If you’re a newbie in the programming world, you might wonder why Data Structures & Algorithms are necessary when you only have to work on the development side of the company. Big MNCs like Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, and Facebook would always prefer a candidate who’s great at Data Structures & Algorithms and can solve problems in an efficient way.
Today, in this article let’s discuss what are data structures & algorithms, what are the advantages of using DSA, and also how much DSA is enough for placements.
What is DSA?
When you go to the canteen and if you want to search for let’s samosa, you will check the menu card from the starting item to the ending item. This is called Linear Search.
Suppose instead of a menu card, you are given a dictionary, then you won’t search for samosa from starting to end. You will look for certain pages in the middle and then try searching for them. This is called Binary Search.
If the same dictionary is given to a kid, he would search for the item from start to end. He doesn’t know the best way to search for an item. This is the difference between a programmer who doesn’t know Data Structures & Algorithms and a programmer who knows Data Structures & Algorithms and where to apply them.
What are Data Structures?
Again we’ll understand Data structures by taking one example. Let’s say you want to build WhatsApp and you want your messages to be received by your friend in sequence. (means messages you have sent first, will be received first by your friend). This is known as First In First Out (FIFO). WhatsApp is using a data structure called Queue to store messages.
Let’s say you also want to store information about your friends, or friends of your friends on Facebook then you’ll be using Graph data structure. The Graph data structure has nodes that store information and those nodes again have more nodes that store information from the previous nodes.
So a good programmer must know which data structure should be used in different conditions.
Advantages of DSA
There are a lot of advantages if you know Data Structures & Algorithms. One of the biggest advantages is your logic building reaches greater heights. The ability to solve problems improves a lot. And next time, when you face a new problem, you know how the information should be stored using the appropriate data structure.
More advantages of using DSA would be, that DSA teaches you how to optimize your code. This means you get to know how to execute your code in the fastest way possible. This gets really important when you’re building an app or website because you don’t have your app to buffer. That would ruin the user experience.
So you should how to optimize your code if you’re working on some big product.
Now before discussing how much DSA is important for placements, I would like to tell you some facts
Some facts about DSA –
90% of the start-ups or say big tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, Netflix, and Facebook always look for people who have strong knowledge of Data Structures & Algorithms and who can solve problems efficiently. Also if you perform well in your interviews, if you’re able to tell the interviewer the best approach to solve a problem then it will create a good image of you. Even tomorrow, if you are given a new problem then you can use your own logic to solve that problem. This gives an impression that you know the Data Structures & Algorithms well and work on big projects.
How much DSA is required to crack interviews?
Talking about the placements, there are basically two types of companies that hire developers.
- Service-Based Companies
- Product-Based Companies
1. Service-Based Companies
Service-based companies are those who provide services on the existing technology. Service Based Companies do not ask extreme-level questions on DSA. If you do basic data structures & algorithms, that would be enough for you. They also conduct aptitude tests to test your basic problem-solving skills.
You can study these data structures to crack service-based company interviews:
- Linked List
You don’t have to study complex DSAs like Graphs, Segment Trees, and DP. If you do the above, that would be more than enough to crack their interviews.
2. Product-Based Companies
The engineers who work in product-based companies, build an actual product from scratch. So you must know how a scalable system works and how to use the data structures. Here you have to practice complex DSA like Graphs, Dynamic Programming, Segment Trees, and Tries along with the basic DSA.
Data Structures to study to crack product-based company interviews:
- Linked List
- Dynamic Programming
- Segment Trees
Now I would also like to discuss the third category here, which is start-ups.
Some of the start-ups do not ask for DSA. You can directly apply for a specific role that you want. Suppose you want to apply for a web developer role or app developer role, you can directly apply.
However, some start-ups may ask you to implement basic DSA. So you should be prepared enough.
And DSA isn’t just important for your interviews or placements. If you have knowledge of DSA then it will definitely help you in the long journey.
So I would suggest you start studying DSA today. No matter which year you are studying in, start practicing today.