You may have heard in the news how a single programmer was able to reduce the loading time on GTA V online by 70%. In this video I explain how he did it and summarize what was wrong with GTA's code.
I hate a lot of the Leetcode style coding interviews companies use like most software engineers, but this is a good example of why knowing even some basic data structures and algorithms is pretty important.
The bigger issue in this case is that nobody at Rockstar games took a few hours to fix this simple issue despite having 7 years to do it.
If you are interested in another practical example to get yourself motivated learn data structures and other CS fundamentals, you can check out my video showing how switching 1 line of code can speed up this example code by 30X in this article:
I generally follow the 80/20 rule, even a small amount of time spent learning these CS fundamentals can dramatically improve the performance of your code.