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You don’t need to know much about the inner workings of the Internet Computer to write programs that run successfully on it. However, learning a few key concepts will help you get the most out of the unique features that the Internet Computer provides.

Knowing a little about the design and architecture of the IC can make it easier for you to realize the benefits that align with your goals and inform the types of applications you develop.

The topics in this section introduce key components and terminology to help you understand the architecture and operation of the IC. Read an overview of the IC and the nodes and data centers that power it. You can learn more about canisters, how and why they allow to build decentralized apps hosted fully on chain, and why we should place our trust in them. We can see more about how canisters are powered by tokens and cycles and how the Internet Computer is governed and developed in a decentralized manner.

If you want to get right to developing code, though, you can skip this introductory material—key concepts and terminology—and look them up later when you need them either in this category or in the glossary.

If you are looking for more introductory information, check out the following related resources: