Stuck On A Hard Programming Task

Are you occasionally stuck on a really hard programming task where you’re not sure how to proceed and you end up being unproductive (procrastinating)? This article ( describes in detail an effective method of breaking down difficult tasks to make them easier to approach and conquer. Below is a quick outline of the process described in the article:

Initial 25 minute burst - Just sit down and at least get started writing code, this initial step will help you get started in a productive state.

Pick the Low Hanging Fruit First - Try to complete the (easier?) tasks that you know how to implement first -- the things that are clearer to you.

Copy and Paste - This is usually really bad practice and I personally do not condone it, but it came help you get off to a good start. You can usually find code similar to what you are trying to accomplish and you can usually learn a lot from it.

Offensive Reconnaissance - Avoid potential roadblocks as early as possible. This will help you more clearly estimate the time for development and roadmap for the project.

Are you ready? - Break down the task early and ask for help as early as possible! Don't put yourself into an overly stressful situation where you get stuck.

Stuck on a Big Hard Programming Task? Read This! (via

Written on April 27, 2011