IN THIS INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER, we provide the context for the book and introduce the key concepts and terminology that we will be using throughout. The starting point for our discussion are several questions. What is computer science? What do computer scientists and computer application developers do? And what tools do they use?
Computers, or more generally computer systems, form one set of tools. We discuss the different components of a computer system including the hardware, the operating system, the network and the Internet, and the programming language used to write programs. We specifically provide some background on the Python programming language, the language used in this book.
The other set of tools are the reasoning skills, grounded in logic and mathematics, required to develop a computer application. We introduce the idea of computational thinking and illustrate how it is used in the process of developing a small web search application.
The foundational concepts and terminology introduce in this chapter are independent of the Python programming language. They are relevant to any type of application development regardless of the hardware or software platform or programming language used.
This textbook is an introduction to programming. It is also an introduction to Python, the programming language. ...