It is a way of organizing, arranging, and storing the data in such a way that the data can be accessed or retrieved easily or some of the operations can be performed in an efficient manner. It is very important to use the correct data structure to have done a particular set of operations.
Consider searching for a phone number of 10 digits in your phone directory. This can be done by starting the search from the beginning but yes this would not be an efficient way of searching obviously because what if the number you wanna search is present at the end of the phone directory. So here comes the role of using a correct data structure and by using it so you can perform your search operation easily and efficiently.
Now, Let’s talk about what exactly Algorithm is-Step by step solving a problem that has clear steps to be performed is an algorithm.
The algorithm helps to solve a problem in less time. An algorithm is good enough only when it is fast in execution and has high storage efficiency. The same problems can be executed in milliseconds with a good algorithm. On the other hand, it may take days to execute it with a bad set of algorithms.
Types of Data Structure:
There could be two kind of data structure mainly:
- Primitive Data Structure
- Non- Primitive Data Structure
Primitive Data Structures are pure and integral in form. These are used to form non-primitive
data structures. These are supported at the machine level.
The primitive data structure includes the following:
- Float etc
Non-Primitive Data Structures are derived data structures and these cannot be performed without primitive data structure. These data structures are derived using primitive data structures.
Non-Primitive data structures include the following data structures:
- Linked List
- HashMap etc.
Why is it important to learn DSA?
Let’s talk about the importance of Data Structure and Algorithm in different terms. There are a number of reasons behind learning data structure and algorithms. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Approx 95% of the companies who are recruiting for the role of Software development have one favourite round as data structure and algorithms. The reason behind taking this round is, they want to check the candidate’s problem-solving skills. They don’t expect from the candidate to give the exact solution of the problem, rather they check for the approx candidate to solve the problem.
This is one of the main aims behind the concept of data structure and algorithm. Consider finding a book in a library and the same in a bunch of books. It would always be easier to find a book in the library because they are arranged in some way unlike the bunch of books. Data Structure uses the same concept.
Best Language to Learn DSA:
According to a recent search on google, it is found that C++ is the best language for the competition as well as to solve the data structure and algorithm problems. C++ can teach you memory management skills and time complexity instructions in an efficient manner.
Some of the Best Books to Learn C++
Let’s discuss some of the best books that would help you to make a good command over C++
Computer Science with C++ by Sumita Arora:
As it is apparent by the name itself, the author of the book is Mrs Sumita Arora who is also an alumnus of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. Publisher of the book is Dhanpat Rai Co. & Lmt. This is an 854 pages book which is divided into two volumes, onwards from the edition of 2018.
The book is written in such a manner that a beginner too can grasp the concept easily and it follows the syllabus of CBSE board as well. This is definitely one of the best books to start with. It contains precise information about Data Structure and Algorithms and the most important part is the examples each topic has, they are very good.
If you are searching for a complete book on Algorithms, you must go with this book only. Let’s talk about what is the specification of this book, there are a number of books in the market but if there is a book that focuses on covering a number of topics, then it loses the clarity. This is the book that covers all the necessary topics and has clarity as well. Algorithms in this book are defined in English and pseudocode is written in such a manner that the one who understands English, can understand it easily.
The author includes T Cormen, C Leiserson, R Rivest, C Stein. The book is easily available on Amazon. This book is the bible of the Introduction to Algorithms.
Algorithm in C++:
This book is written by Robert Sedgewick. The book has the expanded coverage of the arrays, LinkedList, string, trees, and other basic topics. This is the third edition of the book and focuses on object-oriented programming and C++ classes than in previous editions. The book has more than 100 algorithms for sorting, searching implementations.
There are some new implementations for the BST, skip list, B trees and radix sorting also given and has much better quantitative information about the algorithm. There are around 1000 new exercises to make you learn the properties of algorithms in a better way.
Those who are preparing for interviews and recruitment exams, this book could be one of the great help. The book has solved algorithms, dynamic programming, strings, design problems etc. Not only this, but this book also tells how to tackle programming problems, and helps you to get ready for interviews. Those who are aspiring as software developers must go through this book.
The book is written by Adnan Aziz and Amit Prakash. I personally have much liking for the book because of the approach it follows to explain the concept. It would be very easy to understand Data Structures and Algorithms if you follow this book.
This book is basically emphasising the creative approach of building an algorithm in step by step. Mathematical induction is the heart of building creative algorithms. The book is written by Udi Manber and it is one of the excellent books for self-study as there are a number of problems and examples provided in this book.
This can make one better in Problem solving and enhance the skills and make you better in writing good codes.
The Design And Analysis of Algorithms:
This book is written by Anany Levitin and this is one of the greatest books on Algorithms. Somebody who has some intro-level knowledge of algorithms can refer to this book. The book contains the advanced topics of the algorithms.
Best Online Courses to learn Data Structure and Algorithm in C++:
Let’s talk about some of the best online courses to learn data structures and algorithms.
C++ with Data Structures and Algorithms By Coding Ninjas:
If you are someone who is good at buying online paid courses, then without a second thought, you must go with the Data Structure and Algorithm in C++ by Coding Ninjas course. This is mentored by Ankush Singla and Nidhi Agarwal. The cream part of the course is you would be leveled up step by step with topic-related quizzes and with relevant problems. The content of the course is really effective and very good.
One of the most important parts is the TA (Teaching Assistant), they are available whenever you are stuck somewhere, you may just raise the problem ticket and they would close the ticket only when you are fully satisfied with the answers they provide. At the end of the course, you would be able to write the course on your own and would be efficient in writing good code.
Algorithm and Data Structures in C++:
People often focus on data structures but forget about the algorithms, The course focuses much on the algorithm part as well. The course is for the people who want to learn data structure and algorithms and improve programming solving skills. You can watch the course on TV/ mobile or laptop and it has lifetime access as well.
The Coding Interview Bootcamp: Algorithms + Data Structure
It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5. This course would prepare you to be able to learn and answer the interview questions easily. This is the best-suited course for the people who are preparing for the coding interviews and want to apply to the good software developer profile. The course purely focuses on the interview processes and is the best design for the interview preparation.
The course would mostly focus on the :
- An overview of the most important data structures. Any non-Cs students can also pursue the course freely.
- You would be mastered on the interview questions at the end of the course.
- Not only Data Structure but the algorithm part is also very much explanatory of
- this course.
Mastering Data Structures and Algorithm using C and C++:
It has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5. The course would make you analyse, learn and implement the data structure and algorithm and is created by Abdul Bari.
The main focus of the course is:
- A recursive approach to a different data structure.
- To learn various popular data structures and algorithms and to be able to implement them.
- To learn various sorting algorithms, which is a favourite topic in all the interviews.
- The main data structure included would be:
- Linked List
- Binary Tree
Frequently Asked Questions
After mastering one programming language, the next step is to use that language to implement data structures. Starting from linear data structures, move towards advanced topics but don’t just study topics theoretically. Simultaneous implementation is important. To get a defined path, taking an online course is recommended.
Most competitive programmers use C++ because of its efficiency for DSA. That being said, the language is just a medium and any language that you are affluent with is appropriate for you to implement DSA.
Practicing as many problems as you can find and that too consistently is the key to mastering DSA. Online platforms like CodeStudio, LeetCode, Codeforces have a pool of problems of all types, practicing which will help you master DSA.
To be good at algorithms you can either take up a data structures and algorithms course where you can learn data structures and algorithms or you can do it on your own by understanding the basics and what goes inside an algorithm along with the complexity analysis.
It takes around 15 days to learn the data structures nicely and another 15 days to learn algorithms. After that you can keep practicing until you feel comfortable.
You can either take up a data structures and algorithms course or learn on your own using the CLRS book.
Basic programming fundamentals are necessary to learn before data structures and algorithms.
Yes, python is great for learning data structures. Basically, it doesn’t matter which language you are learning data structures in, the underlying concepts remain the same everywhere.
You should start from arrays, linked lists, stacks, queues and heaps and then move on to more complex data structures and algorithms.
We discussed how important data structure and algorithms are. And saw some of the best data structure and algorithm real-world examples and also discussed some of the best resources of the same, in terms of the books and the courses. The Courses we discussed are different for different audiences. Hope you liked the courses and the best books we discussed for data structure and algorithms.
To read more about our courses, visit our course page.
By Deepak Jain