8. Coding

Coding assignments can range from simple programs to full-blown applications. It is important to know how to approach such assignments, so that you can complete them to the best of your ability. Some platforms you may be asked to develop for are:

  • Web — websites and web apps for browsers like Chrome or Firefox
  • Mobile — mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Desktop — desktop applications or programs for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Learning programming languages

If you are starting a coding assignment in a programming language that you are not familiar with, there are tutorials you can take to understand the basics in a few hours:

Get more information on tools for web, software and mobile application development.

Strategies for programming assignments

Universal strategies that can be applied to make your programming assignments easier:

  1. Start early — this gives you more time to think about the task and how you might approach it, but also more time to get help, if needed
  2. Plan your program using pseudocode — pseudocode is a great method for planning what you want to code in way that is easy for people to understand
  3. Prepare the file structure — for simple cases this may be a single file, but for larger assignments it is helpful to create all files within a project and link them appropriately. For example, if you are coding a single-page website:
    • Create the HTML, CSS and JavaScript files
    • Link the CSS and JavaScript files using the appropriate tags in your HTML file.
  4. Use comments — all programming languages allow you to write comments, lines which are ignored by the program. A great way to use comments is to type out the steps required for coding a piece of functionality. You can then follow these steps to code it line by line
  5. Take a break — if you ever get stuck, it’s probably a good time to take a break. Breaks as short as 5 minutes can be enough to clear your mind
  6. Explain your problems to a rubber duck — Rubber duck debugging is a legitimate way of solving programming related problems. It works simply by explaining your problems aloud, which can help you find what’s causing bugs in your code.

Citing code

You should always check your subject outline for assignment task details before commencing. If permitted to use externally sourced code this should generally be referenced.

References should provide clear and accurate information for each source and should identify where they have been used in your work. A single URL is not a complete or accurate reference. URLs should link directly to the work cited, not just to the website it is hosted on.

Rubber duck debugging – explain your programming problems to a rubber duck.


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Digital Skills: Assignment Essentials Copyright © 2024 by Charles Sturt University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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