In this Article, we will be discussing why every programmer should learn Data Structures and Algorithms. This article helps those who just started data structures and algorithms and wondered how impactful it will be to boost their career or programming skills. It also helps those students who wonder why big companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon hire those programmers who are exceptionally good at optimizing algorithms.
What are Data Structures and Algorithms?
Data structure is a storage that is used to store and organize data. It is a way of arranging data on a computer so that it can be accessed and updated efficiently.
Depending on your requirement and project, it is important to choose the right data structure for your project. For example, if you want to store data sequentially in the memory, then you can go for the Array data structure.
Programmers need to realize the importance of DSA as early as possible in their career to be not just a better programmer but to contribute significantly to your company by solving their problems.
Reasons to learn DSA
Many people consider DSA as just a mere subject in computer science. This is where they get it wrong. DSA is much more than that. It teaches you a way to be a better programmer and a way to think better. It is a skill that will help you all through your life and is not a skill to learn just to pass a subject. Let us dive deeper into various reasons why one should learn DSA –
1. Role of DSA in Technical Hiring Process
The knowledge of DSA is tested significantly in the technical hiring process of many companies. This is because the problems that the companies encounter daily are quite huge and complex, and they want to hire smart people who will solve these tasks within minimal time and the least number of resources. Advanced knowledge of Data Structures and Algorithms is a clear indicator of the person’s capabilities in solving complex problems in minimal time.
Interviewers are not worried about the ultimate solution to the problem in the developer hiring process. They want to see the tools that the candidates use to reach that solution. Top companies across the world like Google and Facebook spend only 20-30% of their time in implementing the code. The rest of the time is spent on formulating the solution using algorithms to save millions of dollars spent on various resources like servers. That is the reason they are at the top of the table and also the reason why they value the knowledge of DSA so much in their interviews. The hiring managers of these top companies spend more time on programming contests and programming sites than job portals to hire the top talents because in these portals they can find techies who have suggested unique solutions to problems.
2. Role of DSA in Solving Real-World Problems
You will be surprised to know that DSA has quite an important role to play even in solving real-world problems. Real-world problems that take months can be solved in minutes using the knowledge of DSA.
Let us say you want to find a set of people in the same age group within a large collection of data. Assuming this data is sorted, you can solve this issue easily with the binary search algorithm which works on the principle of DSA. The binary search algorithm is considered a logarithmically scalable algorithm, unlike traditional methods that are just linearly scalable. This means, if the number of data points in the database is squared, the time taken to do the same task in the binary search will only be doubled.
3. Role of DSA in Machine Learning
Can you imagine, a concept as advanced and futuristic as Machine Learning (ML) needs Engineers with knowledge of DSA? Apart from solving real-world problems, these engineers can design amazing products using the combination of their ML and DSA knowledge. The knowledge of DSA is the basic building block of algorithmic thinking, and logical capabilities in any field of computer science, and ML is no exception. An ML engineer spends a considerable part of his time collecting data which can lead to various complex challenges that can be solved easily using the knowledge of DSA. Let us assume you are creating an ML product that has a dataset with the address as one of its columns. Now suppose you want to retrieve a portion of this data, say the street name, then ML cannot work on the string directly. You would need the help of DSA by implementing an algorithm based on a string to retrieve the required data.
As today’s Students Consider Data Structures and Algorithms as a theoretical subject, which was the worst mistake done by them,
Practical knowledge is knowledge that is acquired by day-to-day hands-on experiences and Solving more complex problems.
It is quite easy to learn new programming languages while using them in your projects. However, it is not the case with DSA. If you don’t know DSA well, you will find it challenging to optimize the code and solution for a problem. The profound uses of DSA have made it imperative for all those budding programmers and students to start learning it and succeed in their computer science career. It is also important for the employees already working in DSA to upskill themselves to keep abreast of the advancements in it.
We tried to discuss Why Data Structures and Algorithms are so important for interviews in this article. We hope this article gives you a better understanding of the above question. Prepbytes also provides a good collection of Foundation Courses that can help you enhance your coding skills. Want to make sure you ace the interview in one go? Join our Placement Program that will help you get prepared and land your dream job at MNCs. Mentors of Prepbytes are highly experienced and can provide you with basic, in-depth subject knowledge for better understanding.