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If you're working with a dumb API/library (i.e. Sharepoint) where the correct default search algorithms aren't very easily accessible, it's easy to fall into the trap of using linear-time search instead of a hashed or binary search strategy, for instance. Things will look fine until your system has been used for a while, then things will gradually slow down to a crawl.

So yes, I consider knowledge of algorithms and run-time analysis an essential software development skill (I experienced this after only 6 months on the job, so obviously our experiences differ. Consulting SharePoint developer for small businesses).

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