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Data structures/algorithms for web devs? πŸ™†

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I generally try to stay clear of "interview knowledge" that doesn't contribute to me becoming a better web developer (front end) and for a long time, data structures & algorithms fell into that category.
The few courses I tried to take on the topic were really dry, theoretical and boring and I never had the need for any such knowledge while building websites. But recently I've lost a couple of great opportunities because of my lack of knowledge in that area so I'm curious:

  1. Does knowing algorithms and data structures make you a better web developer?
  2. How did you learn them (and would recommend learning them)?
  3. If you like them, why/what makes you passionate about them?
twitter logo DISCUSS (4)
markdown guide
 
  1. It's the 20/80 rule. Knowing them is not enough. What matters is your skill to identify the proper use of them by solving problems in your code. Once you do that efficiency, it makes you a better dev.
  2. You can learn the basics with CS50. Practice your knowledge in coding challenge sites like Codewars besides. What's important to understand that it's an endless path of learning not a destination.
  3. Learn them by setting the goals, and tracking the progress. When you need more inspiration, remind yourself, that in the pure core those are always thought-out data structures and algorithms that make a great app.
 

I don't know if it's an algorithm (more like a pattern) but I think every developer should learn about iterators. They are basically in every language these days and learning how they work is super helpful. Methods like map/reduce/forEach.

 

Does knowing algorithms and data structures make you a better web developer?

I've been doing web development several years on and I've never been in the need to use a formal algorithm for anything 🀣.

Also I don't care about them too much because once I studied them and never used them and now they're totally forgotten... Again.

I rate myself as a good web dev. I've accomplished and delivered many times with different degrees of success and I, personally, don't feel knowing algorithms and/or data structures would make my job as a web developer better.

However, I do care about problem solving and communication. I strive to have a sharp and open mind to try to find solutions to problems and challenges I face. Also I try to be very conscious about the way I communicate and the messages I want to send.

How did you learn them (and would recommend learning them)?

If you want to study them, you could start reading Basecs series. The series explains so many things from CS in a freshers way.

If you like them, why/what makes you passionate about them?

I don't like them πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

 
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Hi πŸ‘‹ I'm Jesco, I'm a frontend developer currently based in Amsterdam. On this blog, I'll talk about anything I find interesting. If you have any feedback please tweet at me @jescowuester

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