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Why do I need to focus on Data Structures and Algorithms?

Many beginners in programing like me search the web to study Data Structures and Algorithms, how to write, and where to use. That could be a good start but not certainly the first. Now realized that the first search should be: What are algorithms and data structures, and why do I need to focus on them?

What is an Algorithm?

As per the technical definition: “An algorithm is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed. Algorithms perform the calculation, data processing, and/or automated reasoning tasks.”

Algorithms are not just a part of IT or people involved in the fields of computer science. They are practically existed everywhere and involved in each aspect of your life where technology plays its role. They are used in many different fields.

What are the Data Structures?

As per the technical definition: “Data structures are defined and orderly set of data arranged to make a process easier to follow.

Data structures are like hands for algorithms to make a recipe. Using a combination of data structure and algorithms, we can improve the performance of the program drastically. They store objects and allow their manipulation based on two different types:

Linear

• Arrays

• Stacks

• Queues

Non-Linear

• Trees

• Graphs

• Tables

• Sets

How is the algorithm and data structure connected?

Programming is getting increasingly high in-demand as a skill for any Software Developer as technology is rapidly advancing, with new innovations taking place every day. From Smart TVs to ACs, Lights, and whatnot, every aspect has some kind of program involved to execute the user command line.

It is where data structures and algorithms play the role of identity for a software developer as they are the core reasons behind improving the problem-solving ability of the candidate to a greater extent. It is why many tech-giants focus on measuring the knowledge of the candidate about data structure and algorithms. They want people who think apart from the typical technicalities of designing an algorithm, in turn, saving the company financial and material resources.

Benefits of learning data structures & algorithms

The actual reason behind your learning can improve your knowledge in the domain accordingly. For example, some people learn them particularly to suffice job interviews, few to make their resumes look better, etc. While others might learn to ace competitive programming. Regardless of the reason for learning data structures and algorithms, there are benefits pertaining to knowledge. The following are some of those benefits.

To write the logical statement

This means that a programmer can write the correct code if they knew both data structures and algorithms.

• if-then-else statement: If-Then statements are a type of variable logic that allows the output of the variable to be conditionally determined. For all If-Then statements, the conditions must be defined as well as the actions that should occur when those conditions are met. Therefore, the guarantee is that at least one of the two statements is true and will execute.

• Loop Statements: As the term ‘loop’ suggests, they are used to perform similarly, if not the same action multiple times consecutively. It makes them an essential part of every programming language there is. There can many different types of loop statements based on the desired outcome. However, there are for core types that are:

• For

• While/do

• Repeat/until

• Infinite looping

To Solve Some Real-World Complex Problems

Here you need to arrange and keep everything (data) in such a structure that whenever you need to search something you get that easily and as soon as possible.

Now take the example of a library. If you need to find a book on Algorithm from a library, you will go to the Programing section first, then the Algorithm books section. If these books are not organized in this manner and just distributed randomly then it will be frustrating to find a specific book. So data structures refer to the way we organize information on our computer. Computer scientists process and look for the best way we can organize the data we have, so it can be better processed based on the input provided.

How do you fix the problem?

More than often, a bug is mainly a symptom of an underlying condition. And developers tend to fix the symptom than to reach the actual root cause of it. Several times, you must have noticed that a website opened up but showed warning signs or errors. It is because the connectivity of data with an algorithm was not established. As a result, the system reached an instructed table and tried to fetch the data, but due to unavailability, it generated the error that you saw.

The most important thing is the approach to fix the problem, then you would probably need some new ideas to find your programming methodology that fixes the issue once and for all.

For troubleshooting the codes

Sometimes what happens is, technology up-gradation and new languages do not support. Programmers receive tasks to edit the system, and if they don’t understand critical data structural and algorithmic conditions, then they won’t be able to troubleshoot and modify the system.

Therefore, making changes in an environment where many data structures are interlinked and provide a reference to other similar structures becomes a mess. Hence, recompiling every source file after every change is time-consuming and will generate bugs and errors before the new code is developed in its entirety. A developer needs in-depth knowledge to suffice such structural changes on a deeper level in a program to save time and costs for the company.

Conclusion

Data structure and algorithms help in understanding the nature of the problem at a deeper level and thereby a better understanding of the world.