The professional computer specialist learns a range of techniques to help in the analysis, design and implementation of information systems. Some of these (for example, simulation) are more powerful than necessary in most home-computer applications. Some, however, can be very helpful in this environment and it is useful to be able to use them, when appropriate. The last phrase is important. It is by no means necessary to apply all the techniques every time you develop a new information system for your home computer. Part of the difficulty for the newcomer is not so much in understanding the technique itself but in knowing when and to what degree to use it. As far as possible, indications are given in the following sections of when and where to apply the techniques and methods described.
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