Technology helps us solve trivial, or clear-cut problems, as well as more complex problems that, until recently, were totally unsolvable. Computer scientists use heuristics to develop algorithms as a critical step in the problem solving process because computers can only follow very specific directions. A heuristic is a general guideline or "rule-of-thumb" for solving a problem. An algorithm is a detailed instruction list for accomplishing a task which can be translated into a specific computer language.
We'll start our discussion of problem solving with a description of types of problems and explore how each of these types can be reflected in technology and programming. Then, we'll look at the strategies to solve these types of problems, the unique strategies of solving problems in technology, and finally, consider ways to improve one's problem solving skills.