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Flowchart - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Flowchart. The art of drawing a road map. Symbols. Oval (“racetrack”) Start or Stop (Terminator) Rectangle Process (calculation, value assignment, etc) Rectangle with double vertical sides A predefined process

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The art of drawing a road map

  • Oval (“racetrack”)
    • Start or Stop (Terminator)
  • Rectangle
    • Process (calculation, value assignment, etc)
  • Rectangle with double vertical sides
    • A predefined process
      • Allows you to represent something complicated at an early stage and basically show that “it goes here” in your flow of activity
  • Rhomboid (slanted rectangle)
    • Input / output (data)
  • Diamond
    • Decision
  • Arrows indicate direction or “flow” of activity
  • Small circle (possibly with letter inside)
    • “on page” continuation
  • Home Plate
    • “off page” continuation


Calculate Avg

Perform Tax Calculation

Get TempCent




  • Demonstrates a sequence of activities and decisions
  • Can be used as a roadmap in writing code
  • Certain shapes identify code “structures”
    • Decision structures
      • A condition which evaluates to True or False
      • Asks a question which “directs” the continued flow of activity
    • Repetition structures (loops)
      • A return to a prior point in the flowchart
      • NOTE: this return is based on a condition being either true or false
        • While the shape asking the question is a diamond and could be an “IF” statement, the fact that one of the branches from the diamond returns to a prior point indicates that the conditional question asked is part of a LOOP and not an IF
  • Forces us to think about what we do
    • We need to identify each discrete action (process) or question (decision) in order to solve the problem
  • Flowcharts can identify that we “missed” something
    • We have a process which calculates “GROSSPAY”, and know that GROSSPAY requires “Hoursworked” and “HourlyPay” as input, but we notice that prior to the calculation, we never bothered to getHoursWorked (missing input)
    • We’ve calculated a result “NETPAY”, however never display it to the user (output of our solution)
  • Flowcharts can identify a sequencing error
    • We display a result prior to calculating it
  • We can think about things more abstractly
    • Calculate Grosspay
      • If we know someone worked 10 hours at $15/hour the calculation is 10 x 15
      • NOT abstract enough… it only works for that single case
    • Work backwards. What does the 10 represent? [ Hoursworked]
      • Use THAT name to represent any value given
atm password validation
ATM Password Validation
  • The user gets 3 attempts to provide the valid password
    • If valid
      • Go to the process transaction “off-page” routine
    • If it’s the 3rd failed attempt
      • Stop!
  • Decision
    • “Valid” diamond
  • Repetition
    • 3rd attempt question is part of the LOOP, and not simply an IF
      • How you can identify the difference between which structure to code (IF vs. LOOP)
if statement variations
IF statement / variations
  • IF


If AvgGrade > 65 then blnPass=TRUE


If AvgGrade > 65 then



blnPass = False

End If


If Avg >=90 then

LG = “A”

ElseIfAvg >= 80

LG = “B”

ElseIfAvg >= 70

LG = “C”


LG = “F”

End If

filling in symbols
Filling in symbols
  • Processes
    • Use a “verb” or action word
    • Think of each process as its own little “IPO” (Input-Process-Output)
      • Do you have all of the required inputs to do the process at that point in time?
        • If not, maybe you missed a step somewhere
  • Decisions
    • True or false
      • Comparison
        • Age>21
        • Counter <= 3
      • State
        • Grade exists?
slow down
Slow down!
  • Draw a flowchart finding the average of 3 grades
    • How would you do it with paper and pencil?
      • Take the first grade
      • Add the 2nd to the first grade
      • Add the 3rd to that
        • You’re “accumulating” (totaling) the grades
        • In English… “I’m adding to the grade total”
      • After grade total is calculated
        • Calculate the final average by dividing it by the number of grades (3)
      • Show the answer
average of n grades
Average of “n” grades
  • You’ll still do the same process
    • Except… you don’t now how many grades you have
      • Count them!!! (GradeCount accumulator)
    • You’ll keep counting and adding grades until….
      • No more grades left (condition in your loop decision)
        • Maybe ask “no more grades?” (true/false answer)
  • Additional processes are bolded
  • Altered decision is bold/dashed
helpful hints
Helpful hints
  • Don’t keep track of totals in your mind
    • “Store it” somewhere (write it on paper)
    • Give it a name (something that represents that value)
  • If you’re comparing something, like the highest grade
    • It assumes that you’re keeping track of the last highest grade and comparing the current grade to it
      • Start off with HighGrade
        • Assign the lowest possible value to it BEFORE you start to compare the grades you get
          • This way, the very first grade will be higher
        • If the current grade is higher than the HighGrade, replace HighGrade
  • Find the average height (in meters) of the students in your class and display the result
    • Also display the tallest and shortest students’ heights in meters
  • All measurements are in terms of centimeters
    • Final result to be displayed in meters (divide cm by 100)
    • 1 inch = 2.54 cm
    • Heights vary between 150 and 200 cm
  • Unknown number of students
  • Approaches
    • Find the average for 5 students
      • When that works, change it to work for unknown number of students
    • When that works, add the logic to find the tallest and shortest students