Flowcharts – Why do we need them

Before learning how to draw a flowchart it’s important to understand why you need a flowchart. Will you be using a flowchart to discuss the overall design of your software project with your team member? Or will you be using it to train somebody on how to use your software functionality? Or do you simply want to use it to provide some step by step instructions for a user to complete a given task.
Flowcharts are a great tool to graphically represent the ordered sequence of steps to solve a give problem. After you have written the algorithm to solve the problem it’s a very good practice to draw the flowchart as it will help any user to understand the algorithm quickly instead of reading through the full algorithm.

To be able to draw a flowchart you need to learn the shapes which are used for drawing the flowcharts. Each shape defines some special task. If you use non-standard shapes to draw a flowchart then it will not be understood by people easily. You will have to explain it to everybody who reads your flowchart. So to be able to draw good flowcharts it’s important that you learn all the important shapes which are used to draw flowcharts.

Before you move further there are some important rules which you should learn about flowcharts

  1. Each flowchart has a starting and an end.
  2. Arrows are used to connect the whole flowcharts. By using these arrows the flow of the logic is interpreted.
  3. There should be no ambiguity in the flowchart. This means that there should not be multiple arrows going out from a step in the flowchart in a way that the person reading the flowchart may get confused. There should be clarity in the flow from one step to another.
  4. A proper shapes should be used for each type of process
  5. The flowchart should not get into a recursive loop. This way the user will not be able to reach the final solution.
    In the next tutorials you will learn about the important shapes which we use when drawing flowcharts

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