Analyzing the number of steps that an operation takes is the heart of understanding the performance of data structures. Choosing the right data structure for your program can spell the difference between bearing a heavy load vs. collapsing under it. In this chapter in particular, you’ve learned to use this analysis to weigh whether an array or a set might be the appropriate choice for a given application.
Now that we’ve begun to learn how to think about the time complexity of data structures, we can also use the same analysis to compare competing algorithms (even within the same data structure) to ensure the ultimate speed and performance of our code. And that’s exactly what the next chapter is about.