Stop obsessing about algorithms

Bob, Mon 13 April 2020, Developer

algorithms, practical

We hear it so often: I need to ace algorithms to land a SW job.

To a certain extent yes. You surely need to understand what data structure to use and make efficiency trade-offs.

There will always be some of this in an interview, especially in highly technical positions where performance matters.

But this does NOT make you a proficient programmer in 80+% of the roles you could be applying for.

When it comes to excelling as a developer it’s much more important to become PRAGMATIC:

Notice how algorithms are not on that list.

It surely matters for multiple of those points, but they are a tool, not the goal.

Hence they should not be your 80/20 in order to get a job as a software developer.

Don’t believe me? Just look at one of my favorite software recruiting books by Joel Spolsky, which he succinctly titled Smart and Gets Things Done.

Stop obsessing about algorithms and start focussing on getting (the right) things done.

-- Bob

(Cover photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash)

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