Monthly Archives: August 2018

Volkswagen Ameo Engine & Gearbox

Volkswagen Ameo Overview

As Indians we have a lot of unique things about us. Be it our food habits, culture or diversity across the nation to name a few. Unsurprisingly, our car market is pretty unique too and the biggest example of this are the sub 4-metre sedans on our roads. The status symbol that a sedan is, we prefer a three-box saloon even if it isn’t as spacious as an equally priced hatchback! Now that’s something that isn’t going to change for a while – perhaps why Volkswagen decided to develop a car specifically for the Indian car market, the Ameo. For More details on Price of Volkswagen cars check at carzprice.com

It’s exactly a year since Volkswagen confirmed plans of launching a sub 4-metre sedan developed specially for India, and we got to see the car first a day prior to the 2016 Auto Expo. And then came the pricing, along with the elaborate feature list which we’re sure has got other players thinking. We’ve finally spent a day driving the car, so here’s what it feels like in reality.

Volkswagen Ameo Exterior & Look

From the front the Volkswagen Ameo looks identical to the Polo. The bumper’s length has been reduced by 35mm to make space for the boot. Upto the C-pillar things remain the same. Then comes a new boot. From the rear, the Ameo looks more like the Skoda Rapid. The German automaker is looking at enhancing its reach with this new compact sedan. The wheelbase is the same as the Polo and there is no other difference, expect for a new boot and different colour options.

Volkswagen Ameo Interior & Space

The Volkswagen Ameo diesel has the same interiors as the petrol model and there is nothing to differentiate between the two models except the tachometer which is marked till 6000 RPM on the oil burner. The dual-tone black and beige interiors look very nice and this is nothing but a Polo cabin with slight improvements to the rear headroom due to the re-designed C-pillar. But the rear seat lacks in legroom, knee room and under-thigh support so this isn’t a car you would want to sit behind, specially if you are tall.

The Volkswagen Ameo is equipped with a ton of features, many of them are segment first like rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, window opening and closing using key remote, one-touch up/down for all windows and anti-pinch windows. There are decent amount of storage spaces but the boot is far from being the biggest in the segment. Where the Ameo can’t be matched is the build quality, it feels very solidly put-together and is made like a tank.

Volkswagen Ameo Engine & Gearbox

After the disappointment of VW’s anaemic 1.2 MPI petrol engine in the Ameo, we knew it could only be uphill from there. But this latest version of the 1.5 TDI diesel is just plain impressive. Sure, it’s a little noisy at start-up and at higher revs, but the car is quite well insulated and it’s something you can get used to. With 110hp and 250Nm, it’s a wee bit more powerful than the old version of this motor, thanks to a new, larger turbocharger. There’s no way to do an ‘apples to apples’ comparison with the old motor just yet, but we can tell you that in the Ameo, the new one feels supremely punchy and powerful.

Release the slightly firm clutch pedal in the five-speed manual Ameo TDI and it will jump off the line eagerly, the short first gear prompting you flick the light gear lever down into second shortly after. There is a noticeable surge of power at around 2000rpm but there on, there’s seemingly no let up right till 5000rpm. And since the powerband is relatively short even by diesel standards, you charge through it rather quickly. It’s even got a decent top end. And, because the gear ratios have been smartly chosen, there’s little in the way of perceptible lag too.

In fact, it’s when you drive the DSG automatic that you’ll feel the lag a bit more. Because it’s been designed to slur its way through the lower gears for a smoother take-off, you feel more of that sub-1,800rpm sluggishness from the motor. There is, of course, less of this when you tap the lever down to Sport mode and you can eliminate it altogether by selecting gears manually (again via the lever; there are no paddles), but ultimately, it’s the manual that is more fun to drive. For information on contact details of Volkswagen car dealers in Bangalore

The DSG is superb at being an automatic though. It’s smooth, clever and quick and makes matters so much more convenient in traffic. It’s hugely better than the AMT gearboxes you get in the Maruti Dzire and Tata Zest, but that does come at a premium.

Volkswagen Ameo Ride & Handling

The ride on the Ameo is on the stiffer side and the setup is able to absorb most bumps and imperfections without sending much back into the cabin. However, when you do hit a really deep pothole or bad imperfection the audibility of the suspension taking a beating is quite loud in the cabin. The slightly stiffer suspension setup provides decent stability at high speeds though the car tends to get flighty when encountering undulations at high speed and there is body roll when you go through the corners. However, one thing that Volkswagen has managed get right is the steering. It is precise, weighs up correctly and is an excellent tool for the ‘point and shoot’ style of driving

Volkswagen Ameo Price

Volkswagen Ameo Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 5,36,872/- (Ameo 1.2L MPI Petrol Trendline) to 9,88,149/- (Ameo 1.5L TDI Diesel Highline DSG AT). Get best offers for Volkswagen Ameo from Volkswagen Dealers in Hyderabad. Check the price of Ameo in Hyderabad

Volkswagen Ameo Verdict

The Volkswagen Ameo diesel is a very good package since it comes with great build quality, loaded equipment list, a power packed engine and two really nice gearboxes. The compact sedan does look a bit quirky from certain angles but looks are always subjective. Overall, Volkswagen has got a really fine product on their hands with the Ameo TDI and we really wish it fetches more sales now because the numbers of the petrol Ameo have been far from satisfying.

Hyundai Grand i10 Facelift Test Drive & Performance

Hyundai Grand i10 Overview

Hyundai Motors India LTD launched the facelift Grand i10 in India; the hatchback was unveiled for the first time in UK last year. While the hatchback is sold in the European market as the new generation i10 the same car is sold alongside its predecessor in the Indian market.The facelift hatchback which was launched yesterday promises redefined exterior styling, Hi-tech Features, improved performance and Fuel Efficiency. Priced in between INR 4.58 Lakhs – to INR 7.33 Lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), this new hatchback surely brings a lot on the table. View Offers & Price on Grand i10 in Mumbai 

Hyundai Grand i10 Exterior & Look

There are very few changes to the exteriors but they do give the car a fresher look. The front bumper gets a mild tweak in design which includes a new fog lamp housing, honey comb grille and LED DRLs, which come on only when the handbrake is disengaged. The side profile continues to remain similar save for the redesigned 14-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, the bumper gets the most apparent change which includes a thick black strip with circular reflectors on either side. The Grand i10 has always been a pleasant looking car and the update looks good too.

Hyundai Grand i10 Interior & space

At launch, the older Grand i10 was one of the most feature-rich cars in its segment and for the price. With time, however, these features were available in other cars and for much less. Hyundai though has clawed back some of its lost ground. The new Grand i10 comes with a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system which has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The system is easy to use and the only missing link there is an in-house navigation menu. However, this should be taken care of by the aforementioned apps. There is still 1GB of music storage within the system.

The steering wheel is new too and has a different pattern for the buttons with audio volumes to the left and others menus to the right. The buttons themselves are new too. The voice command option though will work only if you have connected your Android or Apple phone via USB. I would have preferred the simple idea that Maruti uses in the Baleno and other cars. Features that would have made the Grand an even better car will be height-adjustable seat belts, a centre armrest for the front seat occupants and a telescopic steering wheel. Other niceties that are carried over from the earlier car are a chilled glovebox, rear AC, automatic climate control, and power foldable and adjustable mirrors. The mirrors will also automatically close once you lock the car and unfold when unlocked. Neat! I however think that Hyundai should offer dual airbags as standard instead of just the driver airbag on all the models. Similarly ABS is available only on the top-spec Asta trims, which again in my opinion is a complete miss. If Hyundai could have gone the Maruti way by offering safety kit even as an option right from the base variants, it could have made much more sense.

Hyundai Grand i10 Engine & Gearbox

This new hatchback also gets a new power source; an all-new, 1.1-litre, three-cylinder diesel motor (codename: U2) which develops 70bhp. Now, diesel engines and three cylinders don’t really go well together, as both are inherently prone to vibration, so it’s no surprise that the Grand i10 flutters and vibrates softly at idle. This new engine may be essentially Hyundai’s 1.4 four-cylinder unit with a cylinder chopped off, but that creamy idle is gone.Counter-balancing shafts have been used to iron out the inherent imbalance of a three-cylinder configuration, so when you rev the engine, it smoothens out a bit. There is a hint of turbo lag, but after 1,500rpm, the motor pulls cleanly and with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Performance feels smooth and linear at best, but you truly miss that strong surge in the mid-range that is so typical of more powerful diesel motors. The top-end isn’t strong either, and the engine labours as you cross the 3,500rpm mark, so it’s best to upshift early. Refinement on the move, however, is pretty good. At low revs, the engine is never intrusive and it’s only when you near the redline that you can really tell it’s a diesel. It must be said that this motor lacks the punch needed to really make the Grand i10 fun to drive, but the new Hyundai does have the right gearing for city driving. The short gearing makes you feel at home in the city and coupled with short throws, navigating through the box isn’t tiresome. We also had a go in the petrol version of the Grand i10 with the manual gearbox (it’s also available with a four-speed automatic). It uses the same 1.2-litre ‘Kappa 2’ four-cylinder motor as the current i10, which is equipped with variable valve timing (VVT in Hyundai speak).And just like the i10, it feels fairly peppy to drive. It may lack the outright performance of cars like the Swift or the Brio but, the power delivery is smooth and there is adequate power throughout most of the rev-range. You get useable power from 1500rpm and this makes it comfortable to drive in the city. Also, a strong mid-range means you can easily cruise at a reasonable 100kph on the highway and still have some power left in reserve for a quick overtaking manoeuvre.

Hyundai Grand i10 Ride & Handling

The Hyundai Grand i10 absorbs bumps nicely, especially the high-speed ones. Road irregularities at low speed do cause some side-to-side body movement because of the slightly soft suspension. The steering is very light in the city and is a tad too over assisted even when you venture into the highway. It feels nowhere connected as say the Celerio’s or even the Figo’s unit. Stability in a straight line though is excellent. I also like the way, except for the tyre noise at high speeds, the engine noise doesn’t enter the cabin. While we have noted in other tests that most of the other Hyundais do have a wooden feel at the brakes, the Grand i10’s units offer plenty of feedback. They do a more than decent job of slowing down the car with the driver knowing the exact biting point of the brakes. This shows in the 100-0kmph braking times which have reduced by .3s as compared to the outgoing car (3.6s).  For information on contact details of Hyundai car dealers in Mumbai

Hyundai Grand i10 Safety & security

Talking about the safety features, the facelift Grand i10 gets advanced safety features like Rear Parking Assist System with Dual Airbags, ABS, Reverse Parking Sensors and newly introduced Rear Parking Camera which displays all the output on the newly added 7.0 Inch touchscreen monitor.

Hyundai Grand i10 Price

Hyundai Grand I10 Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 4,57,963/- (Grand i10 1.2 Era Petrol) to 7,32,097/- (Grand i10 1.2 Asta Diesel). Get best offers for Hyundai Grand I10 from Hyundai Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Grand i10 price in Hyderabad

Hyundai Grand i10 Bottomline

Totally loved the Grand i10 when we had one in our long term fleet and with this update, Hyundai has refreshed the car nicely. The new diesel engine is very good for the segment and even though it still is a 3-cylinder unit, I think it offers very good performance and efficiency. The Grand also has an excellent ride and is pretty easy to drive. The interiors boast of excellent quality materials and even the fit and finish of exterior panels is better than most rivals out there. For me, the Hyundai Grand i10 is easily one of the best city hatchbacks around.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Review & Performance

OVERVIEW

If you do a simple random sampling of a group of Indians who know how to drive, chances are a majority of them would have learnt driving on an Alto. Ever since Maruti Suzuki first launched it in September 2000, as many as 30 lakh units of this entry-level hatchback have been cumulatively sold in the country. The car’s unique selling points have been its remarkable fuel efficiency, peppy engine, attractive price and low maintenance. Add to that Maruti’s countrywide sales network—you can practically buy an Alto even if you live in the remotest town in India!. Alto 800 On road price starts from2,60,377/-  Check for price details of Alto 800 in CarzPrice.

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Yet another reason for its success is that the Alto has been evolving to reflect the changing India. Over the years, Maruti has been arming it with just the right features a buyer looks for in an entry-level car, and subtle but timely design updates; these have been appealing to customers.

EXTERIORS

The styling of the Maruti Alto 800 looks far from impressive. The old Alto looked cute even thought it has been around for more than a decade. With the Alto 800, Maruti Suzuki has just tried to bring styling from the Japanese Alto and the A-Star, which doesn’t give the Alto 800 an identity of its own. The Alto 800 has very compact dimensions and the company has added new bits to make the vehicle look modern. A new and lighter roof has been added with corrugations to boost stability. New outside rear view mirror has been picked up from the Alto K10 but its shocking too see no left side rear view mirror as standard. The door handles are body colored but the rear view mirror is not. The full wheel caps look good and the wheel arches are slightly flared too. The increased height and high ground clearance makes the Alto 800 look odd. The Alto 800 is thus, no match for the well styled Hyundai Eon. The conservative styling doesn’t appeal much and the Alto 800 ends up looking very disproportionvate.

INTERIORS

Things are quite different on the inside. You now get a dark grey tone for the dashboard and new upholstery on the door pads and seats. The front seats are decent in comfort while frontal visibility is also excellent. The Alto gets a basic audio system, front power windows, power steering and AC. The AC has good performance and it fared nicely in our hot weather. With the facelift, the Alto 800 now gets a standard left hand side mirror, child locks at the rear and an optional driver-side airbag. At the rear, you have good head room while leg room is also pretty decent thanks to the thin front seats. Shoulder space is decent but fitting 3 passengers at the rear could be a problem. However, the seats are lacking in terms of under-thigh support. You also feel a bit claustrophobic due to the small window area. The rear seats now come with integrated head rests. The rear doors finally get child locks now. There is a bottle header in front of the gear lever which can hold a 1-litre bottle. There is also a small storage area above the glovebox. The boot is pretty compact at 177-litres

SPECIFICATIONS OF ENGINE

Mechanically, the new 2016 Alto 800 remain unchangeds. This means that powering the refreshed Alto 800 is the tried and tested Suzuki F8D 796 cc, three-cylinder engine that comes mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. This motor pumps out a max. power of 47.65 PS @ 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 69 Nm @ 3500 rpm. The Alto is available in both Petrol and CNG avatars. Maruti could give the engine an ECU remap to further optimize the fuel mileage. As we said, the Diesel model of the Alto 800 won’t be launched anytime soon. However, powering the Diesel Alto will be a 800 cc, twin-cylinder engine that has a maximum power of 47.5 PS and peak torque of 120 Nm.

DRIVING .

The Alto 800 has a feedback rich steering though it feels a bit heavy at crawling speeds. However, the steering is very direct and despite being such a small car, the Alto is quite fun to drive. Thanks to its small footprint, you can easily drive it around and tackling too much traffic doesn’t get easier than this. The ride is very flat at low speeds and it tends to get uncomfortable when you hit broken or uneven surfaces at even moderately high speeds. The car remains decently stable at high speeds but it’d be best if it is driven below 90 km/hr. The body feels very light and the super thin tyres have questionable grip levels.

CONCLUSION

Maruti Suzuki hasn’t made many changes to the Alto 800, which is essentially the Alto in fresh clothing, with slight upgrades here and there. What this results in, is a much better Alto overall but is it enough considering this is the first facelift to the Alto in 12-years. While Maruti Suzuki’s brand name is more than enough to keep the Alto’s sales flying high, we were hoping for a vastly improved Alto to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Eon. However, the changes to the Alto are more than welcome and the refreshed exteriors, new dashboard, marginally more space, slightly more eager engine and better quality of plastics is enough to justify the Rs. 30,000/- price hike which is expected on the new Alto

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Engine & Performance

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Overview

Maruti’s small cars are always much-awaited and come pre-loaded with market-shaking potential. It is, however, true that after the Swift, there hasn’t been a hatchback from Maruti-Suzuki that has really rocked the passenger car market.But, the next small car from Maruti – the Celerio, due out at the Auto Expo next week, looks like it can disrupt the market.The Celerio has been developed from the ground up on a completely new platform and has been endowed with a special automatic gearbox that Maruti officials believe with revolutionise the way we drive. The design of the Celerio is based on the A-Wind concept that Suzuki showcased at the Thai Auto show.This new hatch has been built to fit into and complement Maruti’s portfolio of small cars, but it is also meant to take on new competitors in the segment such as the Hyundai Grand i10. The Celerio is just a bit smaller than the Grand i10 in terms of length and width, but matches the wheelbase and is even a bit taller than the latter. Maruti Suzuki Celerio On road price starts from 4,29,489/-. Check for price details of Celerio in CarzPrice.

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Maruti Suzuki Celerio Exteriors

After the Swift, we’d say that the Celerio is the car that brings a fresh new face to Maruti Suzuki. Large curved headlamps, a twin-slat bonnet grille in chrome and an over-sized airdam below give the Celerio aggressive front looks. At the sides, the two parallel lines – tornado and the body side lines are prominent and lightly curved. The shoulder line has been set a bit high, but does not compromise the amount of light pouring into the cabin. The interior of the Celerio is quite airy, unlike the dark rear seat of the A-Star.

The rear of the Celerio features a simpler design, with a fairly straight-forward hatch door and the tail-lamps looking vaguely like they have been carried forward from the new Alto 800, though with a different combination. Overall, the design of the Celerio’s body panels seems to have been done with a dual-purpose in mind – to achieve a low co-efficient of drag for better aerodynamics and to ensure lower manufacturing costs. Open the door and they are fairly thin, in terms of width, including the plastic panels inside. But, they close with an assuring ‘thunk’.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Interiors

The cabin of the Celerio is very Maruti-like in its excessive use of plastic. But, thankfully the quality of plastic used redeems it from seeming too tacky. The dashboard layout is quite modern and pleasing. There is also considerable symmetry to the features of the dashboard. The gear-shift stick is positioned at the base of the centre stack within easy reach for the driver in both the manual and the automatic variants.

The three-spoke steering wheel is healthy to hold and feels like it to belongs to in the premium hatch category. But, the seat squabs are thin and feel like they may not be the most comfortable during long journeys. There are a number of storage options including cup-holders. The luggage space in the boot is about 235 litres – above average for the segment.

The Celerio’s cabin feels surprisingly spacious for a car of its dimensions. There is considerable legroom at the rear bench and since the centre tunnel is not very tall, even the third passenger in the middle should be quite comfortable. There is enough shoulder room too, which hasn’t been compromised by the lesser overall width of the car. Depending on the variant, you can also get features like steering mounted controls, music system with Bluetooth connectivity, 14-inch alloy wheels and keyless entry.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Performance

The Celerio is being offered only with a petrol engine, though there are rumours already that Maruti Suzuki has developed a small, diesel engine in-house for use in the car. The same may be showcased at the Expo and potentially make it to showrooms late this year or early next year.

The engine that the Celerio will be launched with is the same one-litre K 10B engine that is currently available in the A-Star, Alto K10 and the Wagon-R. The engine is being offered in the same state of tune too. (See the Tech Spec box for more info.)

The story of the Celerio is actually inside the bonnet, but if the engine is a carry over, then what is different?

It is the new automatic gearbox that Maruti and Suzuki engineers have developed specially for the car, and which promises to be frugal both in terms of costs and in terms of fuel consumption. The new EZ Drive auto gear shift promises to do just that shift the gears on your behalf and it is a unique solution that is going to lead to a lot of clones cropping up amongst competitors. (Read more about it in the adjoining story).

The Celerio drives like a perfect city car. For an engine in this class, there is enough power and torque available on tap for all sorts of urban driving conditions and some more for the average highway cycle. The car is also offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Driving

The biggest plus point about the Maruti Celerio is indeed how easy it is to drive. Piloting the car in congested traffic is effortless, more so if you are driving the model equipped with the automatic gear shift. Ride quality is very good, more so at low speeds as the suspension is on the softer side with the tyres running a high profile. Ride quality can get a bit messy at the rear as speeds build up, more so on really bad roads where the complete vehicle rattles a bit. Steering has no feel, while it’s light at low speeds, it simply doesn’t weigh up at high speeds. The EPS unit has little feedback to offer.

Small cars can be quite fun to throw around corners but the low grip tyres don’t help the Celerio’s cause. Yes the Celerio handles quite well and is very stable at speed but it somehow isn’t as agile as the Honda Brio, a car with which it will rub shoulders in India. Lack of ABS on the Auto Gear Shift model isn’t understandable at all, nor is ABS only being offered as part of an option on the ZXi trim digestible. This comes from a manufacturer who offers ABS as an option on mid-level variants of the Ritz and Swift while making it standard on all diesel trims of the Ertiga. Braking performance is decent but the pedal could offer better feel.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Price

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 4,29,489/- (Celerio LXI) to 5,48,773/- (Celerio ZXI AMT Optional). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Celerio from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Verdict

The Maruti Celerio is an improved product, compared to the A-Star whose direct replacement it is. However it isn’t a vastly improved product which makes you question why the manufacturer did not go the long haul in taking a car which bombed so miserly, to the next level. The regular manual version of the Celerio doesn’t appeal much with the EZ Drive model being the only saving grace here. By using the intelligent and cost effective option, Maruti Suzuki will offer the cheapest automatic car in India in the Celerio. Although very jerky, the ease of driving offered by the Auto Gear Shift in the Celerio is sure to appeal to those on a budget. Being a Maruti Suzuki with a vast dealership network and aggressive pricing (for the lower trims), the Celerio is bound to be a success. However if you want a manual hatchback at this price point, there are better options.

The Maruti Celerio is a jack of some trades but master of none. Maruti continues to cut corners on several fronts and sadly safety is at the forefront of this exercise. The Celerio’s Auto Gear Shift is the only reason worth considering the vehicle.

 

How to think like a programmer — lessons in problem solving

Richard Reis

If you’re interested in programming, you may well have seen this quote before:

“Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you to think.” — Steve Jobs You probably also wondered what does it mean, exactly, to think like a programmer? And how do you do it??

Essentially, it’s all about a more effective way for problem solving.

In this post, my goal is to teach you that way.

By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what steps to take to be a better problem-solver.

Why is this important? Problem solving is the meta-skill.

We all have problems. Big and small. How we deal with them is sometimes, well…pretty random.

Unless you have a system, this is probably how you “solve” problems (which is what I did when I started coding):

Try a solution. If that doesn’t work, try another one. If that doesn’t work, repeat step 2 until you luck out. Look, sometimes you luck out. But that is the worst way to solve problems! And it’s a huge, huge waste of time. If you are looking for Best web development company check Vivid Designs 

The best way involves a) having a framework and b) practicing it.

“Almost all employers prioritize problem-solving skills first. Problem-solving skills are almost unanimously the most important qualification that employers look for….more than programming languages proficiency, debugging, and system design. Demonstrating computational thinking or the ability to break down large, complex problems is just as valuable (if not more so) than the baseline technical skills required for a job.” — Hacker Rank (2018 Developer Skills Report) Have a framework To find the right framework, I followed the advice in Tim Ferriss’ book on learning, “The 4-Hour Chef”.

It led me to interview two really impressive people: C. Jordan Ball (ranked 1st or 2nd out of 65,000+ users on Coderbyte), and V. Anton Spraul (author of the book “Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving”).

I asked them the same questions, and guess what? Their answers were pretty similar!

Soon, you too will know them.

Sidenote: this doesn’t mean they did everything the same way. Everyone is different. You’ll be different. But if you start with principles we all agree are good, you’ll get a lot further a lot quicker.

“The biggest mistake I see new programmers make is focusing on learning syntax instead of learning how to solve problems.” — V. Anton Spraul So, what should you do when you encounter a new problem?

Here are the steps:

1. Understand Know exactly what is being asked. Most hard problems are hard because you don’t understand them (hence why this is the first step).

How to know when you understand a problem? When you can explain it in plain English.

Do you remember being stuck on a problem, you start explaining it, and you instantly see holes in the logic you didn’t see before?

Most programmers know this feeling.

This is why you should write down your problem, doodle a diagram, or tell someone else about it (or thing… some people use a rubber duck).

“If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it.” — Richard Feynman 2. Plan Don’t dive right into solving without a plan (and somehow hope you can muddle your way through). Plan your solution!

Nothing can help you if you can’t write down the exact steps.

In programming, this means don’t start hacking straight away. Give your brain time to analyze the problem and process the information.

To get a good plan, answer this question:

“Given input X, what are the steps necessary to return output Y?”

Sidenote: Programmers have a great tool to help them with this… Comments!

3. Divide Pay attention. This is the most important step of all.

Do not try to solve one big problem. You will cry.

Instead, break it into sub-problems. These sub-problems are much easier to solve.

Then, solve each sub-problem one by one. Begin with the simplest. Simplest means you know the answer (or are closer to that answer). If you are looking for Top web development company in Mumbai check Vivid Designs

After that, simplest means this sub-problem being solved doesn’t depend on others being solved.

Once you solved every sub-problem, connect the dots.

Connecting all your “sub-solutions” will give you the solution to the original problem. Congratulations!

This technique is a cornerstone of problem-solving. Remember it (read this step again, if you must).

“If I could teach every beginning programmer one problem-solving skill, it would be the ‘reduce the problem technique.’ For example, suppose you’re a new programmer and you’re asked to write a program that reads ten numbers and figures out which number is the third highest. For a brand-new programmer, that can be a tough assignment, even though it only requires basic programming syntax. If you’re stuck, you should reduce the problem to something simpler. Instead of the third-highest number, what about finding the highest overall? Still too tough? What about finding the largest of just three numbers? Or the larger of two? Reduce the problem to the point where you know how to solve it and write the solution. Then expand the problem slightly and rewrite the solution to match, and keep going until you are back where you started.” — V. Anton Spraul 4. Stuck? By now, you’re probably sitting there thinking “Hey Richard… That’s cool and all, but what if I’m stuck and can’t even solve a sub-problem??”

First off, take a deep breath. Second, that’s fair.

Don’t worry though, friend. This happens to everyone!

The difference is the best programmers/problem-solvers are more curious about bugs/errors than irritated.

In fact, here are three things to try when facing a whammy:

Debug: Go step by step through your solution trying to find where you went wrong. Programmers call this debugging (in fact, this is all a debugger does). “The art of debugging is figuring out what you really told your program to do rather than what you thought you told it to do.”” — Andrew Singer Reassess: Take a step back. Look at the problem from another perspective. Is there anything that can be abstracted to a more general approach? “Sometimes we get so lost in the details of a problem that we overlook general principles that would solve the problem at a more general level. […] The classic example of this, of course, is the summation of a long list of consecutive integers, 1 + 2 + 3 + … + n, which a very young Gauss quickly recognized was simply n(n+1)/2, thus avoiding the effort of having to do the addition.” — C. Jordan Ball Sidenote: Another way of reassessing is starting anew. Delete everything and begin again with fresh eyes. I’m serious. You’ll be dumbfounded at how effective this is.

Research: Ahh, good ol’ Google. You read that right. No matter what problem you have, someone has probably solved it. Find that person/ solution. In fact, do this even if you solved the problem! (You can learn a lot from other people’s solutions). Caveat: Don’t look for a solution to the big problem. Only look for solutions to sub-problems. Why? Because unless you struggle (even a little bit), you won’t learn anything. If you don’t learn anything, you wasted your time.

Practice Don’t expect to be great after just one week. If you want to be a good problem-solver, solve a lot of problems!

Practice. Practice. Practice. It’ll only be a matter of time before you recognize that “this problem could easily be solved with <insert concept here>.”

How to practice? There are options out the wazoo!

Chess puzzles, math problems, Sudoku, Go, Monopoly, video-games, cryptokitties, bla… bla… bla….

In fact, a common pattern amongst successful people is their habit of practicing “micro problem-solving.” For example, Peter Thiel plays chess, and Elon Musk plays video-games.

“Byron Reeves said ‘If you want to see what business leadership may look like in three to five years, look at what’s happening in online games.’ Fast-forward to today. Elon [Musk], Reid [Hoffman], Mark Zuckerberg and many others say that games have been foundational to their success in building their companies.” — Mary Meeker (2017 internet trends report) Does this mean you should just play video-games? Not at all.

But what are video-games all about? That’s right, problem-solving!

So, what you should do is find an outlet to practice. Something that allows you to solve many micro-problems (ideally, something you enjoy).

For example, I enjoy coding challenges. Every day, I try to solve at least one challenge (usually on Coderbyte).

Like I said, all problems share similar patterns.

Conclusion That’s all folks!

Now, you know better what it means to “think like a programmer.”

You also know that problem-solving is an incredible skill to cultivate (the meta-skill).

As if that wasn’t enough, notice how you also know what to do to practice your problem-solving skills!

Phew… Pretty cool right?

Finally, I wish you encounter many problems.

You read that right. At least now you know how to solve them! (also, you’ll learn that with every solution, you improve).

“Just when you think you’ve successfully navigated one obstacle, another emerges. But that’s what keeps life interesting.[…] Life is a process of breaking through these impediments — a series of fortified lines that we must break through. Each time, you’ll learn something. Each time, you’ll develop strength, wisdom, and perspective. Each time, a little more of the competition falls away. Until all that is left is you: the best version of you.” — Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle is the Way) Now, go solve some problems!

And best of luck 🙂

Special thanks to C. Jordan Ball and V. Anton Spraul. All the good advice here came from them.

Also, all the programming knowledge I’ve acquired in such a short time wouldn’t have happened without Lambda School. Can’t thank/ recommend them enough.

Thanks for reading! 😊 If you enjoyed it, test how many times can you hit 👏 in 5 seconds. It’s great cardio for your fingers AND will help other people see the story.