Pseudocode

Pseudocode is a kind of structured English for describing algorithms. It allows the designer to focus on the logic of the algorithm without being distracted by details of language syntax. At the same time, the pseudocode needs to be complete. It describes the entire logic of the algorithm so that implementation becomes a rote mechanical task of translating line by line into source code.

We will be translating our flow-chart that we create from the previous step into pseudocode to aid us in writing our computer program. In general the vocabulary used in pseudocode should be the vocabulary of the problem, not written in “computer speak”. A non-computer scientist should be able to read and understand what is going on. The pseudocode is a narrative for someone who knows the problem and is trying to learn how the solution is organized. Several keywords are often used to indicate common input, output, and processing operations.

Input: READ, OBTAIN, GET
Output: PRINT, DISPLAY, SHOW
Compute: COMPUTE, CALCULATE, DETERMINE
Initialize: SET, INIT
Add one: INCREMENT, BUMP

Here is the lamp example from the flow-chart section as pseudocode:

GET lamp info
IF (lamp plugged in == yes) THEN
plug in lamp
ELSE
IF (bulb burnt out == yes) THEN
replace bulb
ELSE
repair lamp
ENDIF
ENDIF