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A Common-Sense Guide to Data Structures and Algorithms by Jay Wengrow

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Chapter 1Why Data Structures Matter

Anyone who has written even a few lines of computer code comes to realize that programming largely revolves around data. Computer programs are all about receiving, manipulating, and returning data. Whether it’s a simple program that calculates the sum of two numbers, or enterprise software that runs entire companies, software runs on data.

Data is a broad term that refers to all types of information, down to the most basic numbers and strings. In the simple but classic “Hello World!” program, the string "Hello World!" is a piece of data. In fact, even the most complex pieces of data usually break down into a bunch of numbers and strings.

Data structures refer to how data is organized. Let’s look at the following ...

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