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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Overwhelmed by Big Projects? – How to Tackle New Programming Projects

How can you avoid getting overwhelmed when starting a new project or working on a large project? Let’s talk about that today.

Today’s topic was how to basically avoid getting overwhelmed when starting a new project or when working on a large project. One of the key things you can do is break down your project into manageable chunks and try and chunk it down as small as possible.

So if you think about it, when you start creating a project, let’s say you’re trying to write a computer game. Now, you might get all overwhelmed as to where you wanna start, but try and break it down, as I said. So you might wanna start looking at the menu system. Instead of figuring out the game-play and so forth, perhaps you wanna have a menu where the player can select a new game and load a game or to quit out of the game. Now that’s already chunking the project down, but then you can break that down even further, so break the menu system down, and how do I actually display some text on the screen? Because obviously you need to display the text on the screen for a menu option.

So by breaking things down further and further each time, you’re doing two things. Firstly, you’re avoiding getting overwhelmed. You’re not focusing on this big, undefined project. You’re being very specific and you’re breaking it down into much smaller agendas, and you’re actually getting something done. So in this case, you’re figuring out how to get some text drawn on the screen. The key to this is to break your project down into small, manageable chunks, but also, it’s also a very good idea to try and map your thoughts out on paper. That’s something else that I recommend.

In fact, before you start coding, you should probably be doing that. So you wanna have a plan of what you’re trying to achieve. And I’ve just given you some examples of how to break a project down into manageable chunks, but what is actually better is to not just think about that and start coding, but just to write it down. That’s not to say you need to design the entire game on paper first, in this particular case, but you might wanna certainly break it down. So that menu component that I talked about, you probably wanna break that down and design that on paper, what you’re trying to achieve, break it down into the small chunks, and you’ve written that out.

Once you’ve got that, you can take what you’ve written down and start writing some code. So the key to all of this, break a project down into small, manageable chunks. I hope that helped. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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