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Best Way to Learn Data Structures and Algorithms

In this article, we are going to look for the basic question which every enthusiastic undergrad starting with computer science always gets into. 

If you are reading this article you probably are familiar with the fact that Data structures and Algorithms are the must to do things if you are studying Computer Science, You may be doing development or competitive coding or open source but it is very important to learn at least the basics of data structures and algorithms.

Why Data Structures and Algorithms?

Before starting to learn anything you must know the purpose of it, so before you get started with any new data structure or algorithms try to understand why is this needed, what is the problem and how this new data structure will solve it. Sometimes the problem can be the complexity of use of the previous data structure or sometimes it can be the ease of use. Whatever it is you must understand the problem so that you can understand the basic purpose of data structure.

Understand the Learning Sequence

Data structures are built using a previous data structure and algorithms use the understanding of some previous algorithms as facts, so it very important to learn things in a particular sequence. You cannot just start with trees without understanding how an array works.

Time and Space Complexities are Very Very Important

Whenever you are done with studying a new data structure it is very important to know the time complexities of every operation which that particular data structure performs. As every algorithm can be designed with a vast majority of data structures it is important to decide which will the best in some particular case. This trade-off can be decided using the time and space complexities of algorithms so it is very important that you understand them clearly.

Competitive Programming

Competitive Programming can help you understand the use of different data structures with lots of practical problems that we commonly do not encounter even in large-sized projects. Websites like codechefcodeforces, and spoj are helping thousand of programmers to get started with understanding data structures in depth.

Practice, Practice and Practice

Ultimately there is no easy way to success if you want to master data structures and algorithms you need lots and lots of practice. Do not just read through internet articles explaining data structure, understanding them is very important. Code the basic structure of all the data structures. Write code for every algorithm you learn that way you will know very basic and small stuff about them. Never skip things until you understand them perfectly as they will surely haunt in the later stages of your carrier.

Mentor and Resources

Not everything you can learn on your own so having a good mentor in the process is very very important. It can be a book or a person but having a guide will surely help. There are different terminologies used in computer science and therefore you may get confused while learning new things, therefore it is advised to remain consistent with the resources you are trying to learn.

Best Books to Learn Data Structures and Algorithms

Here is the list of some popular books that you can refer to learn DSA easily.

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