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Use of advanced algorithms and data structures in real life

 
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Hi,

I am wondering if algorithms and data structures are really used in the field.

Me myself, have always liked to learn about those but the only place where I can really make use of them is on platforms like Leetcode and Hackerrank.

Of course coding interviews at big tech companies require knowledge about those too but what about the project you work on every day?

PS:

I work as a software engineer on Java Web Applications ( Spring )
 
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I just had a quick look at the book contents and it does look like the author gave real-world examples of how these algorithms can be applied. Many of them, like Bloom filters, are used widely. I'll leave it to our guest author to give you a more comprehensive answer but the short of it is, yes, algorithms and data structures are used all the time even though you may not be aware of them.
 
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Ayoub Rossi wrote:Hi,

I am wondering if algorithms and data structures are really used in the field.

Me myself, have always liked to learn about those but the only place where I can really make use of them is on platforms like Leetcode and Hackerrank.

Of course coding interviews at big tech companies require knowledge about those too but what about the project you work on every day?

PS:

I work as a software engineer on Java Web Applications ( Spring )



Thanks for your question Ayoub, that's a very good point.
Yes, indeed, algorithms are vastly used in real world, every-day work. Of course that's more true for some positions, while for other jobs it might be an exception rather than something you deal with every day.
For instance, R&D is a (sub)field where you are likely to have to deal on a regular basis with advanced algorithms and DSs, and you probably would need to know their ins and outs.
As a backend engineer focusing on web applications, you might have the chance to use some of these algorithms every so often to improve the performance, or memory usage, of the applications you write.

In my experience, knowing the basics is very important: once can harm the performance of a web application very easily by misusing lists, maps and priority queues already (I can provide a few examples, if you are interested).
You won't probably need Dijkstra, but for example I'm working right now on a project, in the area of ecommerce, that requires some knowledge about graphs and implementing a custom version of DFS.

Junilu Lacar wrote:I just had a quick look at the book contents and it does look like the author gave real-world examples of how these algorithms can be applied. Many of them, like Bloom filters, are used widely. I'll leave it to our guest author to give you a more comprehensive answer but the short of it is, yes, algorithms and data structures are used all the time even though you may not be aware of them.



Thanks Junilu! Yes indeed, we tried to provide examples of real-world applications for all the algorithms that we discussed in the book: for instance, just in the first few chapters, we deal with a tool to handle tasks/bugs, an e-commerce system, a rudimentary warehouse management etc...
And I tried to go even further, discussing techniques and best practices to take decisions when implementing these solution, from design to profiling.
 
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