Here is a quote I just now came across that wonderfully sums up why I enjoy programming.

The goal of this book is to teach you to think like a computer scientist. This way of thinking combines some of the best features of mathematics, engineering, and natural science. Like mathematicians, computer scientists use formal languages to denote ideas (specifically computations). Like engineers, they design things, assembling components into systems and evaluating tradeoffs among alternatives. Like scientists, they observe the behavior of complex systems, form hypotheses, and test predictions.

The single most important skill for a computer scientist is

problem solving. Problem solving means the ability to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express a solution clearly and accurately.

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist by Peter Wentworth, Jeffrey Elkner, Allen B. Downey, and Chris Meyers