For long student life I was always wondering why there are so many of them yet there seems to be lack of usage at all in many of them. The opinion didn't really change when I got a job.
We have brilliant books on what they are and their complexities, but I never encounter resources which would actually give a good hint of practical usage. I perfectly understand that I have to look at problem , analyse required operations, look for data structure that does them efficiently. However in practice I never do that, not because of human laziness syndrome, but because when it comes to work I acknowledge time priority over self-development.
Over time I thought that when I would be better developer I will automatically use more of them - that didn't happen at all or maybe I just didn't. Then I found that the colleagues usually in the same plate as me - knowing more or less some three of data structures and being totally happy about it and refusing to discuss this matter further with me, coming back to conversations about 'cool new languages' 'libraries that do jobs for you' and the joy to work under scrumban etc.
I am stuck with ArrayLists, Arrays and SortedMap , which no matter what I do always suffice or either I tweak them to be capable of fulfilling my task. Yes, it might be inefficient but do we really have to care if Intel increases performance over years no matter if we improve our skills? Does new Xeon or IBM machines really care what we use? What if I like build things, but I am not particularly excited whether it is n log(n) or just n? Over twenty years the processing power increased enormously, which gives us freedom of not being critical about which one to use? On top of that new more optimized languages appear which support multiple cores more efficiently.
To be more specific: I would like to find motivational material on complex real areas/cases of possible effective usages of data structures. I would be really grateful if you would provide relevant resources. There is similar question ,but in the end the links again mostly describe or do dumb example(vehicles, students or holy grail quest - yes, very relevant) them and people keep referring to the "scenario decides the data structure to use". I want to know these complex scenarios to be able to identify similarities to my scenario and then use them. The complex scenarios where it really matters and not necessarily of quantitive nature. It seems that data structures only concern is efficiency and nothing else? There seems to be no particular convenience for developer in use one over another.
(only when I found scientific resources on why exactly simple carbohydrates are evil I stopped eating sugar and candies completely replacing it with less harmful fruits - I hope you can see the analogy)