How do you plan your code? The OODA loop

Sometimes we just want to dive into our code, head first. My University teachers always told us that we should plan our code before starting, but that’s a lesson that only sunk in after wasting more time due to lack of planning.

One day I came across with the OODA loop. The USA military uses it to make better decisions and think more critically. I found it can also help me make better decisions while coding, so I’m sharing it here because it might be helpful for you too.

  • Observe - Analyze the problem you are trying to solve by using code.
  • Orient - Make sense of the information and think about a possible solution. Write down the initial pseudocode to help you understand how you will proceed.
  • Decide - Decide what tools you’ll need to achieve the solution. For example, do you need any particular data structure? Which algorithm is a better fit?
  • Act - After planning the solution, it’s time to implement your decisions by writing the code.

Remember, this is a loop. So if you ever get stuck, just keep iterating.

How do you plan your code? Do you follow any framework?