## Why do we need data structures?#

In software development, mastering data structures is key to managing and processing data efficiently. Here’s why

**Efficiency**: Using the right data structure can significantly reduce the time complexity of your algorithms. For example, searching for an item in an unsorted array takes linear time $O(n)$, but using a binary search tree can reduce this to logarithmic time $O(\text{log}(n))$.

**Memory management**: Data structures help in organizing data in memory. For instance, a hash table can efficiently manage a large set of data by using a hash function to distribute data evenly across an array.

**Real-world applications**: From databases to network routing algorithms, data structures are used everywhere. For example, social media platforms use graph data structures to represent and analyze user connections.

By understanding and implementing the right data structure, you can make your software faster, more efficient, and easier to manage. This knowledge is crucial for tackling more complex problems in your software engineering career.

## 6 linear data structures #

A **linear data structure** is a type of data structure where elements are arranged sequentially or in a linear order.

Let’s first list the top 6 linear data structures and take a deep dive into each one by one:

Arrays

Strings

Linked lists

Stacks

Queues

Hash table

Each of the above data structures has unique properties and advantages that make them suitable for different tasks. In the following sections, we will explore each one, discussing their concepts, operations, advantages, and applications.

## 1. Arrays#

An array is a collection of elements stored at contiguous memory locations. It allows you to store multiple items of the same type together. It is easy to manage and access by using indexes. Arrays are a fundamental data structure in programming due to their simplicity and efficiency.