Is it important to learn DSA for Web Developers?
Let’s modify the question slightly and answer the same for problem-solving. Data structures and algorithms are just different tools that help in problem-solving.
Now, is problem-solving knowledge necessary for a web developer? Absolutely! In fact, it is the most important. To answer why, just look at any website with some level of complexity and analyse if there are some parts of it that are not that straightforward.
Let’s take a few examples from different fields out there:
1. Gaming: Let’s take a website like Chess.com. Now, before a game starts
you are matched with a participant around your rating and the match starts.
This matching is not an easy problem to solve considering every person can
set a gap of rating with which he/she wants to play.
Moreover, after the match is over, predicting how much rating should be
added/subtracted also is a complex problem to solve and would require some
DSA on past data.
Thirdly, analysis of the game using engines would again be based on some
backtracking solution by exploring the possibilities and to be able to predict
if the move was correct or not.
2. Food Apps: Finding which active delivery guys should be allocated to
which order is not so easy. Even showing relevant restaurants to you when
you search for “restaurants selling cakes” is not so easy. There are many
parameters to take care of: Restaurant delivery radius, popularity, rating,
promoted restaurants, your history of orders, etc.
3. Social Media: Designing your news feed itself is really complex. You need
to look at so many factors: Is it a post from someone you know? What kind
of posts have you interacted with? What kind of posts do people like you
interact with? Some ad based on your data history? Something famous in
your location? Community? etc.
So, no matter what kind of system you are creating as a web developer, you will at one point or the other, face a tough problem to solve. Then comes the use of problem-solving and some common DSA like graphs, hashing, sorting, searching, recursion, backtracking etc.
Even more importantly, these form the core of the field you are working in. How can you excel in your job if you have not worked on the core skills?
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