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What Data Structures and Algorithms to Practice if You Want to Get a Job at Top Tech Companies

Getting a job at a top tech company is no easy feat. It takes hard work and sometimes luck. One way to up your chances of being recruited by a top tech company is to be proficient in data structures and algorithms. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, SpaceX, and more are on the hunt for talented engineers who can build products quickly and efficiently.

Do you know what these terms mean? If not, don’t worry! This article will cover everything you need to start tackling this intimidating but important subject head-on. From understanding the basics to learning how to interview for a job in this field, read on to learn what it really takes to get hired by top tech companies.

Data Structures and Algorithms

Data structures and algorithms are the backbone of computer programming. They're what allow engineers to design programs that solve problems in quick and efficient ways.

In order to work at a top tech company, you'll need to be proficient with data structures and algorithms. It's an integral component in any interview and is required for most jobs.

Some of you might already be familiar with these terms, but if not, don't worry! We'll cover the basics so it's easy to understand.

What Are Data Structures and Algorithms?

Data structures and algorithms are the language of computer science. They’re what allow programmers to make code more efficient, scalable, and secure.

Data structures are sets of data that are organized in a specific way. Algorithms are series of steps a computer takes to solve a problem or accomplish a goal.

Why You Should Know Data Structures and Algorithms

There is a lot of competition when it comes to landing a job in the tech industry. The good news? Being proficient in data structures and algorithms will make you stand out.

Why do these skills give you an edge over other applicants? It's all about how quickly you can build products.

Top companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and more are looking for engineers that can work quickly to create innovative features that will help grow their company. Knowing how to identify the best solution for a problem using data structures and algorithms will be an asset to any company that employs you.

What is the difference between data structures and algorithms?

Data structure is "the way data is organized." Algorithms are basically steps or instructions so that your computer knows what to do with the information stored in the data structure.

One example of this would be an algorithm for searching through an unsorted list so you know where each item is located on the list.

When applied to sorting data into lists, algorithms allow us to present information in a way that people can easily understand or use it for research purposes (.e., what items are popular).

Basic Types of Data Structures

Let's start with the basics. Data structures are ways for computer scientists to organize large amounts of data in a structured manner.

There are many different types of data structures, most of which are classified by complexity. A simple type is an array, which is made up of two parts: elements and indices. Elements are the things that we want to store; indices are how we reference those elements.

Other more complex data structures include tree and graph structures like binary search trees and directed acyclic graphs (DAGs). For example, a binary search tree is a tree-based structure that has both nodes and leaves, where each node holds information about its children. A DAG is simply an ordered list of nodes or vertices where there's no loops or cycles.

How to Interview with Top Tech Companies

Interviewing for a job at a top tech company can be intimidating. You may not know what you’re talking about and be interviewing alongside PhDs and engineers. It may also feel like you don’t have the necessary background to get hired, but this is where data structures and algorithms come in handy!

It may seem like talk of stacks, queues, and sorting is unrelated to your daily responsibilities. But knowing these concepts will help you land an interview with top tech companies.

So what are these things? Data structures are simply different ways to store information. Algorithms are sets of instructions that tell computers how to solve problems. Both data structures and algorithms are built on mathematical models that describe how data should be organized and/or processed in order to work efficiently and quickly.

Prepare for the interview

Interviewing for a job at a top tech company can be intimidating.

You need to know everything about data structures and algorithms, and you have to nail the interview. Luckily, there are resources available that can help you prepare for your interview.

One of the best resources is [](]
You'll work with different forms of technical interview questions, asked by top tech companies and improve your programming skills, the questions on are sorted by varying level of difficulty (easy, medium, hard and expert) so you can pick and choose based on where you are in your journey.

If you're interested in practicing data structure and algorithms, click here!

Practice with these data structures and algorithms

Data structures and algorithms are the building blocks of computer science. You can't become a talented engineer without mastering these concepts.

But what are they? Data structures is the way data is stored in a computer system, and an algorithm is a set of instructions for solving a problem. They're essential to understanding how computers work and they form the basis of programming languages.

As you may have guessed, you can't just read about data structures and algorithms, so we've compiled some coding challenges to help you learn more about them:

  • There is a mapping a = 1, b = 2, ... z = 26 given and an encoded message. You have to count the number of ways it can be decoded. - asked by Facebook practice here

  • Two arrays and an element x is given. Find the element that would be at the xth position of the final sorted array. - Asked by Google practice here

  • Given a list of integers, return the largest product that can be made by multiplying any three integers - Asked by Facebook practice here.


The world of data structures and algorithms can be scary. But, with the right approach, it doesn't have to be!

This article covers the basics for understanding what this field is all about. It also provides information on how to interview for a job in this field. From data structures to algorithm development, read on to learn more about this important industry that you may not have known too much about before.

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