How to Think Like a Programmer

If you are looking to develop a career in information technology or computer science, you need to think like a programmer.

Thinking like a real programmer will help you understand and solve problems intelligently and effectively. So how to think like a computer programmer?

This post will help you learn how to think and solve problems most effectively.

Changing the way you think is a long process. And here are the key things to do to build thinking and problem solving like a programmer.

1. Understand problems

The first step that plays an important role is to identify the exact problem. You only really understand a problem if you can rephrase it fluently.

Even the best programmers have at least once had a hard time understanding the problem they are facing. Therefore, when facing issues that confuse you, don’t give up. Write, draw, or use diagrams to understand the problem.

Explaining complex terms more simply, the deeper you know your problem.

2. Planning

Once you understand the task you must complete, you will certainly want to dive into the solution step immediately.

First, you need to make a detailed enough plan. With these steps, you can fully prepare the knowledge, skills, and tools to solve the problem.

You will need to process the information, taking advantage of any input to construct the steps necessary to return the output Y.

3. Cooperation

Programmers are often associated with working independently. However, they don’t sometimes handle the problem alone.

When faced with complex work, programmers often sit together. If they gather all ideas in one, the optimal solution might be available.

If you are starting as a programmer, try pair programming. Two people will share the same computer. One person will write the code, and the other will review, analyze, and solve the problem.

After a while, the two will switch tasks to realize the different views.

4. Divide and Solve each problem

You will need more time to handle a large workload. The most effective way to work is to divide your work into small tasks. Then you need to start with the simplest sub-problems, connect the results, and get the final solution.

This technique of breaking down and processing each task is fundamental to thinking and problem-solving like a programmer.

5. Practice

The early age of computer programming

After applying the above guidelines, do you need to notice a noticeable change in how you think? Things cannot change quickly if you do not practice regularly.

Practice problem-solving regularly. Try setting some challenges to avoid getting bored every time you do this task. For example, if you love writing unique code, give yourself a lesson on Coderbyte every day and complete them every day.

6. Don’t be afraid to look up

Even if you have practiced regularly, you may still need help completing the task. This difficulty happens to everyone.

Therefore, feel free to make mistakes. Try taking a step back to re-evaluate, debug, and see your task from a different perspective.

7. Get help

If you have tried to evaluate and view the task from many different perspectives but still do not achieve the desired effect, do not hesitate to seek help.

Colleagues, instructors, or accounts on top programming forums can all be your target audience for helpful advice and assistance.

8. Debug test


These debugging tests will allow you to improve your work. Some other tests can show defects in machines and equipment to help you make timely repairs.

In general, when performing tests and assessments, you will realize mistakes in your approach to problems, thereby drawing lessons in the future.

9. Get used to extended reading

There are quite a few materials that teach programming. They often present how the code is intended to work and could be shorter and more precise.

However, if you learn them, you will be able to find solutions to problems and errors that are encountered.

Like a seasoned programmer, learning to search and understand programming documentation is a wise way to think and problem-solve.


I have compiled the most frequently asked questions related to thinking and problem-solving. If you are also looking to dig deep into programmer logic, here is some information you should note.

Is programming a way of thinking?

Programming is a powerful thinking and discovery tool. It can execute code just fine. When a programmer uses programming techniques to express an idea, the idea is realized and testable. Similarly, during debugging, the programmer also addresses your thinking blind spots.

What is a programming mindset?

Coding thinking is about solving a sports-specific problem in a simple, readable, and understandable way. Coding review helps thinkers apply expertise to make effective programming decisions in the real world.

Are programmers’ brains different?

Several studies show differences between experienced and novice programmers in selective attention and behavioral performance. These differences come from fine-tuned brain activities on a distributed network.

How can I improve my problem-solving skills as a programmer?

To improve your problem-solving skills, you can practice coding challenges, take online courses and tutorials, and read code written by experienced developers.

Do you need a solid mathematical background?

While a solid understanding of mathematics is helpful for some programming areas, it is not a requirement for thinking like a programmer. Yet, it is essential to understand concepts like algorithms, data structures, and logic.

What is the role of logic in thinking like a programmer?

Logic is a fundamental aspect of thinking like a programmer. It involves breaking down problems into smaller and more manageable parts.


Above is a detailed guide on how to think like a programmer. Hopefully, through sharing in the article, you have specific answers to your questions.

I hope that you can solve problems well in all cases and achieve high efficiency in work. Thanks for following!