Java is one of the most popular programming languages used by some of the oldest and largest corporations in the world.
If you’re to look up the most popular programming languages in any year, you’d almost always find Java in the top 5 positions.
This is because despite it being considered by some modern programmers as a difficult language to learn, Java is one of the most stable programming languages on the market.
Whether your motivation to learn data structures and algorithms is center around passing interviews or simply academic, it’s a must for any good programmer.
This article will provide you some of the best data structures and algorithms courses on the market that you can enroll in to improve yourself as a programmer in that regard.
A data structure is simply a way of storing data efficiently for better and easier retrieval and usage.
Imagine going to a social media platform, and creating an account or creating a new post, or sharing some kind of information.
With hundreds of millions of people on these platforms, it is essential to come up with a way to store this information so that it can be easily retrieved when the user needs them.
This is where data structures come into play.
Corporations and organizations rely on data to make informed decisions. In this information age, these organizations process a lot of data daily and even hourly.
Collecting the information is one thing, sorting through the data to analyze it is even more challenging.
Unfortunately, simply throwing this data away will be a huge loss to any company as properly analyzing the information can lead to the success or downfall of the company.
This is why an understanding of data structures and algorithms has become a requirement in most programming jobs.
As a software developer, it is necessary to know how to efficiently store a company’s data for easier retrieval.
Types of Data Structures In Java
There are 3 types of data structures in Java. These are
Primitive Data Structures
Primitive data structures store only one predefined type of data. It enables the storage of one of Java’s inbuilt primitive file types.
This includes an Integer, Double, Float, Char, Boolean, Long, Short, and Byte.
You can perform different forms of operations on these including some predefined operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and many more.
Linear Data Structures
Here elements are arranged in sequential order. This means that each element has a single predecessor and a successor.
The exception being the first which will only have a successor and the last element which will also only have a predecessor.
Examples of linear data structures include Array, LinkedList, Queue, Stack, and many more.
Hierarchical Data Structures
Here elements are linked to each other in a parent-child relationship. A typical example of this form of day structure is a family tree or corporate hierarchy.
There’s the Owner, followed by various department heads. Each department head has people working for them, and others working for those people as well.
Consider a family, there are the grandparents, then comes the next down the tree which is the parents. And each parent has their own kids and those kids have their own kids.
Hierarchical data structures include Trees, Graphs, HashMap, Heap
What Are Algorithms And Why It's Important
Algorithms are essentially defined steps taken to achieve the desired outcome. To put it simply, an algorithm is a formula you can leverage to solve a particular problem.
What kind of problem does an algorithm solve you may ask. It’s the counterpart of a data structure. While data structure helps you efficiently store data for retrieval, an algorithm is the necessary steps, formula, or set of instructions you use to retrieve specific data.
In terms of cooking, you can think of an algorithm as a recipe. You can follow this recipe to achieve the desired results or cook the food you want.
An algorithm in computer science is, therefore, a set of outlined instructions that enable an application to put together information from the same or different sources to generate a result.
Types Of Algorithms In Java
Java has various important algorithms including:
- Sorting Algorithms: Used to sort elements
- Shuffling Algorithms: It destroys any form of sorting in the data structure
- Data Manipulation Algorithms: performs these actions on elements (reverse, copy, swap, and more)
- Composition Algorithms: Frequency(number of times an element appears) and disjoint(checks for common elements in two collections)
Data Structures And Algorithms In Java
Programmers including Java programmers use data structures to efficiently store and organize data and use algorithms to essentially manipulate the stored data.
Why You Should Understand Data Structures And Algorithms
Companies deal with data to make decisions and sorting and analyzing data manually is not an option in this age of BigData.
Leveraging technology to perform these actions has become necessary for big companies.
The age where simply knowing how to write some code to accomplish a task got you employed is over.
Now you need to have an understanding of data structures and algorithms to pass interviews. Many people have failed their interviews simply because of their lack of knowledge and experience on this subject.
Companies need to be efficient in how they handle data to stay relevant in the competitive information technology industry.
It’s, therefore, necessary for programmers they hire to be conversant in data structures and algorithms.
Best Data Structures And Algorithms Courses In Java
Level: Beginner, Intermediate
First on our list is YouTube. We’ve already compiled some of the best YouTube channels where you can easily learn data structures and algorithms in this article.
Some of the channels in the article focus mainly on Java, making it perfect for anyone who’d like to leverage the free platform and learn from some of the best courses available there.
Second, on our list is from the popular online marketplace platform Udemy. The instructor for this course, Tim Buchalka has over 21 years of Java programming experience making him an expert in the field.
From basic data structures like Array to more complicated structures like Stack, this course carries you even if you’re a beginner to data structures.
However, some level of knowledge in Java programming is a requisite to better understand and enjoy the lessons.
The course is always updated to fit the current release version of Java so you can be assured that you’re following along with the latest and updated code without worrying about any deprecated code warnings in your IDE.
Although it’s not free, with 59k+ students, and a 4.5-star rating, you can be assured of the quality of the lessons and money well spent.
From LinkedIn Learning, this course provides insight into the most commonly used data structures and algorithms.
Focusing on Java, students are provided comprehensive lessons on how to implement their own LinkedList, Stacks, Queues, Trees, and many more.
With 105k+ students enrolled, it is one of the most trusted courses available for any aspiring software developer.
Being a subscription-based platform, learners will be able to learn not only from this course but other courses on this platform by leveraging either their monthly or annual subscription.
The course also comes with a certificate on completion which can be printed directly and showcased on your professional or LinkedIn profile.
That said, you should keep in mind that certificates acquired from LinkedIn Learning are not accredited.
Another from Udemy, this course on data structures provides learners with a practical understanding of the most common data structures and algorithms in Java.
From LinkedList implementation to Graphs, learners get access to in-depth and practical lessons on each data structure.
Like most data structure lessons, a basic understanding of Java is necessary to better understand or appreciate its implementation.
With 25k+ learners enrolled in this course and a 4.6-star rating, it’s one of the best courses on the subject and promises to deliver on any student expectations.
This course provides fundamental knowledge of the core data structures used in Java application development.
The lessons begin by introducing learners to arrays and asymptotic analysis of algorithms, then teach you how to use some of the most popular data structures in Java.
This includes LinkedList, Trees, Queues, Stacks, and Hash. Learners are also directed to explore and modify real-world applications to leverage the use of data structures to improve efficiency.
From the author of the Algorithms And Data Structures – Part 1 comes this Part 2, a continuation of the first part.
This part 2 focuses on sorting and searching algorithms and proceeds to more advanced data structures like sets, heaps, balanced binary trees, and priority queues.
You’ll also learn how to leverage data structures and algorithms in multi-threaded and concurrent programming environments.
However, it is advisable to enroll and complete part 1 of the series before enrolling in this part 2.
This course is mostly meant as a refresher course for anyone going for a software development or engineering interview.
It takes you through all the fundamentals and the platform helps you practice anywhere in the world.
The platform has an inbuilt IDE that makes it easy to practice your Java data structure code directly online without the need to install the SDK or eclipse or any other Java IDE.
Unlike most other lessons, this course focuses on text-based lessons as opposed to video lessons to enable faster reading.
From algorithms, arrays, and loops, LinkedList implementation to Hash Tables, this course is packed full to equip learners with everything they need.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in software development, understanding data structures and algorithms is a must in this age of BigData.
These courses will help any Java developer to understand some of the most common data structures available in the Java programming language.
If a paid course isn’t what you’re looking for, our article on some of the best YouTube channels to learn data structures and algorithms will serve to enlighten you on the best lessons you can leverage for free.
For paid or subscription courses, the options presented on this list will provide in-depth lessons.
That said, although these courses are great even for someone with no experience in data structures, it is necessary to ensure you possess basic knowledge in Java programming before enrolling in these courses.