Why is data structures and algorithms a mandatory step in Frontend interviews?

New / Eng v1j2s3
Nov 16, 2019 22 Comments

Being a front end developer, I cannot recall any project where I have used these data structures and algorithms in my day-to-day tasks. Frontend work mainly revolves around user experience, creating beautiful dynamic screens using latest js frameworks and css techniques.

It is very rare in Front End that you would have to use data structures and algorithms, they are already being used in the background by the JS.

The reason is that the Front End apps reside on Client machine. And on client machine, you can’t store much of the information; and there are no scenarios where it can only be stored in the Client side, not at server.

Having too much data at the client side will only slow it down; so no point in sending large data.
Though if you have a web app which deals with large data set like Graph Generation or Excel Like Data Editor, then it might make sense to use one or some of them.

And there’s nothing wrong with only using Arrays and Dictionaries. my web app has nothing else but these; JS Objects behave like Dictionaries and Arrays are the default things one would naturally use at front end as it is the basic most collection type.

I agree with sorting and understanding graphs due to increasing use of graphs so thats important but why is there so much emphasis on over all Data Structures and Algorithms for frontend. Why dont they focus on work you do daily and frontend heavy questions in interviews. No backend developer is ever asked about js frameworks or any frontend stuff so why do frontend engineers have to go through this. After leaving data structures and Algorithms for years as frontend developers its really hard to excel in interviews as most companies have initial round of data structures and not giving importance to your frontend/js skills. How many of you have actually used data structures and Algorithms as frontend engineers in day to day work. Especially with js frontend all you use is arrays and dictionaries so why not focus on front end aspects like ui experience, performance, testing instead of focusing on data structures for frontend

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TOP 22 Comments
  • Target / Cust. Srv. tmDe33
    Because most front end people have no idea about how to efficiently process arrays in a functional way which is half of what you do.
    Nov 16, 2019 0
  • Facebook / Eng cat++
    Do you really think we use those stuffs a lot in the backend?
    Nov 16, 2019 2
    • Facebook / Other
      lovethez

      Facebook Other

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      Facebook
      lovethezmore
      I just wrote an RB tree
      Nov 16, 2019
    • Microsoft iuYF20
      For what?
      Nov 17, 2019
  • Ubisoft yLcC27
    Most companies are cargo culting FAANG interviews. Luckily most of my interviews in the gaming industry are more practical and not so leetcody like SV based companies. You will still get asked general data structureish question but its mostly verbal and nothing like FAANG interviews where they ask you some arcane algo question which you have to code in 30 min
    Nov 16, 2019 2
    • Amazon nfdo67fr7
      If game devs would pass leedcode-style interviews then maybe games wouldnt eat half your hard drive and wouldn’t require you to buy a new gear every year to play super mario...
      Nov 16, 2019
    • Ubisoft yLcC27
      Eh, most game dev/engine dev/graphic dev in my team could pass most LC Med easily with couple of weeks of studying if they want to.

      But, most of those guys aren't TC chasers like kind you see here on blind.
      Nov 16, 2019
  • Salesforce peaceguy
    Simply to check a candidates problem solving skills and if he is smart enough
    Nov 16, 2019 9
    • Ubisoft yLcC27
      But still too many emphasize on LC. I personally think LC should be way way down in the hire / not hire decision than what it is right now.

      I just think that an interview test that you have to study a lot to get good at (irrespective of YoE) and has no proven scientific correlation to future perfomance is itself flawed.
      Nov 16, 2019
    • Salesforce peaceguy
      Again it's not about whether candidate can perform like an ass or not.
      Sometimes smart work is more valuable than hard work
      Nov 16, 2019
  • Facebook
    fb2019

    Facebook

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    Google, Oracle
    fb2019more
    Because front end also need algorithms. Otherwise you write shit code. Why should front end different from other code?
    Nov 16, 2019 0
  • Come to Lyft! We don't ask algorithms questions in interviews.
    Nov 16, 2019 2
    • Microsoft iuYF20
      For real?
      Nov 17, 2019
    • For real. For front end interviews at least.
      Nov 17, 2019
  • Microsoft xIdC37
    Posts like this are why most front ends are terrible
    Nov 16, 2019 0

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