We’ve traversed through the front-end and back-end of the web development journey. Now that you’ve explored languages and tools widely used in web development, it’s time to apply what you know to solving problems, literally. Let’s jump into the world of algorithms.
An algorithm is essentially a set of instructions that tells a computer, machine, or person how to solve a problem. Programming languages need algorithms—they perform calculations, process data, and automate tasks.
Algorithms are a part of everyday life. A very simple algorithm could be converting Fahrenheit to Celsius, or feet to meters. In web development, it can be something as simple as multiplying two numbers, or a complex operation, like playing a compressed video file. When you search for something in your browser, the search engine uses algorithms to pull the most relevant results from its database to display on the web page.
Another example of an algorithm could be a computer function to scrape all of the NFL players on a web page, tally up their college stats, and return to you a list of colleges and all of the players who went to each college.
There are many different ways to perform a specific operation within a software program, and programmers are constantly trying to develop and create algorithms to solve a problem in the most efficient way. By developing and using highly efficient algorithms, developers can ensure their programs run fast while using minimal system resources.
Fitting in the Full Stack
Algorithms are an important part the Galvanize Web Development immersive program. We teach algorithms as part of the fabric of the course, starting early on with the process of hitting web APIs and then analyzing the data we get back into something that can be organized onto a web page and displayed to a user.
The main resources we use are curriculum exercises that our instructors have written, coding challenges for technical interview preparation, and books that discuss algorithm and problem-solving challenges. In addition, websites like Codewars have algorithm challenges that students can dig into as often as they like.
Looking for a quick tutorial? Here’s an overview of algorithms.
Stay tuned. Next stop in the web development journey we introduce GitHub.
Contributions made by Nmuta Jones, Galvanize Web Development Lead Instructor.