A Case Study in Structured Problem Solving

Mmm…Chipotle. View a live demo of this project at: http://alexdzwonchyk.com/maps-demo/

As a web developer working at a marketing agency, I’m often called upon to create small front-end applications for clients who want to offer a special tool or experience to visitors of their website. This gives me the opportunity to apply the PEDAC problem solving process I learned at Launch School to “real life” development situations.

A recent client project provided a good case study how well the PEDAC approach works when applied to slightly more complex problems, so I decided to write out a case study showing how I used a structured approach to break the problem down into…


Part of the way there… (Shaver Lake, CA)

I just successfully completed Launch School’s course 170 (Web Development), which is the 4th out of 5 courses in the Programming and Back-end Development phase. This course was a lot of fun, probably the most fun I’ve had so far in LS, as I’m finally building simple applications using the fundamentals I’ve learned in prior courses.

After acing the 179 assessment, my confidence is high, I’m more interested in learning than ever, and I’m really excited to continue this journey of mastery, so it seems like a good time to take stock of how far I’ve come as of today.


Source: https://cbmg.umd.edu/

One thing I’ve found helpful in learning new programming concepts is to come up with analogies to other unrelated ideas with which I’m already familiar. This lets me form a mental picture of the new concept I’m trying to understand, illustrating it so that I can see how the parts relate to one another.

This can be a great way to better understand the concepts themselves, and to create “chunks” which can then store new ideas in my long term memory effectively.

I just finished Launch School’s Object Oriented Programming course, and I often find myself thinking about OOP concepts…


Today is May 20th, 2017, and I’m nearing the end of the 101 course at Launch School.

Flipping back through my journal to May 6th, I read:

I feel myself pushing up against frustration, and seeing the weak spots in my mental model of Ruby.

Today, I feel pretty confident. I just finished writing a program that plays a simplified version of Blackjack against a user, and it works as I intended! I even worked through the all the bonus features without much trouble at all.

So today, I don’t feel frustrated by programming — but I know that as…

Alex Dzwonchyk

Web developer & guitar player

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