A simple problem solving technique

Maybe people do this already, and it’s similar to the rubber duck debugging procedure. But just in case this might be useful to others, I wanted to share what has worked for me many times since I started coding about 7 months ago.

JavaScript and React are fairly difficult for me, and I often get stuck on a lesson despite the hints. But I often get “unstuck” if I do the following:

Click “Ask For Help” and start writing a forum post. In the post, I try to clearly explain what is wrong AND everything I’ve tried to do to solve it. My goal is to prove I’ve done the read-search-ask method. I can’t tell you the number of times during the process of writing about the issue, I think of something else I haven’t tried, and that works or at least gets me on the right track.

If I actually submitted every post I’ve started, half the posts on this forum would be mine :slight_smile: I just deleted a bunch of drafts, which is what prompted me to write this. I hope it’s helpful.


There is a reason we ask people to fill out the ‘tell us what’s happening’ :slight_smile:

In all seriousness, this is a fantastic way to organize your thoughts and diagnose a problem!


I do this too, and I’ve been programming for a long time. Sometimes I phrase the post I write as a question, and sometimes as documentation for, or a presentation about, my project. (I’ll have to do those anyway, so I may as well get started while I’m stuck on the programming side.)

Either way it helps me get my thoughts in order.

One more tip for you. If you have a technical question try asking it on stackoverflow.com. That web site live-searches its content based on what you type as you type it. The answer may pop up as you’re typing…

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