Why is data structures and algorithms the first step?
The amount of times that emphasis has been laid on the fact that data structures and algorithms are the most important topics in order to get good at programming is infinite.
But why is it so?
In one of the articles I have written on this topic, I gave this example that might make it clearer.
If you have ever ordered food online using the mobile applications of various Food Delivery companies like Zomato, you would know how you can track your order in real-time. Once you place your order, Zomato selects one employee who is allocated your order. This process that seems so simple from the outside actually uses a lot of mathematical techniques which essentially are built on the foundations of Data Structures and Algorithms.
If you try to make a basic food ordering system, you might use three kinds of data structures. You can use Linked Lists to store the items on a menu, Stacks to store the items that a user orders and Queues to store the orders from various users. The more interesting part is understanding how these structures will implement the operations we need to do and why we use these. These questions, you will be able to answer yourself once you delve into this subject.
Another application of data structures is seen in web scraping. It is a technique used to extract data from a website, which means scraping it from HTML files. HTML in itself is a binary tree. So in order to perform web scraping successfully, one must have knowledge about binary trees which are a type of data structures.
How to decide which field I should pursue?
After you have attained mastery in data structures and algorithms the next step would be to identify what field you would like to go into professionally. But before that, it is also advisable to get yourself into competitive programming which will improve your hold on DSA and also help immensely to hone your programming skills.
But competitive programming and DSA are just gateways to what you will do in the industry. It can range from web development, android development to machine learning and artificial intelligence. But the question is how does one decide which one to choose. For this, you need to consider the following factors:
- Identify your inclination: if you have any inclination towards any field you should not hesitate in going for it. Because if you have the passion to do something in an area that you like, it is certain that you will be able to do it. Thus, whether it is web development or machine learning, or any other field, if your wish is to go with it, you should go with it.
- If you do not have an inclination: It is possible that you might not have yet recognized a liking for a particular field. In that case, what is advisable, is to go for web development. To understand why we discuss this in detail in the next section.
Why Web Development?
There are a number of reasons why web development is the right path to take if you are unsure about which field to go to. Let us discuss these reasons one by one:
- Job opportunities: It is natural that every company whether it deals in any kind of products or services needs a website/ server to operate. Even a company that works on machine learning algorithms will need a server to actually deploy those algorithms. Every firm thus needs web developers. In such a scenario it becomes evident that the job opportunities that a person with a web developing profile would get are much more than any other profile. So in case you do not know where to go, web development is the perfect field that will get you countless opportunities.
- Foundation of everything: As we discussed in the first point, web developers are much needed by any kind of firm. This is because nothing at all can operate fully without web development being involved. This in turn leads to countless chances for web development to flourish. Keeping this in mind, we can say that there is never going to be any decrease In the demand for web developers.
Frequently Asked Questions
To prepare for data structures and algorithms, you can refer to this video.
For tips on how to prepare for competitive programming perfectly please visit this article.
We can say that once data structures and algorithms have been perfected it is advisable to go to competitive programming in order to improve your skills and your hold on coding and further then move on to choose the field that you want to work in professionally. Because finally, it is this field that you are going to enter with a profile as in the industry.
The first factor that plays the most important role in deciding this field is your inclination and your passion. But in case you have not identified your inclination yet, web development is the right place to start because once you know web development it is easier for you to enter any field.
By Khushi Sharma