# 1.1. The Way of the Program¶

The goal of this book is to teach you to think like a computer scientist. I like the way computer scientists think because they combine some of the best features of Mathematics, Engineering, and Natural Science. Like mathematicians, computer scientists use formal languages to denote ideas (specifically computations). Like engineers, they design things, assembling components into systems and evaluating tradeoffs among alternatives. Like scientists, they observe the behavior of complex systems, form hypotheses, and test predictions.

The single most important skill for a computer scientist is
**problem-solving**. By that I mean the ability to formulate problems,
think creatively about solutions, and express a solution clearly and
accurately. As it turns out, the process of learning to program is an
excellent opportunity to practice problem-solving skills. That’s why
this chapter is called “The way of the program.”