. So the next 2 numbers would be

-5 – 3 = -8

Example \(\PageIndex{7}\)

1, 2, 4, 8 …Ffind the next two numbers.

This example is a little bit harder. The numbers are increasing but not by a constant. Maybe a factor?

So each number is being multiplied by 2.

16 x 2 = 32

Problem Solving Strategy 5 (Make a List)

Example \(\PageIndex{8}\)

Can perfect squares end in a 2 or a 3?

List all the squares of the numbers 1 to 20.

1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 100 121 144 169 196 225 256 289 324 361 400.

Now look at the number in the ones digits. Notice they are 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, or 9. Notice none of the perfect squares end in 2, 3, 7, or 8. This list suggests that perfect squares cannot end in a 2, 3, 7 or 8. But note that this is just an observation. To answer this question, one would need a mathematically rigorous proof.

Example \(\PageIndex{9}\)

How many different amounts of money can you have in your pocket if you have only three coins including only dimes and quarters?

Quarter’s dimes

0 3 30 cents

1 2 45 cents

2 1 60 cents

3 0 75 cents

Check in question 5:

How many ways can you make change for 23 cents using only pennies, nickels, and dimes? (10 points)

Problem Solving Strategy 6 (Process of Elimination)

This strategy can be used when there is only one possible solution.

Example \(\PageIndex{10}\)

I’m thinking of a number.

  • The number is odd.
  • It is more than 1 but less than 100.
  • It is greater than 20.
  • It is less than 5 times 7.
  • The sum of the digits is 7.
  • It is evenly divisible by 5.
  • We know it is an odd number between 1 and 100.
  • 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35. These are the possibilities.
  • 21 (2+1=3) No
  • 23 (2+3 = 5) No
  • 25 (2 + 5= 7) Yes

Using the same process we see there are no other numbers that meet this criteria. Also we notice 25 is divisible by 5. By using the strategy elimination, we have found our answer.

  • References (2)

Fallacies in Common Language

For each of the following statements, name the type of logical fallacy being used.

If you don’t want to drive from Boston to New York, then you will have to take the train.

Every time I go to Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers win. I should go there for every game.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady likes his footballs slightly underinflated. The “Cheatriots” have a history of bending or breaking the rules, so Brady must have told the equipment manager to make sure that the footballs were underinflated.

What you are doing is clearly illegal because it’s against the law.

The county supervisor voted against the new education tax. He must not believe in education.

“Apples a day keeps doctors away.” No one has said apples are bad, so this old saying must be true.

Wine has to be good for your health because… I mean, can you imagine a life without wine?

Studies show that slightly overweight senior citizens live longer than underweight ones. The extra weight must make people live longer.

Whenever our smoke detector beeps, my kids eat cereal for dinner. The loud beeping sound must make them want to eat cereal for some reason.

There is a scientist who works at a really good university, and he says there is no strong evidence for climate change, especially global warming. Some politicians also question climate change. So I don’t really believe it.

My neighbor cheats on his tax returns. I don’t believe anything he says.

A: “Don’t fight over small things. Just let them go.”

B: “What exactly are ‘small things’? How do I know what is small and what isn’t?”

A: “Well, small things are things you really don’t want to fight over.”

Propositions and Logic

List the set of integers that satisfy the following statement: A positive multiple of 5 and not a multiple of 2

List the set of integers that satisfy the following statement: Greater than 12 and less than or equal to 18

List the set of integers that satisfy the following statement: Even number less than 10 or odd number between 12 and 10

You qualify for a special discount if you are either

a full-time student in the state of California or

at least 18 and your income is less than $20,000 a year.

For each person below, determine if the person qualifies for this discount. If more information is needed, indicate that.

A 17-year-old full-time student at a California community college with no job

A 28-year-old man earning $50,000 a year

A 60-year-old grandmother who does not work and does not go to school

A boy in first grade

A mother making $18,000 a year and not enrolled in any college

A 22-year-old full-time student at Arizona State University with no job

A 18-year-old earning exactly $20,000 a year while attending UCLA part-time

Write the negation: Everyone failed the quiz today.

Write the negation: Someone in the car needs to use the restroom.

How can you prove this statement wrong?

“Everyone who ate at that restaurant got sick.”

“There was someone who ate at that restaurant and got sick.”

“There is no baseball player who can excel at both pitching and hitting. Everyone must choose one or the other.”

“Every student must have an ID number before registering for classes.”

Truth Tables

Translate each statement from symbolic notation into English sentences. Let A represent “Elvis is alive” and let G represent “Elvis gained weight.”

A ⋁ G

~( A ⋀ G )

G → ~ A

A ↔ ~ G

A ⋀ ~ G

~( A ⋁ G )

Create a truth table for each statement below.

A ⋀ ~ B

~(~ A ⋁ B )

( A ⋀ B ) → C

( A ⋁ B ) → ~ C

Complete the truth table for ( A ⋁ B ) ⋀ ~( A ⋀ B ).

We have been studying the inclusive or, which allows both A and B to be true. The exclusive or does not allow both to be true; it translates to “either A or B , but not both.” For each situation, decide whether the “or” is most likely exclusive or inclusive.

An entrée at a restaurant includes soup or a salad.

You should bring an umbrella or a raincoat with you.

We can keep driving on I-5 or get on I-405 at the next exit.

Use Gate 1 if you are at least 35 years old, or Gate 2 if you are younger.

You should save this document on your computer or a flash drive.

I am not sure if my pregnant wife is going to have a boy or a girl.

Consider the statement “If you are under age 17, then you cannot attend this movie.”

Write the converse.

Write the inverse.

Write the contrapositive.

Consider the statement “If you have a house in Beverly Hills, you are rich.”

Assume that the statement “If you swear, then you will get your mouth washed out with soap” is true. Which of the following statements must also be true?

If you don’t swear, then you won’t get your mouth washed out with soap.

If you don’t get your mouth washed out with soap, then you didn’t swear.

If you get your mouth washed out with soap, then you swore.

Write the negation: If Luke faces Vader, then Obi-Wan cannot interfere.

Write the negation: If you look both ways before crossing the street, then you will not get hit by a car.

Write the negation: If you weren’t talking, then you wouldn’t have missed the instructions.

Write the negation: If you score a goal now, we will win.

Assume that the biconditional statement “You will play in the game if and only if you attend all practices this week” is true. Which of the following situations could NOT happen?

You attended all practices this week and didn’t play in the game.

You didn’t attend all practices this week and played in the game.

You didn’t attend all practices this week and didn’t play in the game.

Use De Morgan’s Laws to rewrite the disjunction as a conjunction: It is not true that Tina likes Sprite or 7-Up.

Use De Morgan’s Laws to rewrite the disjunction as a conjunction: It is not true that the father or the mother of that child will be required to testify.

Use De Morgan’s Laws to rewrite the conjunction as a disjunction: It is not the case that both the House and the Senate passed the bill.

Use De Morgan’s Laws to rewrite the conjunction as a disjunction: It is not the case that you need a dated receipt and your credit card to return this item.

Analyzing Arguments

Determine whether each of the following is an inductive or deductive argument:

The new medicine works. We tried it on 100 patients, and all of them were cured.

Every student has an ID number. Sandra is a student, so she has an ID number.

Every angle of a rectangle is 90 degrees. A soccer field (pitch) is rectangular, so every corner is 90 degrees.

Everything that goes up comes down. I throw a ball up. It must come down.

Every time it rains, my grass grows fast. Rain speeds up the growth of grass.

Sports makes a person strong. My daughter plays basketball. She will be strong.

Analyze the validity of the argument.

Everyone who gets a degree in science will get a good job. I got a science degree. Therefore, I will get a good job.

If someone turns off the switch, the lights will not be on. The lights are off. Therefore, someone must have turned off the switch.

Suppose the statement: “If today is Dec. 25, then the store is closed.”

“Today is Dec. 25. Thus, the store is closed.” Which property was used? Is this valid?

“The store is not closed. So today is not Dec. 25.” Which property was used? Is this valid?

“The store is closed. Therefore, today must be Dec. 25.” Which property was used? Is this valid?

“Today is not Dec. 25. Thus, the store is open.” Which property was used? Is this valid?

For the following questions, use a Venn diagram or a truth table to determine the validity.

If a person is on this reality show, they must be self-absorbed. Laura is not self-absorbed. Therefore, Laura cannot be on this reality show.

If you are a triathlete, then you have outstanding endurance. LeBron James is not a triathlete. Therefore, LeBron does not have outstanding endurance.

Jamie must scrub the toilets or hose down the garbage cans. Jamie refuses to scrub the toilets. Therefore, Jamie will hose down the garbage cans.

Some of these kids are rude. Jimmy is one of these kids. Therefore, Jimmy is rude!

Every student brought a pencil or a pen. Marcie brought a pencil. Therefore, Marcie did not bring a pen.

If a creature is a chimpanzee, then it is a primate. If a creature is a primate, then it is a mammal. Bobo is a mammal. Therefore, Bobo is a chimpanzee.

Every cripsee is a domwow. Mekep is not a domwow. Therefore, Mekep is not a cripsee. (This sentence has a lot of made-up words, but it is still possible to check for the validity of the argument. This is a good practice for abstract thinking.)

Whoever dephels a kipoc will be bopied. I did not dephel any kipoc. Therefore, I will not be bopied. (Again, you do not need to know the meaning of each word to do this exercise.)

Problem Solving

For the following exercises, apply any problem-solving strategies and your critical-thinking skills to solve various types of problems. There is single formula or procedure to follow. Be flexible and consider all possibilities.

There are 13 postage stamps on the table. Some are 20-cent stamps while others are 45-cent stamps. The total postage value of these stamps is $4.10.

If they were all 20-cent stamps, would 13 of them add up to $4.10?

If there were five 20-cent stamps, would these stamps add up to $4.10?

How about ten 20-cent stamps? OK, you probably got some idea now.

How many 20-cent stamps are there?

Can you think of another way to solve the problem?

What would you say to a friend of yours who tries to help you out by writing a system of two equations to solve this problem?

Find the next two terms of each of the following sequences and explain why.

9, 7, 5, 3, …

0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, …

3, 6, 12, 24, …

0, 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, …

5, 7, 5, 5, 7, 5, 5, 7, 5, 5, …

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, … (Fibonacci Sequence) We will study it later.

A man bought an old car for $2000. He fixed it up and sold it for $2,500. But he missed it, so he brought it back for $3,200. Later, he sold it for $4,000. How much did he make in these transactions?

Is it $4,000 - $2,000 = $2,000?

He made $500 on the first sale and then $800 on the second. But he lost $700 in between when he re-purchased it. So is it $800 - $700 = $100?

Is it $500 + $800 = $1,300?

See the pattern below. Can you make a conjecture? Is it true? Can you prove it?

1+3=4 (=22).

1+3+5=9 (=32).

1+3+5+7=16 (=42).

A heart surgeon is about to perform a medical procedure on a boy. The surgeon told the nurses, “I want you to know that this is my son. I am operating on my own child today.” Everyone there knew that the boy was the surgeon’s son. But the surgeon was not the boy’s father. How can this be true?

What can “H.D.” in this little story be?

“H.D. sat on a wall. H.D. had a great fall. All the president’s horses and all the president’s men couldn’t put H.D. together again.”

You have decided to work out at the gym at least twice a week, but never on two consecutive days. If you are to keep the same schedule every week, list all possible days of the week) you can exercise at the gym.

A man must be married to have a mother-in-law but can be single and have a brother-in-law. Explain why.

Your sprinklers are set to water your plants at 6 am every morning during summer, when the daylight saving time is in effect. Once the time goes back to regular time (in November, say from PDT to PST), what time do your sprinklers start? (Hint: it’s either 5 am or 7 am.) What is the best way to explain this to your friend?

You are to visit a friend who lives 300 miles away. You drive to his house early in the morning, averaging 60 mph, but you return in the afternoon, when the freeway is jammed, at an average speed of 40 mph. Is the overall average speed 50 mph? Why or why not?

You have 10 identical pairs of black socks and 9 identical parts of white socks in your drawer, except each pair is not “paired up,” i.e., each sock is in the drawer, separated from all others. The room is completely dark, and you cannot see which socks you are taking out. How many socks do you have to pull out if you want to be sure that you get

A pair of white socks?

A pair of black socks?

Any matching pair?

A divorced 49-year-old man with a 25-year-old son marries a young woman whose mother is a widow. The 25-year-old son marries the widow and have a baby girl.

How is that baby related to the 49-year-old man? (The baby is his son’s daughter.)

How else is that baby related to the 49-year-old man? (The baby is his wife’s mother’s daughter.)

Does that baby have a step-brother? If so, under what conditions?

Who is that baby’s step-sister?

Combine your answers to describe how the 49-year-old man is related to the baby.

A person can be ½ Chinese and ½ Italian. Are the following cases possible?

½ Japanese, ¼ Russian, ¼ Irish

3/8 Scottish, 3/8 Vietnamese, ¼ Spanish

3/8 Mexican, ¼ Turkish, and ½ Norwegian

1/6 French, ½ Canadian, 1/3 Brazilian

½ Armenian, ¼ German, ½ Swedish

John says, “I don’t have any brothers, sisters, step-brothers, or step-sisters. See that tall woman? Her father is my mother’s child.” Who is the tall woman?

Contributors and Attributions

Saburo Matsumoto CC-BY-4.0


  • The Art of Effective Problem Solving: A Step-by-Step Guide

Author's Avatar

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft is an experienced continuous improvement manager with a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. With more than ten years of experience applying his skills across various industries, Daniel specializes in optimizing processes and improving efficiency. His approach combines practical experience with a deep understanding of business fundamentals to drive meaningful change.

  • Last Updated: February 6, 2023
  • Learn Lean Sigma
  • Problem Solving

Whether we realise it or not, problem solving skills are an important part of our daily lives. From resolving a minor annoyance at home to tackling complex business challenges at work, our ability to solve problems has a significant impact on our success and happiness. However, not everyone is naturally gifted at problem-solving, and even those who are can always improve their skills. In this blog post, we will go over the art of effective problem-solving step by step.

You will learn how to define a problem, gather information, assess alternatives, and implement a solution, all while honing your critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. Whether you’re a seasoned problem solver or just getting started, this guide will arm you with the knowledge and tools you need to face any challenge with confidence. So let’s get started!

Problem Solving Methodologies

Individuals and organisations can use a variety of problem-solving methodologies to address complex challenges. 8D and A3 problem solving techniques are two popular methodologies in the Lean Six Sigma framework.

Methodology of 8D (Eight Discipline) Problem Solving:

The 8D problem solving methodology is a systematic, team-based approach to problem solving. It is a method that guides a team through eight distinct steps to solve a problem in a systematic and comprehensive manner.

The 8D process consists of the following steps:

8D Problem Solving2 - Learnleansigma

  • Form a team: Assemble a group of people who have the necessary expertise to work on the problem.
  • Define the issue: Clearly identify and define the problem, including the root cause and the customer impact.
  • Create a temporary containment plan: Put in place a plan to lessen the impact of the problem until a permanent solution can be found.
  • Identify the root cause: To identify the underlying causes of the problem, use root cause analysis techniques such as Fishbone diagrams and Pareto charts.
  • Create and test long-term corrective actions: Create and test a long-term solution to eliminate the root cause of the problem.
  • Implement and validate the permanent solution: Implement and validate the permanent solution’s effectiveness.
  • Prevent recurrence: Put in place measures to keep the problem from recurring.
  • Recognize and reward the team: Recognize and reward the team for its efforts.

Download the 8D Problem Solving Template

A3 Problem Solving Method:

The A3 problem solving technique is a visual, team-based problem-solving approach that is frequently used in Lean Six Sigma projects. The A3 report is a one-page document that clearly and concisely outlines the problem, root cause analysis, and proposed solution.

The A3 problem-solving procedure consists of the following steps:

  • Determine the issue: Define the issue clearly, including its impact on the customer.
  • Perform root cause analysis: Identify the underlying causes of the problem using root cause analysis techniques.
  • Create and implement a solution: Create and implement a solution that addresses the problem’s root cause.
  • Monitor and improve the solution: Keep an eye on the solution’s effectiveness and make any necessary changes.

Subsequently, in the Lean Six Sigma framework, the 8D and A3 problem solving methodologies are two popular approaches to problem solving. Both methodologies provide a structured, team-based problem-solving approach that guides individuals through a comprehensive and systematic process of identifying, analysing, and resolving problems in an effective and efficient manner.

Step 1 – Define the Problem

The definition of the problem is the first step in effective problem solving. This may appear to be a simple task, but it is actually quite difficult. This is because problems are frequently complex and multi-layered, making it easy to confuse symptoms with the underlying cause. To avoid this pitfall, it is critical to thoroughly understand the problem.

To begin, ask yourself some clarifying questions:

  • What exactly is the issue?
  • What are the problem’s symptoms or consequences?
  • Who or what is impacted by the issue?
  • When and where does the issue arise?

Answering these questions will assist you in determining the scope of the problem. However, simply describing the problem is not always sufficient; you must also identify the root cause. The root cause is the underlying cause of the problem and is usually the key to resolving it permanently.

Try asking “why” questions to find the root cause:

  • What causes the problem?
  • Why does it continue?
  • Why does it have the effects that it does?

By repeatedly asking “ why ,” you’ll eventually get to the bottom of the problem. This is an important step in the problem-solving process because it ensures that you’re dealing with the root cause rather than just the symptoms.

Once you have a firm grasp on the issue, it is time to divide it into smaller, more manageable chunks. This makes tackling the problem easier and reduces the risk of becoming overwhelmed. For example, if you’re attempting to solve a complex business problem, you might divide it into smaller components like market research, product development, and sales strategies.

To summarise step 1, defining the problem is an important first step in effective problem-solving. You will be able to identify the root cause and break it down into manageable parts if you take the time to thoroughly understand the problem. This will prepare you for the next step in the problem-solving process, which is gathering information and brainstorming ideas.

Step 2 – Gather Information and Brainstorm Ideas

Brainstorming - Learnleansigma

Gathering information and brainstorming ideas is the next step in effective problem solving. This entails researching the problem and relevant information, collaborating with others, and coming up with a variety of potential solutions. This increases your chances of finding the best solution to the problem.

Begin by researching the problem and relevant information. This could include reading articles, conducting surveys, or consulting with experts. The goal is to collect as much information as possible in order to better understand the problem and possible solutions.

Next, work with others to gather a variety of perspectives. Brainstorming with others can be an excellent way to come up with new and creative ideas. Encourage everyone to share their thoughts and ideas when working in a group, and make an effort to actively listen to what others have to say. Be open to new and unconventional ideas and resist the urge to dismiss them too quickly.

Finally, use brainstorming to generate a wide range of potential solutions. This is the place where you can let your imagination run wild. At this stage, don’t worry about the feasibility or practicality of the solutions; instead, focus on generating as many ideas as possible. Write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how ridiculous or unusual it may appear. This can be done individually or in groups.

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential solutions, it’s time to assess them and select the best one. This is the next step in the problem-solving process, which we’ll go over in greater detail in the following section.

Step 3 – Evaluate Options and Choose the Best Solution

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential solutions, it’s time to assess them and select the best one. This is the third step in effective problem solving, and it entails weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, considering their feasibility and practicability, and selecting the solution that is most likely to solve the problem effectively.

To begin, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. This will assist you in determining the potential outcomes of each solution and deciding which is the best option. For example, a quick and easy solution may not be the most effective in the long run, whereas a more complex and time-consuming solution may be more effective in solving the problem in the long run.

Consider each solution’s feasibility and practicability. Consider the following:

  • Can the solution be implemented within the available resources, time, and budget?
  • What are the possible barriers to implementing the solution?
  • Is the solution feasible in today’s political, economic, and social environment?

You’ll be able to tell which solutions are likely to succeed and which aren’t by assessing their feasibility and practicability.

Finally, choose the solution that is most likely to effectively solve the problem. This solution should be based on the criteria you’ve established, such as the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, their feasibility and practicability, and your overall goals.

It is critical to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to problems. What is effective for one person or situation may not be effective for another. This is why it is critical to consider a wide range of solutions and evaluate each one based on its ability to effectively solve the problem.

Step 4 – Implement and Monitor the Solution

Communication the missing peice from Lean Six Sigma - Learnleansigma

When you’ve decided on the best solution, it’s time to put it into action. The fourth and final step in effective problem solving is to put the solution into action, monitor its progress, and make any necessary adjustments.

To begin, implement the solution. This may entail delegating tasks, developing a strategy, and allocating resources. Ascertain that everyone involved understands their role and responsibilities in the solution’s implementation.

Next, keep an eye on the solution’s progress. This may entail scheduling regular check-ins, tracking metrics, and soliciting feedback from others. You will be able to identify any potential roadblocks and make any necessary adjustments in a timely manner if you monitor the progress of the solution.

Finally, make any necessary modifications to the solution. This could entail changing the solution, altering the plan of action, or delegating different tasks. Be willing to make changes if they will improve the solution or help it solve the problem more effectively.

It’s important to remember that problem solving is an iterative process, and there may be times when you need to start from scratch. This is especially true if the initial solution does not effectively solve the problem. In these situations, it’s critical to be adaptable and flexible and to keep trying new solutions until you find the one that works best.

To summarise, effective problem solving is a critical skill that can assist individuals and organisations in overcoming challenges and achieving their objectives. Effective problem solving consists of four key steps: defining the problem, generating potential solutions, evaluating alternatives and selecting the best solution, and implementing the solution.

You can increase your chances of success in problem solving by following these steps and considering factors such as the pros and cons of each solution, their feasibility and practicability, and making any necessary adjustments. Furthermore, keep in mind that problem solving is an iterative process, and there may be times when you need to go back to the beginning and restart. Maintain your adaptability and try new solutions until you find the one that works best for you.

  • Novick, L.R. and Bassok, M., 2005.  Problem Solving . Cambridge University Press.

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Daniel Croft is a seasoned continuous improvement manager with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. With over 10 years of real-world application experience across diverse sectors, Daniel has a passion for optimizing processes and fostering a culture of efficiency. He's not just a practitioner but also an avid learner, constantly seeking to expand his knowledge. Outside of his professional life, Daniel has a keen Investing, statistics and knowledge-sharing, which led him to create the website learnleansigma.com, a platform dedicated to Lean Six Sigma and process improvement insights.

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35 problem-solving techniques and methods for solving complex problems

Problem solving workshop

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All teams and organizations encounter challenges as they grow. There are problems that might occur for teams when it comes to miscommunication or resolving business-critical issues . You may face challenges around growth , design , user engagement, and even team culture and happiness. In short, problem-solving techniques should be part of every team’s skillset.

Problem-solving methods are primarily designed to help a group or team through a process of first identifying problems and challenges , ideating possible solutions , and then evaluating the most suitable .

Finding effective solutions to complex problems isn’t easy, but by using the right process and techniques, you can help your team be more efficient in the process.

So how do you develop strategies that are engaging, and empower your team to solve problems effectively?

In this blog post, we share a series of problem-solving tools you can use in your next workshop or team meeting. You’ll also find some tips for facilitating the process and how to enable others to solve complex problems.

Let’s get started! 

How do you identify problems?

How do you identify the right solution.

  • Tips for more effective problem-solving

Complete problem-solving methods

  • Problem-solving techniques to identify and analyze problems
  • Problem-solving techniques for developing solutions

Problem-solving warm-up activities

Closing activities for a problem-solving process.

Before you can move towards finding the right solution for a given problem, you first need to identify and define the problem you wish to solve. 

Here, you want to clearly articulate what the problem is and allow your group to do the same. Remember that everyone in a group is likely to have differing perspectives and alignment is necessary in order to help the group move forward. 

Identifying a problem accurately also requires that all members of a group are able to contribute their views in an open and safe manner. It can be scary for people to stand up and contribute, especially if the problems or challenges are emotive or personal in nature. Be sure to try and create a psychologically safe space for these kinds of discussions.

Remember that problem analysis and further discussion are also important. Not taking the time to fully analyze and discuss a challenge can result in the development of solutions that are not fit for purpose or do not address the underlying issue.

Successfully identifying and then analyzing a problem means facilitating a group through activities designed to help them clearly and honestly articulate their thoughts and produce usable insight.

With this data, you might then produce a problem statement that clearly describes the problem you wish to be addressed and also state the goal of any process you undertake to tackle this issue.  

Finding solutions is the end goal of any process. Complex organizational challenges can only be solved with an appropriate solution but discovering them requires using the right problem-solving tool.

After you’ve explored a problem and discussed ideas, you need to help a team discuss and choose the right solution. Consensus tools and methods such as those below help a group explore possible solutions before then voting for the best. They’re a great way to tap into the collective intelligence of the group for great results!

Remember that the process is often iterative. Great problem solvers often roadtest a viable solution in a measured way to see what works too. While you might not get the right solution on your first try, the methods below help teams land on the most likely to succeed solution while also holding space for improvement.

Every effective problem solving process begins with an agenda . A well-structured workshop is one of the best methods for successfully guiding a group from exploring a problem to implementing a solution.

In SessionLab, it’s easy to go from an idea to a complete agenda . Start by dragging and dropping your core problem solving activities into place . Add timings, breaks and necessary materials before sharing your agenda with your colleagues.

The resulting agenda will be your guide to an effective and productive problem solving session that will also help you stay organized on the day!

how many steps included in problem solving in c

Tips for more effective problem solving

Problem-solving activities are only one part of the puzzle. While a great method can help unlock your team’s ability to solve problems, without a thoughtful approach and strong facilitation the solutions may not be fit for purpose.

Let’s take a look at some problem-solving tips you can apply to any process to help it be a success!

Clearly define the problem

Jumping straight to solutions can be tempting, though without first clearly articulating a problem, the solution might not be the right one. Many of the problem-solving activities below include sections where the problem is explored and clearly defined before moving on.

This is a vital part of the problem-solving process and taking the time to fully define an issue can save time and effort later. A clear definition helps identify irrelevant information and it also ensures that your team sets off on the right track.

Don’t jump to conclusions

It’s easy for groups to exhibit cognitive bias or have preconceived ideas about both problems and potential solutions. Be sure to back up any problem statements or potential solutions with facts, research, and adequate forethought.

The best techniques ask participants to be methodical and challenge preconceived notions. Make sure you give the group enough time and space to collect relevant information and consider the problem in a new way. By approaching the process with a clear, rational mindset, you’ll often find that better solutions are more forthcoming.  

Try different approaches  

Problems come in all shapes and sizes and so too should the methods you use to solve them. If you find that one approach isn’t yielding results and your team isn’t finding different solutions, try mixing it up. You’ll be surprised at how using a new creative activity can unblock your team and generate great solutions.

Don’t take it personally 

Depending on the nature of your team or organizational problems, it’s easy for conversations to get heated. While it’s good for participants to be engaged in the discussions, ensure that emotions don’t run too high and that blame isn’t thrown around while finding solutions.

You’re all in it together, and even if your team or area is seeing problems, that isn’t necessarily a disparagement of you personally. Using facilitation skills to manage group dynamics is one effective method of helping conversations be more constructive.

Get the right people in the room

Your problem-solving method is often only as effective as the group using it. Getting the right people on the job and managing the number of people present is important too!

If the group is too small, you may not get enough different perspectives to effectively solve a problem. If the group is too large, you can go round and round during the ideation stages.

Creating the right group makeup is also important in ensuring you have the necessary expertise and skillset to both identify and follow up on potential solutions. Carefully consider who to include at each stage to help ensure your problem-solving method is followed and positioned for success.

Document everything

The best solutions can take refinement, iteration, and reflection to come out. Get into a habit of documenting your process in order to keep all the learnings from the session and to allow ideas to mature and develop. Many of the methods below involve the creation of documents or shared resources. Be sure to keep and share these so everyone can benefit from the work done!

Bring a facilitator 

Facilitation is all about making group processes easier. With a subject as potentially emotive and important as problem-solving, having an impartial third party in the form of a facilitator can make all the difference in finding great solutions and keeping the process moving. Consider bringing a facilitator to your problem-solving session to get better results and generate meaningful solutions!

Develop your problem-solving skills

It takes time and practice to be an effective problem solver. While some roles or participants might more naturally gravitate towards problem-solving, it can take development and planning to help everyone create better solutions.

You might develop a training program, run a problem-solving workshop or simply ask your team to practice using the techniques below. Check out our post on problem-solving skills to see how you and your group can develop the right mental process and be more resilient to issues too!

Design a great agenda

Workshops are a great format for solving problems. With the right approach, you can focus a group and help them find the solutions to their own problems. But designing a process can be time-consuming and finding the right activities can be difficult.

Check out our workshop planning guide to level-up your agenda design and start running more effective workshops. Need inspiration? Check out templates designed by expert facilitators to help you kickstart your process!

In this section, we’ll look at in-depth problem-solving methods that provide a complete end-to-end process for developing effective solutions. These will help guide your team from the discovery and definition of a problem through to delivering the right solution.

If you’re looking for an all-encompassing method or problem-solving model, these processes are a great place to start. They’ll ask your team to challenge preconceived ideas and adopt a mindset for solving problems more effectively.

  • Six Thinking Hats
  • Lightning Decision Jam
  • Problem Definition Process
  • Discovery & Action Dialogue
Design Sprint 2.0
  • Open Space Technology

1. Six Thinking Hats

Individual approaches to solving a problem can be very different based on what team or role an individual holds. It can be easy for existing biases or perspectives to find their way into the mix, or for internal politics to direct a conversation.

Six Thinking Hats is a classic method for identifying the problems that need to be solved and enables your team to consider them from different angles, whether that is by focusing on facts and data, creative solutions, or by considering why a particular solution might not work.

Like all problem-solving frameworks, Six Thinking Hats is effective at helping teams remove roadblocks from a conversation or discussion and come to terms with all the aspects necessary to solve complex problems.

2. Lightning Decision Jam

Featured courtesy of Jonathan Courtney of AJ&Smart Berlin, Lightning Decision Jam is one of those strategies that should be in every facilitation toolbox. Exploring problems and finding solutions is often creative in nature, though as with any creative process, there is the potential to lose focus and get lost.

Unstructured discussions might get you there in the end, but it’s much more effective to use a method that creates a clear process and team focus.

In Lightning Decision Jam, participants are invited to begin by writing challenges, concerns, or mistakes on post-its without discussing them before then being invited by the moderator to present them to the group.

From there, the team vote on which problems to solve and are guided through steps that will allow them to reframe those problems, create solutions and then decide what to execute on. 

By deciding the problems that need to be solved as a team before moving on, this group process is great for ensuring the whole team is aligned and can take ownership over the next stages. 

Lightning Decision Jam (LDJ)   #action   #decision making   #problem solving   #issue analysis   #innovation   #design   #remote-friendly   The problem with anything that requires creative thinking is that it’s easy to get lost—lose focus and fall into the trap of having useless, open-ended, unstructured discussions. Here’s the most effective solution I’ve found: Replace all open, unstructured discussion with a clear process. What to use this exercise for: Anything which requires a group of people to make decisions, solve problems or discuss challenges. It’s always good to frame an LDJ session with a broad topic, here are some examples: The conversion flow of our checkout Our internal design process How we organise events Keeping up with our competition Improving sales flow

3. Problem Definition Process

While problems can be complex, the problem-solving methods you use to identify and solve those problems can often be simple in design. 

By taking the time to truly identify and define a problem before asking the group to reframe the challenge as an opportunity, this method is a great way to enable change.

Begin by identifying a focus question and exploring the ways in which it manifests before splitting into five teams who will each consider the problem using a different method: escape, reversal, exaggeration, distortion or wishful. Teams develop a problem objective and create ideas in line with their method before then feeding them back to the group.

This method is great for enabling in-depth discussions while also creating space for finding creative solutions too!

Problem Definition   #problem solving   #idea generation   #creativity   #online   #remote-friendly   A problem solving technique to define a problem, challenge or opportunity and to generate ideas.

4. The 5 Whys 

Sometimes, a group needs to go further with their strategies and analyze the root cause at the heart of organizational issues. An RCA or root cause analysis is the process of identifying what is at the heart of business problems or recurring challenges. 

The 5 Whys is a simple and effective method of helping a group go find the root cause of any problem or challenge and conduct analysis that will deliver results. 

By beginning with the creation of a problem statement and going through five stages to refine it, The 5 Whys provides everything you need to truly discover the cause of an issue.

The 5 Whys   #hyperisland   #innovation   This simple and powerful method is useful for getting to the core of a problem or challenge. As the title suggests, the group defines a problems, then asks the question “why” five times, often using the resulting explanation as a starting point for creative problem solving.

5. World Cafe

World Cafe is a simple but powerful facilitation technique to help bigger groups to focus their energy and attention on solving complex problems.

World Cafe enables this approach by creating a relaxed atmosphere where participants are able to self-organize and explore topics relevant and important to them which are themed around a central problem-solving purpose. Create the right atmosphere by modeling your space after a cafe and after guiding the group through the method, let them take the lead!

Making problem-solving a part of your organization’s culture in the long term can be a difficult undertaking. More approachable formats like World Cafe can be especially effective in bringing people unfamiliar with workshops into the fold. 

World Cafe   #hyperisland   #innovation   #issue analysis   World Café is a simple yet powerful method, originated by Juanita Brown, for enabling meaningful conversations driven completely by participants and the topics that are relevant and important to them. Facilitators create a cafe-style space and provide simple guidelines. Participants then self-organize and explore a set of relevant topics or questions for conversation.

6. Discovery & Action Dialogue (DAD)

One of the best approaches is to create a safe space for a group to share and discover practices and behaviors that can help them find their own solutions.

With DAD, you can help a group choose which problems they wish to solve and which approaches they will take to do so. It’s great at helping remove resistance to change and can help get buy-in at every level too!

This process of enabling frontline ownership is great in ensuring follow-through and is one of the methods you will want in your toolbox as a facilitator.

Discovery & Action Dialogue (DAD)   #idea generation   #liberating structures   #action   #issue analysis   #remote-friendly   DADs make it easy for a group or community to discover practices and behaviors that enable some individuals (without access to special resources and facing the same constraints) to find better solutions than their peers to common problems. These are called positive deviant (PD) behaviors and practices. DADs make it possible for people in the group, unit, or community to discover by themselves these PD practices. DADs also create favorable conditions for stimulating participants’ creativity in spaces where they can feel safe to invent new and more effective practices. Resistance to change evaporates as participants are unleashed to choose freely which practices they will adopt or try and which problems they will tackle. DADs make it possible to achieve frontline ownership of solutions.

7. Design Sprint 2.0

Want to see how a team can solve big problems and move forward with prototyping and testing solutions in a few days? The Design Sprint 2.0 template from Jake Knapp, author of Sprint, is a complete agenda for a with proven results.

Developing the right agenda can involve difficult but necessary planning. Ensuring all the correct steps are followed can also be stressful or time-consuming depending on your level of experience.

Use this complete 4-day workshop template if you are finding there is no obvious solution to your challenge and want to focus your team around a specific problem that might require a shortcut to launching a minimum viable product or waiting for the organization-wide implementation of a solution.

8. Open space technology

Open space technology- developed by Harrison Owen – creates a space where large groups are invited to take ownership of their problem solving and lead individual sessions. Open space technology is a great format when you have a great deal of expertise and insight in the room and want to allow for different takes and approaches on a particular theme or problem you need to be solved.

Start by bringing your participants together to align around a central theme and focus their efforts. Explain the ground rules to help guide the problem-solving process and then invite members to identify any issue connecting to the central theme that they are interested in and are prepared to take responsibility for.

Once participants have decided on their approach to the core theme, they write their issue on a piece of paper, announce it to the group, pick a session time and place, and post the paper on the wall. As the wall fills up with sessions, the group is then invited to join the sessions that interest them the most and which they can contribute to, then you’re ready to begin!

Everyone joins the problem-solving group they’ve signed up to, record the discussion and if appropriate, findings can then be shared with the rest of the group afterward.

Open Space Technology   #action plan   #idea generation   #problem solving   #issue analysis   #large group   #online   #remote-friendly   Open Space is a methodology for large groups to create their agenda discerning important topics for discussion, suitable for conferences, community gatherings and whole system facilitation

Techniques to identify and analyze problems

Using a problem-solving method to help a team identify and analyze a problem can be a quick and effective addition to any workshop or meeting.

While further actions are always necessary, you can generate momentum and alignment easily, and these activities are a great place to get started.

We’ve put together this list of techniques to help you and your team with problem identification, analysis, and discussion that sets the foundation for developing effective solutions.

Let’s take a look!

  • The Creativity Dice
  • Fishbone Analysis
  • Problem Tree
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Agreement-Certainty Matrix
  • The Journalistic Six
  • LEGO Challenge
  • What, So What, Now What?
  • Journalists

Individual and group perspectives are incredibly important, but what happens if people are set in their minds and need a change of perspective in order to approach a problem more effectively?

Flip It is a method we love because it is both simple to understand and run, and allows groups to understand how their perspectives and biases are formed. 

Participants in Flip It are first invited to consider concerns, issues, or problems from a perspective of fear and write them on a flip chart. Then, the group is asked to consider those same issues from a perspective of hope and flip their understanding.  

No problem and solution is free from existing bias and by changing perspectives with Flip It, you can then develop a problem solving model quickly and effectively.

Flip It!   #gamestorming   #problem solving   #action   Often, a change in a problem or situation comes simply from a change in our perspectives. Flip It! is a quick game designed to show players that perspectives are made, not born.

10. The Creativity Dice

One of the most useful problem solving skills you can teach your team is of approaching challenges with creativity, flexibility, and openness. Games like The Creativity Dice allow teams to overcome the potential hurdle of too much linear thinking and approach the process with a sense of fun and speed. 

In The Creativity Dice, participants are organized around a topic and roll a dice to determine what they will work on for a period of 3 minutes at a time. They might roll a 3 and work on investigating factual information on the chosen topic. They might roll a 1 and work on identifying the specific goals, standards, or criteria for the session.

Encouraging rapid work and iteration while asking participants to be flexible are great skills to cultivate. Having a stage for idea incubation in this game is also important. Moments of pause can help ensure the ideas that are put forward are the most suitable. 

The Creativity Dice   #creativity   #problem solving   #thiagi   #issue analysis   Too much linear thinking is hazardous to creative problem solving. To be creative, you should approach the problem (or the opportunity) from different points of view. You should leave a thought hanging in mid-air and move to another. This skipping around prevents premature closure and lets your brain incubate one line of thought while you consciously pursue another.

11. Fishbone Analysis

Organizational or team challenges are rarely simple, and it’s important to remember that one problem can be an indication of something that goes deeper and may require further consideration to be solved.

Fishbone Analysis helps groups to dig deeper and understand the origins of a problem. It’s a great example of a root cause analysis method that is simple for everyone on a team to get their head around. 

Participants in this activity are asked to annotate a diagram of a fish, first adding the problem or issue to be worked on at the head of a fish before then brainstorming the root causes of the problem and adding them as bones on the fish. 

Using abstractions such as a diagram of a fish can really help a team break out of their regular thinking and develop a creative approach.

Fishbone Analysis   #problem solving   ##root cause analysis   #decision making   #online facilitation   A process to help identify and understand the origins of problems, issues or observations.

12. Problem Tree 

Encouraging visual thinking can be an essential part of many strategies. By simply reframing and clarifying problems, a group can move towards developing a problem solving model that works for them. 

In Problem Tree, groups are asked to first brainstorm a list of problems – these can be design problems, team problems or larger business problems – and then organize them into a hierarchy. The hierarchy could be from most important to least important or abstract to practical, though the key thing with problem solving games that involve this aspect is that your group has some way of managing and sorting all the issues that are raised.

Once you have a list of problems that need to be solved and have organized them accordingly, you’re then well-positioned for the next problem solving steps.

Problem tree   #define intentions   #create   #design   #issue analysis   A problem tree is a tool to clarify the hierarchy of problems addressed by the team within a design project; it represents high level problems or related sublevel problems.

13. SWOT Analysis

Chances are you’ve heard of the SWOT Analysis before. This problem-solving method focuses on identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is a tried and tested method for both individuals and teams.

Start by creating a desired end state or outcome and bare this in mind – any process solving model is made more effective by knowing what you are moving towards. Create a quadrant made up of the four categories of a SWOT analysis and ask participants to generate ideas based on each of those quadrants.

Once you have those ideas assembled in their quadrants, cluster them together based on their affinity with other ideas. These clusters are then used to facilitate group conversations and move things forward. 

SWOT analysis   #gamestorming   #problem solving   #action   #meeting facilitation   The SWOT Analysis is a long-standing technique of looking at what we have, with respect to the desired end state, as well as what we could improve on. It gives us an opportunity to gauge approaching opportunities and dangers, and assess the seriousness of the conditions that affect our future. When we understand those conditions, we can influence what comes next.

14. Agreement-Certainty Matrix

Not every problem-solving approach is right for every challenge, and deciding on the right method for the challenge at hand is a key part of being an effective team.

The Agreement Certainty matrix helps teams align on the nature of the challenges facing them. By sorting problems from simple to chaotic, your team can understand what methods are suitable for each problem and what they can do to ensure effective results. 

If you are already using Liberating Structures techniques as part of your problem-solving strategy, the Agreement-Certainty Matrix can be an invaluable addition to your process. We’ve found it particularly if you are having issues with recurring problems in your organization and want to go deeper in understanding the root cause. 

Agreement-Certainty Matrix   #issue analysis   #liberating structures   #problem solving   You can help individuals or groups avoid the frequent mistake of trying to solve a problem with methods that are not adapted to the nature of their challenge. The combination of two questions makes it possible to easily sort challenges into four categories: simple, complicated, complex , and chaotic .  A problem is simple when it can be solved reliably with practices that are easy to duplicate.  It is complicated when experts are required to devise a sophisticated solution that will yield the desired results predictably.  A problem is complex when there are several valid ways to proceed but outcomes are not predictable in detail.  Chaotic is when the context is too turbulent to identify a path forward.  A loose analogy may be used to describe these differences: simple is like following a recipe, complicated like sending a rocket to the moon, complex like raising a child, and chaotic is like the game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”  The Liberating Structures Matching Matrix in Chapter 5 can be used as the first step to clarify the nature of a challenge and avoid the mismatches between problems and solutions that are frequently at the root of chronic, recurring problems.

Organizing and charting a team’s progress can be important in ensuring its success. SQUID (Sequential Question and Insight Diagram) is a great model that allows a team to effectively switch between giving questions and answers and develop the skills they need to stay on track throughout the process. 

Begin with two different colored sticky notes – one for questions and one for answers – and with your central topic (the head of the squid) on the board. Ask the group to first come up with a series of questions connected to their best guess of how to approach the topic. Ask the group to come up with answers to those questions, fix them to the board and connect them with a line. After some discussion, go back to question mode by responding to the generated answers or other points on the board.

It’s rewarding to see a diagram grow throughout the exercise, and a completed SQUID can provide a visual resource for future effort and as an example for other teams.

SQUID   #gamestorming   #project planning   #issue analysis   #problem solving   When exploring an information space, it’s important for a group to know where they are at any given time. By using SQUID, a group charts out the territory as they go and can navigate accordingly. SQUID stands for Sequential Question and Insight Diagram.

16. Speed Boat

To continue with our nautical theme, Speed Boat is a short and sweet activity that can help a team quickly identify what employees, clients or service users might have a problem with and analyze what might be standing in the way of achieving a solution.

Methods that allow for a group to make observations, have insights and obtain those eureka moments quickly are invaluable when trying to solve complex problems.

In Speed Boat, the approach is to first consider what anchors and challenges might be holding an organization (or boat) back. Bonus points if you are able to identify any sharks in the water and develop ideas that can also deal with competitors!   

Speed Boat   #gamestorming   #problem solving   #action   Speedboat is a short and sweet way to identify what your employees or clients don’t like about your product/service or what’s standing in the way of a desired goal.

17. The Journalistic Six

Some of the most effective ways of solving problems is by encouraging teams to be more inclusive and diverse in their thinking.

Based on the six key questions journalism students are taught to answer in articles and news stories, The Journalistic Six helps create teams to see the whole picture. By using who, what, when, where, why, and how to facilitate the conversation and encourage creative thinking, your team can make sure that the problem identification and problem analysis stages of the are covered exhaustively and thoughtfully. Reporter’s notebook and dictaphone optional.

The Journalistic Six – Who What When Where Why How   #idea generation   #issue analysis   #problem solving   #online   #creative thinking   #remote-friendly   A questioning method for generating, explaining, investigating ideas.

18. LEGO Challenge

Now for an activity that is a little out of the (toy) box. LEGO Serious Play is a facilitation methodology that can be used to improve creative thinking and problem-solving skills. 

The LEGO Challenge includes giving each member of the team an assignment that is hidden from the rest of the group while they create a structure without speaking.

What the LEGO challenge brings to the table is a fun working example of working with stakeholders who might not be on the same page to solve problems. Also, it’s LEGO! Who doesn’t love LEGO! 

LEGO Challenge   #hyperisland   #team   A team-building activity in which groups must work together to build a structure out of LEGO, but each individual has a secret “assignment” which makes the collaborative process more challenging. It emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, conflict, cooperation, patience and problem solving strategy.

19. What, So What, Now What?

If not carefully managed, the problem identification and problem analysis stages of the problem-solving process can actually create more problems and misunderstandings.

The What, So What, Now What? problem-solving activity is designed to help collect insights and move forward while also eliminating the possibility of disagreement when it comes to identifying, clarifying, and analyzing organizational or work problems. 

Facilitation is all about bringing groups together so that might work on a shared goal and the best problem-solving strategies ensure that teams are aligned in purpose, if not initially in opinion or insight.

Throughout the three steps of this game, you give everyone on a team to reflect on a problem by asking what happened, why it is important, and what actions should then be taken. 

This can be a great activity for bringing our individual perceptions about a problem or challenge and contextualizing it in a larger group setting. This is one of the most important problem-solving skills you can bring to your organization.

W³ – What, So What, Now What?   #issue analysis   #innovation   #liberating structures   You can help groups reflect on a shared experience in a way that builds understanding and spurs coordinated action while avoiding unproductive conflict. It is possible for every voice to be heard while simultaneously sifting for insights and shaping new direction. Progressing in stages makes this practical—from collecting facts about What Happened to making sense of these facts with So What and finally to what actions logically follow with Now What . The shared progression eliminates most of the misunderstandings that otherwise fuel disagreements about what to do. Voila!

20. Journalists  

Problem analysis can be one of the most important and decisive stages of all problem-solving tools. Sometimes, a team can become bogged down in the details and are unable to move forward.

Journalists is an activity that can avoid a group from getting stuck in the problem identification or problem analysis stages of the process.

In Journalists, the group is invited to draft the front page of a fictional newspaper and figure out what stories deserve to be on the cover and what headlines those stories will have. By reframing how your problems and challenges are approached, you can help a team move productively through the process and be better prepared for the steps to follow.

Journalists   #vision   #big picture   #issue analysis   #remote-friendly   This is an exercise to use when the group gets stuck in details and struggles to see the big picture. Also good for defining a vision.

Problem-solving techniques for developing solutions 

The success of any problem-solving process can be measured by the solutions it produces. After you’ve defined the issue, explored existing ideas, and ideated, it’s time to narrow down to the correct solution.

Use these problem-solving techniques when you want to help your team find consensus, compare possible solutions, and move towards taking action on a particular problem.

  • Improved Solutions
  • Four-Step Sketch
  • 15% Solutions
  • How-Now-Wow matrix
  • Impact Effort Matrix

21. Mindspin  

Brainstorming is part of the bread and butter of the problem-solving process and all problem-solving strategies benefit from getting ideas out and challenging a team to generate solutions quickly. 

With Mindspin, participants are encouraged not only to generate ideas but to do so under time constraints and by slamming down cards and passing them on. By doing multiple rounds, your team can begin with a free generation of possible solutions before moving on to developing those solutions and encouraging further ideation. 

This is one of our favorite problem-solving activities and can be great for keeping the energy up throughout the workshop. Remember the importance of helping people become engaged in the process – energizing problem-solving techniques like Mindspin can help ensure your team stays engaged and happy, even when the problems they’re coming together to solve are complex. 

MindSpin   #teampedia   #idea generation   #problem solving   #action   A fast and loud method to enhance brainstorming within a team. Since this activity has more than round ideas that are repetitive can be ruled out leaving more creative and innovative answers to the challenge.

22. Improved Solutions

After a team has successfully identified a problem and come up with a few solutions, it can be tempting to call the work of the problem-solving process complete. That said, the first solution is not necessarily the best, and by including a further review and reflection activity into your problem-solving model, you can ensure your group reaches the best possible result. 

One of a number of problem-solving games from Thiagi Group, Improved Solutions helps you go the extra mile and develop suggested solutions with close consideration and peer review. By supporting the discussion of several problems at once and by shifting team roles throughout, this problem-solving technique is a dynamic way of finding the best solution. 

Improved Solutions   #creativity   #thiagi   #problem solving   #action   #team   You can improve any solution by objectively reviewing its strengths and weaknesses and making suitable adjustments. In this creativity framegame, you improve the solutions to several problems. To maintain objective detachment, you deal with a different problem during each of six rounds and assume different roles (problem owner, consultant, basher, booster, enhancer, and evaluator) during each round. At the conclusion of the activity, each player ends up with two solutions to her problem.

23. Four Step Sketch

Creative thinking and visual ideation does not need to be confined to the opening stages of your problem-solving strategies. Exercises that include sketching and prototyping on paper can be effective at the solution finding and development stage of the process, and can be great for keeping a team engaged. 

By going from simple notes to a crazy 8s round that involves rapidly sketching 8 variations on their ideas before then producing a final solution sketch, the group is able to iterate quickly and visually. Problem-solving techniques like Four-Step Sketch are great if you have a group of different thinkers and want to change things up from a more textual or discussion-based approach.

Four-Step Sketch   #design sprint   #innovation   #idea generation   #remote-friendly   The four-step sketch is an exercise that helps people to create well-formed concepts through a structured process that includes: Review key information Start design work on paper,  Consider multiple variations , Create a detailed solution . This exercise is preceded by a set of other activities allowing the group to clarify the challenge they want to solve. See how the Four Step Sketch exercise fits into a Design Sprint

24. 15% Solutions

Some problems are simpler than others and with the right problem-solving activities, you can empower people to take immediate actions that can help create organizational change. 

Part of the liberating structures toolkit, 15% solutions is a problem-solving technique that focuses on finding and implementing solutions quickly. A process of iterating and making small changes quickly can help generate momentum and an appetite for solving complex problems.

Problem-solving strategies can live and die on whether people are onboard. Getting some quick wins is a great way of getting people behind the process.   

It can be extremely empowering for a team to realize that problem-solving techniques can be deployed quickly and easily and delineate between things they can positively impact and those things they cannot change. 

15% Solutions   #action   #liberating structures   #remote-friendly   You can reveal the actions, however small, that everyone can do immediately. At a minimum, these will create momentum, and that may make a BIG difference.  15% Solutions show that there is no reason to wait around, feel powerless, or fearful. They help people pick it up a level. They get individuals and the group to focus on what is within their discretion instead of what they cannot change.  With a very simple question, you can flip the conversation to what can be done and find solutions to big problems that are often distributed widely in places not known in advance. Shifting a few grains of sand may trigger a landslide and change the whole landscape.

25. How-Now-Wow Matrix

The problem-solving process is often creative, as complex problems usually require a change of thinking and creative response in order to find the best solutions. While it’s common for the first stages to encourage creative thinking, groups can often gravitate to familiar solutions when it comes to the end of the process. 

When selecting solutions, you don’t want to lose your creative energy! The How-Now-Wow Matrix from Gamestorming is a great problem-solving activity that enables a group to stay creative and think out of the box when it comes to selecting the right solution for a given problem.

Problem-solving techniques that encourage creative thinking and the ideation and selection of new solutions can be the most effective in organisational change. Give the How-Now-Wow Matrix a go, and not just for how pleasant it is to say out loud. 

How-Now-Wow Matrix   #gamestorming   #idea generation   #remote-friendly   When people want to develop new ideas, they most often think out of the box in the brainstorming or divergent phase. However, when it comes to convergence, people often end up picking ideas that are most familiar to them. This is called a ‘creative paradox’ or a ‘creadox’. The How-Now-Wow matrix is an idea selection tool that breaks the creadox by forcing people to weigh each idea on 2 parameters.

26. Impact and Effort Matrix

All problem-solving techniques hope to not only find solutions to a given problem or challenge but to find the best solution. When it comes to finding a solution, groups are invited to put on their decision-making hats and really think about how a proposed idea would work in practice. 

The Impact and Effort Matrix is one of the problem-solving techniques that fall into this camp, empowering participants to first generate ideas and then categorize them into a 2×2 matrix based on impact and effort.

Activities that invite critical thinking while remaining simple are invaluable. Use the Impact and Effort Matrix to move from ideation and towards evaluating potential solutions before then committing to them. 

Impact and Effort Matrix   #gamestorming   #decision making   #action   #remote-friendly   In this decision-making exercise, possible actions are mapped based on two factors: effort required to implement and potential impact. Categorizing ideas along these lines is a useful technique in decision making, as it obliges contributors to balance and evaluate suggested actions before committing to them.

27. Dotmocracy

If you’ve followed each of the problem-solving steps with your group successfully, you should move towards the end of your process with heaps of possible solutions developed with a specific problem in mind. But how do you help a group go from ideation to putting a solution into action? 

Dotmocracy – or Dot Voting -is a tried and tested method of helping a team in the problem-solving process make decisions and put actions in place with a degree of oversight and consensus. 

One of the problem-solving techniques that should be in every facilitator’s toolbox, Dot Voting is fast and effective and can help identify the most popular and best solutions and help bring a group to a decision effectively. 

Dotmocracy   #action   #decision making   #group prioritization   #hyperisland   #remote-friendly   Dotmocracy is a simple method for group prioritization or decision-making. It is not an activity on its own, but a method to use in processes where prioritization or decision-making is the aim. The method supports a group to quickly see which options are most popular or relevant. The options or ideas are written on post-its and stuck up on a wall for the whole group to see. Each person votes for the options they think are the strongest, and that information is used to inform a decision.

All facilitators know that warm-ups and icebreakers are useful for any workshop or group process. Problem-solving workshops are no different.

Use these problem-solving techniques to warm up a group and prepare them for the rest of the process. Activating your group by tapping into some of the top problem-solving skills can be one of the best ways to see great outcomes from your session.

  • Check-in/Check-out
  • Doodling Together
  • Show and Tell
  • Constellations
  • Draw a Tree

28. Check-in / Check-out

Solid processes are planned from beginning to end, and the best facilitators know that setting the tone and establishing a safe, open environment can be integral to a successful problem-solving process.

Check-in / Check-out is a great way to begin and/or bookend a problem-solving workshop. Checking in to a session emphasizes that everyone will be seen, heard, and expected to contribute. 

If you are running a series of meetings, setting a consistent pattern of checking in and checking out can really help your team get into a groove. We recommend this opening-closing activity for small to medium-sized groups though it can work with large groups if they’re disciplined!

Check-in / Check-out   #team   #opening   #closing   #hyperisland   #remote-friendly   Either checking-in or checking-out is a simple way for a team to open or close a process, symbolically and in a collaborative way. Checking-in/out invites each member in a group to be present, seen and heard, and to express a reflection or a feeling. Checking-in emphasizes presence, focus and group commitment; checking-out emphasizes reflection and symbolic closure.

29. Doodling Together  

Thinking creatively and not being afraid to make suggestions are important problem-solving skills for any group or team, and warming up by encouraging these behaviors is a great way to start. 

Doodling Together is one of our favorite creative ice breaker games – it’s quick, effective, and fun and can make all following problem-solving steps easier by encouraging a group to collaborate visually. By passing cards and adding additional items as they go, the workshop group gets into a groove of co-creation and idea development that is crucial to finding solutions to problems. 

Doodling Together   #collaboration   #creativity   #teamwork   #fun   #team   #visual methods   #energiser   #icebreaker   #remote-friendly   Create wild, weird and often funny postcards together & establish a group’s creative confidence.

30. Show and Tell

You might remember some version of Show and Tell from being a kid in school and it’s a great problem-solving activity to kick off a session.

Asking participants to prepare a little something before a workshop by bringing an object for show and tell can help them warm up before the session has even begun! Games that include a physical object can also help encourage early engagement before moving onto more big-picture thinking.

By asking your participants to tell stories about why they chose to bring a particular item to the group, you can help teams see things from new perspectives and see both differences and similarities in the way they approach a topic. Great groundwork for approaching a problem-solving process as a team! 

Show and Tell   #gamestorming   #action   #opening   #meeting facilitation   Show and Tell taps into the power of metaphors to reveal players’ underlying assumptions and associations around a topic The aim of the game is to get a deeper understanding of stakeholders’ perspectives on anything—a new project, an organizational restructuring, a shift in the company’s vision or team dynamic.

31. Constellations

Who doesn’t love stars? Constellations is a great warm-up activity for any workshop as it gets people up off their feet, energized, and ready to engage in new ways with established topics. It’s also great for showing existing beliefs, biases, and patterns that can come into play as part of your session.

Using warm-up games that help build trust and connection while also allowing for non-verbal responses can be great for easing people into the problem-solving process and encouraging engagement from everyone in the group. Constellations is great in large spaces that allow for movement and is definitely a practical exercise to allow the group to see patterns that are otherwise invisible. 

Constellations   #trust   #connection   #opening   #coaching   #patterns   #system   Individuals express their response to a statement or idea by standing closer or further from a central object. Used with teams to reveal system, hidden patterns, perspectives.

32. Draw a Tree

Problem-solving games that help raise group awareness through a central, unifying metaphor can be effective ways to warm-up a group in any problem-solving model.

Draw a Tree is a simple warm-up activity you can use in any group and which can provide a quick jolt of energy. Start by asking your participants to draw a tree in just 45 seconds – they can choose whether it will be abstract or realistic. 

Once the timer is up, ask the group how many people included the roots of the tree and use this as a means to discuss how we can ignore important parts of any system simply because they are not visible.

All problem-solving strategies are made more effective by thinking of problems critically and by exposing things that may not normally come to light. Warm-up games like Draw a Tree are great in that they quickly demonstrate some key problem-solving skills in an accessible and effective way.

Draw a Tree   #thiagi   #opening   #perspectives   #remote-friendly   With this game you can raise awarness about being more mindful, and aware of the environment we live in.

Each step of the problem-solving workshop benefits from an intelligent deployment of activities, games, and techniques. Bringing your session to an effective close helps ensure that solutions are followed through on and that you also celebrate what has been achieved.

Here are some problem-solving activities you can use to effectively close a workshop or meeting and ensure the great work you’ve done can continue afterward.

  • One Breath Feedback
  • Who What When Matrix
  • Response Cards

How do I conclude a problem-solving process?

All good things must come to an end. With the bulk of the work done, it can be tempting to conclude your workshop swiftly and without a moment to debrief and align. This can be problematic in that it doesn’t allow your team to fully process the results or reflect on the process.

At the end of an effective session, your team will have gone through a process that, while productive, can be exhausting. It’s important to give your group a moment to take a breath, ensure that they are clear on future actions, and provide short feedback before leaving the space. 

The primary purpose of any problem-solving method is to generate solutions and then implement them. Be sure to take the opportunity to ensure everyone is aligned and ready to effectively implement the solutions you produced in the workshop.

Remember that every process can be improved and by giving a short moment to collect feedback in the session, you can further refine your problem-solving methods and see further success in the future too.

33. One Breath Feedback

Maintaining attention and focus during the closing stages of a problem-solving workshop can be tricky and so being concise when giving feedback can be important. It’s easy to incur “death by feedback” should some team members go on for too long sharing their perspectives in a quick feedback round. 

One Breath Feedback is a great closing activity for workshops. You give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback on what they’ve done but only in the space of a single breath. This keeps feedback short and to the point and means that everyone is encouraged to provide the most important piece of feedback to them. 

One breath feedback   #closing   #feedback   #action   This is a feedback round in just one breath that excels in maintaining attention: each participants is able to speak during just one breath … for most people that’s around 20 to 25 seconds … unless of course you’ve been a deep sea diver in which case you’ll be able to do it for longer.

34. Who What When Matrix 

Matrices feature as part of many effective problem-solving strategies and with good reason. They are easily recognizable, simple to use, and generate results.

The Who What When Matrix is a great tool to use when closing your problem-solving session by attributing a who, what and when to the actions and solutions you have decided upon. The resulting matrix is a simple, easy-to-follow way of ensuring your team can move forward. 

Great solutions can’t be enacted without action and ownership. Your problem-solving process should include a stage for allocating tasks to individuals or teams and creating a realistic timeframe for those solutions to be implemented or checked out. Use this method to keep the solution implementation process clear and simple for all involved. 

Who/What/When Matrix   #gamestorming   #action   #project planning   With Who/What/When matrix, you can connect people with clear actions they have defined and have committed to.

35. Response cards

Group discussion can comprise the bulk of most problem-solving activities and by the end of the process, you might find that your team is talked out! 

Providing a means for your team to give feedback with short written notes can ensure everyone is head and can contribute without the need to stand up and talk. Depending on the needs of the group, giving an alternative can help ensure everyone can contribute to your problem-solving model in the way that makes the most sense for them.

Response Cards is a great way to close a workshop if you are looking for a gentle warm-down and want to get some swift discussion around some of the feedback that is raised. 

Response Cards   #debriefing   #closing   #structured sharing   #questions and answers   #thiagi   #action   It can be hard to involve everyone during a closing of a session. Some might stay in the background or get unheard because of louder participants. However, with the use of Response Cards, everyone will be involved in providing feedback or clarify questions at the end of a session.

Save time and effort discovering the right solutions

A structured problem solving process is a surefire way of solving tough problems, discovering creative solutions and driving organizational change. But how can you design for successful outcomes?

With SessionLab, it’s easy to design engaging workshops that deliver results. Drag, drop and reorder blocks  to build your agenda. When you make changes or update your agenda, your session  timing   adjusts automatically , saving you time on manual adjustments.

Collaborating with stakeholders or clients? Share your agenda with a single click and collaborate in real-time. No more sending documents back and forth over email.

Explore  how to use SessionLab  to design effective problem solving workshops or  watch this five minute video  to see the planner in action!

how many steps included in problem solving in c

Over to you

The problem-solving process can often be as complicated and multifaceted as the problems they are set-up to solve. With the right problem-solving techniques and a mix of creative exercises designed to guide discussion and generate purposeful ideas, we hope we’ve given you the tools to find the best solutions as simply and easily as possible.

Is there a problem-solving technique that you are missing here? Do you have a favorite activity or method you use when facilitating? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you! 

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thank you very much for these excellent techniques

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Certainly wonderful article, very detailed. Shared!

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Your list of techniques for problem solving can be helpfully extended by adding TRIZ to the list of techniques. TRIZ has 40 problem solving techniques derived from methods inventros and patent holders used to get new patents. About 10-12 are general approaches. many organization sponsor classes in TRIZ that are used to solve business problems or general organiztational problems. You can take a look at TRIZ and dwonload a free internet booklet to see if you feel it shound be included per your selection process.

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Problem Solving Through Programming In C

  • Formulate simple algorithms for arithmetic and logical problems
  • Translate the algorithms to programs (in C language)
  • Test and execute the programs and  correct syntax and logical errors
  • Implement conditional branching, iteration and recursion
  • Decompose a problem into functions and synthesize a complete program using divide and conquer approach
  • Use arrays, pointers and structures to formulate algorithms and programs
  • Apply programming to solve matrix addition and multiplication problems and searching and sorting problems 
  • Apply programming to solve simple numerical method problems, namely rot finding of function, differentiation of function and simple integration

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

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how many steps included in problem solving in c

Prof. Anupam Basu

Course certificate.

  • Assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course. 
  • ( All assignments in a particular week will be counted towards final scoring - quizzes and programming assignments). 
  • Unproctored programming exam score = 25% of the average scores obtained as part of Unproctored programming exam - out of 100
  • Proctored Exam score =50% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

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