Designing Programs with Flowcharts

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The human flair for creativity is a celebrity in its own right. The invention of the wheel and the discovery of flint stones bear testimony to this statement. These are some of the primary achievements in early human history. Early humans used their instincts and intellect to survive in hostile physical environments. This enabled the human species to dominate its immediate environment, thrive in numbers, and gain decisive advantages in the race for survival. In modern times, mankind continues to invent, explore, and discover the physical world and its place in the universe. The human intellect, when paired with computers, microchips, digital technologies, and consumer markets represent some of the enablers that allow humankind to stay relevant in the digital age. New systems and emerging technologies are helping to create new applications for modern-day markets. In this context, flowcharts have cemented their position as a crucial tool that help in designing programs. These diagrams evolved from blueprints that first emerged during the Industrial Revolution in the Western Hemisphere.  Modern flowchart diagrams have evolved into analytical tools that merge human brainpower with the capacity to analyze and dissect problems, sketch new systems, and tackle difficult issues and complications.

The creators of modern flowchart diagrams must induce an analytical mind set in their mission of designing programs. They must lay special emphasis on the decision points that punctuate flowchart diagrams. For instance, a designer must endeavor to build decision points at the junction of input processes and output processes. This may appear as an oversimplification, but is critical to ensure the success of the initiative to design a flowchart. Ergo, the designer must attain clarity in terms of the extent (and location) of input processes. These may comprise a number of stages and sub-stages that converge onto the decision point. Complex processes, when rendered into flowcharts, may require multiple decision points to achieve completion. In addition, any initiative aimed at designing programs must include an accurate placement of sub-processes within the flowchart. This is critical because any discrepancy may trigger major design flaws that may necessitate a re-design of the diagram. In light of this, decision points must hold primacy in designing programs that will translate into a process or system in the real world.

The use of symbols is part of the evolution of human culture and knowledge systems. Symbols have traditionally encased multiple layers of meaning; they also represent certain parts of traditional knowledge. In modern times, symbols continue to exert a unique fascination on the human mind. Creators and designers that engage in designing programs must deploy a range of symbols that serve as signposts of meaning. Modern flowcharts use four symbols that denote start, process, decision, and end. The first and last of this set are identical in their visual representation; they represent the terminal ends of a flowchart diagram. Process is signified through the use of rectangles, while a decision is typically a diamond shape, per the orthodoxy that dominates flowchart design thinking. The designers of flowcharts must deploy these symbols appropriately in a bid to cover the scope and depth of the process or system being rendered. The digital age promotes such practices because most flowchart design packages offer in-built templates to spur the designer’s efforts. In addition, the use of symbols in designing programs allows readers and reviewers to boost their comprehension of a modern flowchart diagram. Hence, the centrality of symbols prevails in modern times as much as in times gone by.

Variety and multiple moving parts form the crux of the natural processes that dominate the earth’s terrestrial environment. Similarly, designing programs through the use of flowchart diagrams may involve multiple selections that help to complete a process. Designers must be cognizant of the fact that decision points inside a flowchart may find their rightful location within larger decisions. This is an important aspect of designing programs that will closely correspond to processes and sequences in the real world. Ergo, a final rendering of this flowchart may involve a sequence of decisions that may or may prove valid for each operation of the depicted process. Multiple variables may dictate these yes/no outcomes. A sequence of valid decisions will complete said flowchart once the correct decisions are executed. This scenario may include an irregular sequence of yes/no operations depending on the inputs. Hence, the designers of flowchart diagrams must include such instances of ‘fuzzy logic’ in the operation of modern-day flowchart diagrams.

The analysis and depiction of sub-processes is central to efforts at designing programs through modern flowcharts. Designers must deploy sub-processes in their bid to render complex processes in great detail. A sub-process is essentially a component of a larger process and must be accurately portrayed inside a flowchart diagram. Sub-processes, when deployed inside a technical process, enable multiple programs to use a common process. This is critical in designing programs because a proven sub-process reduces the development time required to create a new system. The enterprising designer can include sub-processes within a sub-process in a bid to render technical complexity in exacting visual detail. This allows for a thorough understanding of technicalities by trouble-shooters and reviewers. In addition, sub-processes enable designers to explore the limits of innovation in technological and scientific processes. Sub-processes are also useful because they allow creators to build a class of tested processes that can withstand the rigors of new advancements in science and technology.

Educators must arrive at regular decisions in terms of allotting a variety of grades to students for their academic assignments. The designers of flowchart diagrams can create digital blueprints of processes that automate such grading exercises. The level of human involvement in such processes can be restricted to an evaluation of the assignments, followed by an input from the educator. The automated system that follows can be visually depicted in the form of a series of decision points linked to the notations authored by the examiner or educator. The decision points may correspond to a list of comments (such as excellent, great, good, pass, and fail). Each of these comments must correspond to the range of marks conferred by the examiner’s assessment. This diagram is essentially a scoring program that completes the assessment procedure for each student. The depicted system can be engineered to perform as part of the centralized performance system that operates inside an institution of training and education. This aspect of designing programs enables educators to perform a larger number of reviews, thereby contributing to the goal of attaining universal education for humankind.

The foregoing paragraphs have explored the various aspects of creating flowcharts in the service of designing programs. Each designer and creator must bear in mind the results expected of a certain process or system. Rendering a process in considerable detail is as much part of the designer’s work as is the fruition of the process as represented in the outcome. The very flexibility inherent in flowchart diagrams and the granularity in its depiction allows designers to tackle every complexity or complication presented by a process. In addition, designers and creators must work in close quarters with process experts in an attempt to design a flawlessly rendering. This empowers creators and their backers to bring a new system to market in record time and prevent costly (time and budget) overruns.

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