~ Development


Brilliant - you've done your Analysis and Design and you're ready to start coding. This section is going to be the most challenging but also the most rewarding. Here are some key things to remember:

What you need to include in the project write-up for this section. (and scroll down for some very important information before you get started)

  1. A development log showing testing and refinement of the code during development (you could do this as a diary using dates and noting your comments, or in a table). The point is to show the "STORY" of the development of your solution. 
  2. Explaination of final solution (explain any difficulties you've had and how you overcame them!)
  3. Detailed code annotation / comments. (Add a paragraph explaining your final solution and also make sure you have added detailed comments to all sections of code as you go along)

How to write clean, testable code - Google Video / Talks

A few important reminders for this section:

1. Make sure you are keeping a development log:

Create a log *by date* of all your coding attempts/solutions - this will ensure the examiner knows that all work is your own and will also show your thinking and process

2. Do not cheat. Don't even try!

The temptation will be there - it always is but simply DO NOT try and cheat! It will be obvious if your final solution is not something you painstakingly developed yourself. Cheating is pointless - you'll be caught - don't do it!

3. Use a range of programming techniques

Make sure you use a range of techiques! For instance, you could try and solve it all using IF/ELSE statements, but the more techniques you use, the higher the grade. Think about what would be the best solution and the best techique (e.g. a loop instead of endless IF statements) and use it. Also make sure you use SENSIBLE VARIABLE NAMES! 

4. Use Technical Terminology

Use technical terminology in writing your development log and evaluation. Show you  understand what needs to be done and that you've done it!

5. Break the problem down

When you start coding, be sure to use a modular approach. Break the problem down and solve a little bit or sub-task of the problem before moving on to the next. Be organised and methodical. 

Finally, here are some useful videos on coding! All the best for this section. You can do it!

6. Do not give up!

Please don't! There will almost certainly come a point where you've been trying to figure out a bit of code for hours and can't handle it any more! ARRRRRRR! Yes, we know! Just keep going. Perseverance is a wonderful quality in a human being and coding will help you develop it. Coming up with a final solution after all your hard work will be immensely satisfying and well worth it.

Video: How can I become a better programmer?

Sneak peek at a former A* attempt

*Note this is for a much smaller task. Also note that this exemplar (that got an A*) was produced by a real student. The ideas and presentation of the developmental log are his. You may be able to think of a better way or a unique way (perhaps using a table or pre-agreed template) for your developmental log.

An OCR High B grade exemplar

Time for you to try it yourself

A great way to familiarize yourself with what a controlled assessment will be like. Read through the task again and start developing your code and solution

Worked solutions and suggested answers:Coming soon - teacher's drive only

Here's a little something to get you started

Subscription: Teacher's Drive Only

Design Tools

Systems Life Cycle (in a nutshell): Analyse - Design - Create - Test - Evaluate. Designing something or writing out some pseudocode before you actually write code is always a good idea! Get in to the habit of doing so! You can draw your flowchart here and screenshot it.

There are plenty of sample flow charts and templates to help you get started

An online drawing tool where you can dynamically create flowcharts. Screenshot them into your presentation for submission.
Topic 6