Computer Science  |  Subrata Dasgupta  |  Nonfiction, Computer Science  |  2016

Knowledge of computer science is so useful these days, especially as an increasing amount of processes and jobs become automated by programs and software.  Understanding computer science is a way to stimulate progressive thinking in a way that supports new technologies that enrich and improve our lives.

I picked up Dasgupta’s Computer Science because I am actively pursuing a better understanding of the field, and hope to eventually acquire relevant skills in application.  Computers have always been somewhat of a mystery to me, and I hoped this book would give me a succinct overview of what I should know about the subject, and point me to where I should go next for further learning.

Quick summary

Computer Science is a short, pocket-sized book that takes you through a brief overview of computing before diving into the basics such as computational artefacts, algorithmic thinking, programming, computer architecture, and computational thinking and doing.  Dasgupta provides relevant examples when possible, and the text is supplemented by images and diagrams.

Thoughts

When I had finally finished Computer Science (for it had taken ages), I remember having more questions than answers.  I enjoyed the logical structure of the book and found Dasgupta’s writing easy to read, but struggled with some of the content which explained the theory in terms of applied knowledge.

There were a few examples in the book that went completely over my head because of this.  For instance, when I read the chapter on programming there was an example that explained a process using a coding language, and although I understood the basics of the theory, I felt I was missing out on the bigger picture because I didn’t fully understand the language and meanings behind commands.  To properly understand certain concepts, I needed a deeper familiarity with the application knowledge.

I find computer science interesting, and usually when you’re interested in something, it’s easy to spend your free time consumed in it.  Unfortunately, that was not the case with this book.  Computer Science was a bit too slow for me, and I did not find it as engaging as some of the other VSI’s I’ve read.  In addition, although the book is quite short, I found it difficult to pick up on a whim or in between commutes.  You really had to sit down and finish the chapter before moving on to something else, or you’d have to re-read sections.

Is it for you?

Computer Science introduced me to important concepts regarding the field of study, and I do understand the field a bit better.  However, this book was frustrating working through which is why I cannot give it a whole-hearted recommendation.

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