Why I think you should learn Data Structures even being a Front-End Developer

  • February 20, 2018

First, let’s visualize this following question, “Why should I cook my own meal?” The answer is simple “You don’t”. Instead, you can get fast-food.

OK, I’m not talking about food in this post, however, that example is good to visualize our front-end world today.

I’m a Front-End Developer, and I have been working with it for 6 years, and it has been an awesome journey. I have a lot of to learn yet (you know, we should never stop learning).

Looking at how people seek knowledge in the front-end side of the force today, I can see people prioritize learning how to use some “fast-food” tools, frameworks, or libraries instead of learning a little bit about “programming fundamentals”.

I don’t blame them for seeking this knowledge. If you see the job offers nowadays you’ll see that they are looking for someone who knows “that tool”, “this framework”, or “those libraries”.

And my friend if you are seeking a job as a front-end developer you should learn it.

How can we cut wood without an ax? Our bare hands?

Of course not! Tools are important.

Just making things clear here. Tools, frameworks, and libraries are very important for front-end development.

If your main goal is just to get a great job, then that’s it, you can stop reading this article and start to learn the fanciest tool or framework. You’ll get a job and be happy it’s certain, however, if you want to make a real progress in your career, let’s keep reading this article.

Let’s think together, if you just eat “fast-food” for a long time you’ll become an unhealthy person. Then for front-end development, if you just learn tools, framework, and libraries you’ll become… ( give your suggestion on the comments, it’ll be funny).

I’m doing a degree in Software Engineering at the moment, and taking a “Data Structure” class was important to me even being a front-end guy. It helped my logical thinking, and I could see that helping my performance in many areas in my daily work.

I asked some awesome guys about their thoughts on this subject, and let’s see their thoughts.

“You won’t likely use it daily in the sense of “Well time to write my own stack implementation and sorting algorithm”, but you will use it in the sense of understanding how things work. I tell my students when an employer asks you about sorting algorithms in an interview it isn’t because they want you to reinvent the wheel, they just want to know that you understand why the round wheels work better than the square ones…” –  Jeff Ammons – ( codecareeracademy.com)

Data structures seems like one of those fundamental “Things You Should Know” type things. Like Newton’s Laws and Maxwell’s Equations. You won’t always use them, but you should at least know what they are. –  Eugene Mah

I think you can get around without a solid understanding, but knowing why some data structures are better for different situations will be really beneficial and can make you code a lot more efficiently. Plus a lot of interviewers from what I understand will ask about data structures. I think having an attitude of knowing enough to just “get by” could make you fall behind really fast. –  Kyle Gill

Then I ask a question. Should you just learn tools? Or should you also learn more about “programming fundamentals”?

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