When I was in college, I took 3 courses in Data Structures and Algorithms. I scored well, but didn't quite realise it's importance at that time. When I started interviewing, I got a fair amount of interviews and job offers - which further made me believe that Data Structures and Algorithms aren't probably more important than my skills. So I filled myself up to the brim with different sorts of skills and ignored it for a significant amount of time.
A bit more than one and a half years down the line, everyday I realise what a terrible mistake I made. I struggle in coming up with smarter and efficient solutions to real world problems. It's as if I can walk but something is grabbing onto my legs if I try to run. Programmers Paradox is a real thing, but I am not satisfied even a bit of myself. Tried taking a few courses online, but it didn't work out that well. I also tried to solve problems on HackerEarth and LeetCode, but it seems I have totally forgotten how to even think in a certain way to solve a problem. Tried praying and throwing salt over my shoulders as well but oh well, didn't quite work out. I wish I didn't avoid it back then. But, I am hoping to improve everyday.
It would be great if you can drop your favourite list of books to learn DS and Algorithms. Language doesn't matter as long as it isn't Java. (Sorry, I am a Python guy and err.. you know)
I would love to hear you rant about your worst decisions as a Junior Developer as well!