Data Structures 101: Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms
By some grace, I have worked on tasks that involve creating, accessing and changing data, the more I find the need to understand these two mutually dependent fields becomes more apparent especially if you aspire to write scalable and efficient programs. LuxTech Academy has launched a free to access program that aims to inculcate data structures & algorithms (DSA) knowledge.
The two are often coupled together since algorithms work on what is contained in data structures, like stew and a spoon in a pot.
In addition to writing better programs , understanding these concepts is usually key for acing system design interviews but is often missing in self or semi-self taught persons working with code.
This miniseries goes through some nuggets I find useful throughout the training.
Let us play a quick game of true or false :
True or False : Data types are inherently data structures , but not all data structures can be data types.
If you answered True, you are absolutely right. Why?
A datatype is a classification marker which identifies how a certain piece of information can (and implicitly cannot) be used by the program.
On the other hand , data structures solely exist to organize these marked pieces of information.
Because data types contain information on the organization of its content, and organize any given information,they pass the definition of a data structure.
True or False : Linked lists can be interchanged with arrays but arrays cannot be interchanged with linked lists
Again , this is true. Why?
Because at its core a linked list is a succinct array .
The difference that each element is an tattletale that contains the address of its (non -literal) neighbor / next element. In an array however, since the elements are stored one after the other, there is no need for such extra measures: here elements don’t get to pick their neighbor who will be related to them. Must be tough!
Speaking of neighbors & next elements, we shall find out why
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