What is Computer Science?

Welcome to the world of Computer Science. You took this course because you had some notion already of what Computer Science was and what you would be doing. My guess is that you all took this course thinking “I’m going to learn how to create programs!”. While this is true, it really isn’t what the course is about. Yes you will learn how to program, but that is actually not entirely all this course is about. What this course is really about is problem solving. You see, computers are actually really dumb. They are good at doing only one thing: following directions. So when you are asked to program something, you already have to have some idea of how to solve it. If not, it is like asking a you to write a novel. Sure, you can write down a line or two, or maybe even write a chapter, but it really isn’t going to lead to anything if you don’t have a good idea of where it should go. This is why I say this course is really a course about problem solving. You must first solve the problem before you can actually code a solution. Before we get to far in, lets first compare computer science vs. computer programming.

Computer programming is typing in the steps needed for a computer to perform a certain task. A programmer writes lines of code and in term, creates a program that you can run on the computer. This is mainly focused on creating software.

Computer Science is the study of using computers to solve problems. It is closely related to mathematics. Computer Scientists analyze problems, develop solutions, and evaluate those solutions to see if anything can be done better. This can involve writing code, but it also can involve decisions in specific hardware, networking, or any other system that a computer may use.

Take a look at this video created by Code.org that interviews a few famous programmers that you may know and their experience in the industry. While you are watching the video, think about what skills they are saying are important to be successful at programming:

In the Google classroom, please answer the Question