Your go-to resource for acronyms, jargons, terminology, and useful words for product and customer experience teams.


Bubble Sort

What is bubble sort?

The bubble sort algorithm is a method used to arrange a list of numbers or other elements in order. The algorithm works by comparing each set of adjacent elements in the list and swapping them if they are in the wrong order. The process is then repeated until the entire list has been checked and no more swaps are needed.

What Does a Bubble Sort Look Like?

The bubble sort is a method for sorting numbers in ascending order. To use the bubble sort, a programmer or analyst would review two items at a time and then rearrange them if they were not already in ascending order. The algorithm would then continue to cycle through the entire sequence until it completed a pass without switching any numbers.

How Do Computer Programmers Use Bubble Sort?

Computer programmers can use bubble sort to arrange a sequence of numbers in the correct order. Although it is the simplest type of sorting algorithm, bubble sort is not used much in real-world computer science. However, it does have some uses for programmers, including the following:

1. A way to learn basic sorting

Bubble sort can be a helpful method for teaching new programmers how to sort data sets because the algorithm is straightforward to understand and implement.

2. A Bubble Sort can be used for tiny datasets

When you have a small number of elements that you need to sort, using a bubble sort can be a helpful option. This is because the bubble sort algorithm works by repeatedly cycling through the entire set of elements, and only compares two adjacent items at a time. 

3. A sorting methodology for datasets that are mostly in order already

Sometimes, computer scientists and data analysts will use the bubble sort algorithm as a final check for datasets they believe are already in nearly sorted order. By doing this final check, they can be sure that the dataset is correctly sorted.

How Can Product Managers Use Bubble Sort?

As a product manager, it falls on you to make difficult decisions about where to focus your team’s limited time and resources. This includes weighing the costs and benefits of different initiatives and deciding which ones are worth pursuing.

For example, you might need to prioritize items on the product roadmap by weighing the costs and benefits of each one. You might also need to assign story points to backlog items, to get an estimate of how much effort and time each one will take to complete.

For initiatives that require a scoring system, product managers have to prioritize their team’s workload. A bubble sort is an effective way to do this.