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Data Structures in practise

Posted by ronniesmith 
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Data Structures in practise
January 24, 2010 02:58PM
Data structures seems to be very abstract. The question is when and how do one apply them in practise.
Re: Data Structures in practise
January 26, 2010 06:18PM
Uhm... no idea. Been in IT a long time, still can't quite see the use for it. But it is a prerequisite for some third year subjects, so, hey, whatever, I can learn that...
Re: Data Structures in practise
January 26, 2010 08:08PM
thats the point uve been in IT 4 a long time and never use them.

I really think that data structures are irrellevant.
Re: Data Structures in practise
January 27, 2010 09:49AM
Ja, but I've also been in studies for a long time and learned that telling the lecturer that his/her course is irrelevant doesn't help. Just suck it up, pass it, move on... hope that one day when you have clout that you can change things. It is relevant to a small percentage of people (hard core dudes, you know, with long greasy hair working in dungeons on a new Linux package perhaps...), perhaps there are those around that may gain value from the course. But no use fighting it. It's not difficult work, anyway - so... just take the punch, like you did with CSS and that other IT driver's license course everyone has to take.
avatar Re: Data Structures in practise
January 28, 2010 08:15AM
ronniesmith Wrote:
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> thats the point uve been in IT 4 a long time and
> never use them.
>
> I really think that data structures are
> irrellevant.


Data structures make or break your program. With the wrong data structure, a program designed to run in O(n) may run in O(n^2). It's impossible for me to imagine a programmer who doesn't see the practicality of data structures.

I wonder which part of IT you're referring to. If it's Networking, thenn you know some configurations are preferable to others under certain circumstances, in Web designing we know that CSS is preferable to inline styles and attributes. We also know that some HTML tags are preferable to others.

In programming, data structures and algorithms are the thing

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A disturbing new study has recently found that studies are disturbing.
Re: Data Structures in practise
January 28, 2010 09:55AM
true that@coding for fun

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In a long journey, even a matchstick is heavy...
Re: Data Structures in practise
January 28, 2010 07:15PM
ived talk to some of our company's developers. They dnt even know what O(n) notation is.
avatar Re: Data Structures in practise
January 29, 2010 12:29PM
Wow, what language and which platform do they use?
If they used Excel, Access or Cobol they it will be unfair for them to learn what O(n) is. Anyone developing proper software, be it in PHP, C++ or Java, must be concerned about the efficiency of their program. What software do they write? How does it compare to what the competitors are doing? Did you talk to juniors or seniors?

When I started programming, I knew nothing about efficiency, Big-O and data structures but I could still write cool programs but they had one thing in common - they were inefficient!

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A disturbing new study has recently found that studies are disturbing.
Re: Data Structures in practise
January 29, 2010 03:36PM
Quote
Anyone developing proper software, be it in PHP

I'm not going to comment on that... Oh wait I already did...

Knowing which structure to use in code doesn't require you to know the O notation for it. But it looks pretty cool. Doesn't help much if nobody understands what it means... winking smiley
avatar Re: Data Structures in practise
January 29, 2010 08:34PM
tannieIBM Wrote:
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> >
> I'm not going to comment on that... Oh wait I
> already did...
>

You've probably been in IT longer than I have, for that you reserve my respect. I don't work in the IT industry.

> Knowing which structure to use in code doesn't
> require you to know the O notation for it.

True that but knowing which method is more efficient makes you a better programmer - Doesn't it? Imagine looking up a sorted list using linear search in a language like python: when you've only got 1000 names, that's not a big deal. But imagine doing the same with 1000000 items.
Now can you see that binary search will be a better method? How do you know that? Doesn't analysis help? Isn't there a scientific method to do this kind of analysis? How do we measure the average number of steps we'll take?

Well, Big-O is the answer. Linear search will yield O(n) while Binary search will yield O(log2(N)). Can you see how much time you save?

> But it
> looks pretty cool.

Not only does it look pretty cool but the concept itself is brilliant.

> Doesn't help much if nobody
> understands what it means... winking smiley

Except to those with a fond knowledge in computer science and to those who don't like wasting space-time on the machine.

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A disturbing new study has recently found that studies are disturbing.
Re: Data Structures in practise
February 03, 2010 09:44AM
But what you just explained was exactly what I was referring to in my first answer...
Quote
It is relevant to a small percentage of people (hard core dudes...)

One day when you are a search engineer at Google, absolutely, you will use it. For the other mere mortals, I think there are more useful things to learn. But please, I'm not fighting, I'm just putting another view forward. If it is useful to you, that's great: you probably have a fantastic future if you can land that job that use this stuff. Myself, and the thirteen people that I employ... well, nope, we never needed it...and we've done some good software despite that big gap... (except that they probably know the notation from varsity days. Still don't use it).
avatar Re: Data Structures in practise
February 03, 2010 02:26PM
OK, I get what you mean

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A disturbing new study has recently found that studies are disturbing.
Re: Data Structures
February 14, 2010 12:03PM
Im really striuggling with assignment 1. I just started with Cos211X
querstion 2(diiding a linked list into 2 sublists) and 3(recursion)

Please help!
avatar Re: Data Structures in practise
March 08, 2010 04:13PM
@ tannieIBM

In business apps I doubt any algorithms would be complex enough to warrant an efficiency analysis. This is probably why your guys don't know about Big-O. If you get to more technical stuff where your CPU starts coming under pressure, it becomes vital to know.

As far as data structures are concerned, your guys probably use them all the time, they just don't know it. How do they choose the right structure for the right job? Go have a look in the Qt Assistant for the following classes:

QList
QLinkedList
QHash
QVector
QSet
QMap

You need to know the theory behind each class if you want to be able to choose the correct one. They're also not unique to Qt. They might be more commonly grouped under other languages and frameworks under the title "Containers" or something to that effect.
Re: Data Structures in practise
March 12, 2010 12:43AM
Not all software are pc based. I work in Canada for a IT company that developed software and build OEM for Cisco and Motorola and I can tell you that most applications developed here are mobile based. Efficiency of code on mobile devices is a no 1 propriety. Code written for the iPod, iPhone and now iPad use Objective C++ and data structures does play a major role.

In embedded systems we use C++ because its far greater than C in terms of efficiency and far better to implement.
avatar Re: Data Structures in practise
March 29, 2010 08:43PM
Ladouce Wrote:
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> Not all software are pc based. I work in Canada
> for a IT company that developed software and build
> OEM for Cisco and Motorola and I can tell you that
> most applications developed here are mobile based.
> Efficiency of code on mobile devices is a no 1
> propriety. Code written for the iPod, iPhone and
> now iPad use Objective C++ and data structures
> does play a major role.
>
> In embedded systems we use C++ because its far
> greater than C in terms of efficiency and far
> better to implement.

Interesting statement as 2 guys at our office come from embedded system backgrounds and they only used C, not C++. Guess in South Africa we tend to use older, cheaper hardware.

BTW: They both where in the embedded industry till a few months back.

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Don't Assume Everything is a Nail Just Because You Have a Really Big Hammer
avatar Re: Data Structures in practise
March 30, 2010 05:17PM
Ask them to have a look at Qt Embedded and get an opinion on that.
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