Why Data Structures and Algorithms?

A lot of times we hear people say learn data structures and algorithms, it always seems far stretched because many individuals can create websites, build applications, and design software yet not as many understand data structures much less how to develop algorithms.

📌 So my question is…why is it so important? And why do tech companies, especially FAANG (Facebook now known as Meta, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) companies test software developers and engineers with data structures?

Amazon Interview

A few months ago I had an Amazon interview for a role as a Frontend Engineer, I was sent a lot of information by Amazon to prepare for the interview, but one piece of detail that bothered me was that I was going to be tested on data structures and algorithms, this gave me a lot of anxiety because the role I was being interviewed for was a level five (5) role, which means if I was to get hired I was going to be an employee, not an intern, not an apprentice but a full time employee. Anyway that ship didn’t set sail for too long because I’m still in school and the interview was cut short. However, I did learn one thing from that interview, which was if I was to get an engineering role in a tech company I needed to be good at solving data structures and algorithms.

Free Code Camp

After the interview, I decided to visit Free Code Camp again. Yeah, I revisited the programming scriptures 😁 and went full Snowden with the JavaScript problems. I spent hours reviewing the data structures and algorithm questions, finding solutions, and wondering how and why the code works and doesn’t work.

What I learnt

To sum up, after practising lots of data structures and algorithm questions. I would say it has improved my programming skills, and I see why companies use this as a way to test job applicants. In my opinion, I do believe it is to test your technical skill set and understand how you think about solving problems. To my software engineers who know how to build software applications without basic data structures and algorithm knowledge, do practice! It gives you an advantage in the tech industry.

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