I [...] claim that the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. - Linus Torvalds
Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around. - Eric S. Raymond, The Cathedral and The Bazaar
Data Structures -- They're Not All the Same
One things most casual programmers don't realize is that different data structures -- lists, vectors, matrices, dataframes, etc. -- aren't just different from the perspective of the user; they actually result in the computer handling data in very different ways. As a result, each structure has its own strengths and weaknesses, and for some operations the speed difference between code that uses the right structure and the wrong structure can easily be many orders of magnitudes, especially in data science.