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Bianca Gandolfo begins her Data Structures & Algorithms course by sharing her background and how she developed this course. She will be using a cooking metaphor throughout the course because she believes learning these concepts involves understanding the "recipes", watching them in action, and getting time to try them out yourself.

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Transcript from the "Introduction" Lesson

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>> Bianca Gandolfo: Thank you everyone for coming and giving me a week of your life, so that we can cook more data structures and algorithms. So this is a cooking class, what does that mean? Let's look at these awesome cartoons that I found in another or just like the most perfect thing ever.

[00:00:56] So there's us, I'm wearing the chef hat, that's you with the smile, and you have the tools. You have your editor, your laptop and the internet. And you're ready to go, that's step one. Step two, I'm gonna stand up here and talk at you and do some demonstrations about different concepts.

[00:01:14] And you're gonna sit there a watch, and raise your hand and ask questions.
>> Bianca Gandolfo: We're gonna do some stuff together, this is more of the interactive question slide, or cartoon. Where I'm gonna show you some stuff, you're gonna also be doing it as well, so here we are.

[00:01:31] It looks like we're cutting corn on the cob, or something. We're doing it together and then you're gonna do it. So this is the key here, right? The key here is that you need to implement these yourself. So, there's me, just cheering you on, woo, which I am really good at.

[00:01:49] And there's you, in the kitchen. Cooking out these data structures and algorithms. Again, this is the key, because we can talk about it theoretically about it all day. Trust me if you give me a chance, I will. I will just talk to you all day about this stuff.

[00:02:05] But really the gold is when you're implementing them yourself. When you're on the job and you have to do it. When you are in an interview and you need to answer a question. Talking theory, drawing pictures will only get you so far. It might get you part of the way, right?

[00:02:23] But the doing it yourself is going to be super crucial, so with that this is not. I just love it, this is so perfect, my god. It's not like a cooking show, where you're just gonna sit back and relax, and they talk to you. And then suddenly you're gonna be an expert in data structures and algorithms.

[00:02:39] This is a very complex topic, and it really just is gonna take time for you to dedicate, to actually implementing these yourself, cool? So there you are, byond this class, continuing to cook with your algorithms book. Isn't this just a perfect cartoon? I just can't get over it, I love it.

[00:02:59] I didn't make these myself either. So that's this class, and that's what I mean by cooking. So a lot of people, they'll come to a class and they think you know I paid money for a class. I'm gonna be serve this information, and maybe the in traditional educational settings.

[00:03:17] You may have a professor, they may have a silver platter and say, here is the information, here is a here's your hash table. And I'm gonna serve it to you, and you're gonna sit a table with a white table cloth and like lots of forks and spoons. And you don't know which one to touch first, you know what I mean, that kind of setting?

[00:03:35] Are you guys following my visual here? So this is not this class, this is not a five-star restaurant, this is a five-star kitchen, right? You're gonna go in the kitchen, I'm gonna coach you through. But you're going to be practicing these data structures and algorithms on your own.

[00:03:49] You're going to be cooking them up, that make sense? You guys like my analogy? It's awesome, right? I love it.
>> Bianca Gandolfo: All right, so who am I? I'm an educator, engineer, I co-founded Telegraph Academy, and currently I'm the Interim Managing Director of Hack Reactor Remote Beta. So I have a lot of experience in immersive coding, educational environments, teaching Mostly teaching, but a lot of other things.

[00:04:16] Job placement, stuff like that. If you're curious, you can read my bio. It's not super interesting. My shoes, we were talking about that. I kind of skip my intro. My favorite shoes are probably like sandals like the one's that I'm wearing, like Velcro, Team Velcro. What does that say about me?

[00:04:37] I'm kind of a hippie nerd. I live in Berkeley, and I just embrace that. So, we'll be doing yoga. We'll be drinking tea. We'll be staring deeply into each other's souls as we cook organic. Data structures only, okay. Sustainable [LAUGH] Data structures, so that's me. A little bit of background on what do I even know about data structures and algorithms.

[00:05:06] So basically, it all started just a few years ago, when I was inspired by in Queens algorithm coding challenge. I found it really really difficult and those of you who may have known me from other classes or are getting to know me will know. That if something is hard for me or is a challenge then I'm going to jump on it, that's a motivator for me.

[00:05:25] I'm a very very competitive person, and I'm just like, my god, if it's winning, I have to beat it. So that's [LAUGH] kind of why I started this algorithms meet up, to start, to basically force myself to learn about algorithms. So every week we would come together, I would teach about an algorithm, we'd solve it together.

[00:05:44] And that was sort of the beginning, the seeds of this course. And I was working at Hack Reactor at the time. And because of this I had to study [LAUGH] a lot MOOCs. And all these kinds of data structures and algorithms classes. Last year, I founded Telegraph Academy.

[00:06:00] A couple weeks ago, I just started as Interim Managing Director of Remote Data. And over the year or so, I officially created this course with a couple of friends of mine, Jeff Lee and Katrina Uychaco. So, shout out to them for all their help. And so what does this say?

[00:06:14] This says that I have a lot of experience working with people, learning data structures and algorithms. But this doesn't mean, I don't have a PhD in data structures in algorithms. I'm not the authority on this topic. But what I can do is I can coach you through them and share on the practical aspects of it.

[00:06:31] So this is not a theoretical analysis of algorithms. This is, how are you really gonna be using this on your day to day. Where does this show up in interviews and things like that? Does that make sense? So there's a spectrum of classes you can take on this.

[00:06:46] There's the practical side, and then there's like, my god we're writing proofs, and there's math, right? We're gonna be a little bit here, does that make sense? So we're gonna be doing like big on notation and a little bit of like how you can estimate the speed of your algorithm, stuff like that.

[00:07:03] But it's not gonna be a hardcore analysis, math kind of stuff. So for those of you who, who here has a math background? You might be like aw, but, we can nerd out about it off the beaten path if we want.