Nowadays, every programming language is based on data structure and algorithms (DSA). Whether you want to become a programmer or want to learn programming, DSA is an important concept you must master. However, most programming enthusiasts go through DSA quickly and don’t understand its importance.
DSA concepts are essential as they help you grasp the problems and solve them quickly. You may enroll in some data structures and algorithms courses covering DSA and its importance.
The knowledge of DSA will also be helpful in interviews where interviewers assess your DSA skills. Tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon provide various coding interviews to examine your DSA and problem-solving skills.
So, before you start applying for interviews and get the real picture, take a step back and enhance your understanding of DSA.
What are data structures and algorithms?
Data structures represent sets of data parameters and the relationships that exist between them. They help programs in storing and managing the data correctly in memory. Many data structures help manage the data, like queues, stacks, linked lists, arrays, etc.
In simple words, algorithms are a set of steps taken for efficient problem-solving. Developing and optimizing algorithms is a major task in programming. An algorithm can be helpful in data encryption, searching across given data, or sorting a dataset.
The data structures and algorithms courses provide you with DSA knowledge to effectively create and manage algorithms in the best possible way.
Tips to help you can learn DSA from scratch
1. Start with at least one programming language.
As DSA is the basis of most programming languages, you should start your journey by understanding the concepts of any one programming language of your choice. Python, Java, C, and C++ are the most popular choices. Gain the fundamental knowledge of the language.
You should learn the following:
- OOPs (Object-Oriented Programming) concept
- Conditional statements
- Variables and data types
2. Understanding the Time and Space complexities
This is an essential concept in DSA; you can learn through a data structures course. The programmers mainly use data structures and algorithms to design a program that efficiently solves problems. To check the effectiveness of a program, we use complexities. Mainly, time and space complexities help evaluate a program.
Time complexity tells us how much time a code takes to execute. Whereas space complexity helps determine the space required for the successful execution of a code. We evaluate these complexities according to the given input parameters.
However, the time a code takes to execute depends on many factors, which are:
- How many operations are done on the program?
- What is the speed of the machine?
- At what rate is the data transferred on a web server?
To calculate the efficient factor, we use asymptotic notation. It uses mathematics to determine the amount of time according to the input size. It can do the calculation without executing the code.
You must learn the following asymptotic notations:
- Omega Notation (Ω): It depicts the best-case.
- Big-O Notation (Ο): It depicts the worst-case.
- Theta Notation (θ): It depicts the median complexity.
3. Learn the basics of DSA properly.
Understand how each data structure is vital in a scenario. This will build your basic knowledge. Choose Java programming language to start implementing the data structure. A data structure should be organized according to different use cases.
The important data structures and algorithms are given below.
- Priority Queues
- Stack and Queues
- Dynamic Programming
- Lists and Two Dimensional Lists
- Linked Lists
- Hash Maps and Hash Tables
- Tuple and Sets
- Binary Search Trees
- Searching algorithms
- Sorting algorithms
- Brute Force
4. Enhance your problem-solving skills.
To become better at data structures, you need to solve various problems. Try to solve problems that offer different use cases instead of solving similar problems over and over. Start with simple problems, then move slowly to complex problems. This way, you can solidify your DSA concepts.
You can find DSA projects ranging from easy to difficult on sites like LeetCode and HackerRank. Practicing on paper is a better way to solve problems. It helps you learn how to plan your code before you start writing it properly. You will also develop a complete understanding of the appropriate syntax of the languages.
5. Enrol in data structures and algorithms courses.
The most appropriate way to learn DSA is by enrolling in a data structures course program. An online program provides the necessary knowledge and develops a student’s skills. You can study directly through mentors, which is very helpful in clearing your doubts. You may also practice solving concerns with the mentor’s help.
Some online data structures and algorithms courses also offer job opportunities to students. They can get ready for placements through these programs. They can get mock interviews, practice problems, and technical interview questions to become job ready.
Several companies focus on your DSA skills in interviews. It is one of the most essential concepts every programmer needs to learn. DSA is an easy concept to learn if you understand and follow the step-by-step process. As it is a complex topic, you must give it some time to understand the DSA concepts.
You may get stuck in between and couldn’t find the solution to an issue. Every programmer faces this, so you should leave the concern for another time. The problem-solving tasks in DSA can become very complicated, and you might need some assistance to go through them.
An online data structures course helps students become familiar with DSA and start solving various difficulties. The Data Structures Algorithms & System Design with Domain Specialization provides students with experts to help them learn data structures and algorithms. They can enroll in live classes and also practice problem-solving with mentors.
The program contains one-on-one doubt clearance, placement aid, career counseling, and certifications. Students will get the IBM and Microsoft certifications after completing the course. These further help students in finding their desired company for placements. They can showcase their DSA and problem-solving skills in interviews through these certifications.