An algorithm is a procedural plan for solving mathematical and computer problems such as sorting data, for example. It’s not a computer program yet. It’s merely a description of how you want the program to perform a task.

You can think of an algorithm as an outline, such as one a writer prepares before writing a piece. Similarly, a developer can plan how to solve a problem before writing an actual program.

In computing, algorithms serve as a set of instructions that determines the “what” but also address the “how.” Using algorithms makes it easier for programmers to gain a better understanding of the processes that would help them solve problems.

Other interesting terms…