What Is Bubble Sort? A Basic Overview (2021)


Sorting data is an important task for everyone, including computer programmers as well as product managers. However, the task can prove to be tiresome if not worked smartly. This is where the sorting algorithms come into use. One such sorting algorithm is bubble sort. We can get the answer to ‘What is Bubble sort’ by reading this article. So it is a very important algorithm. Bubble sort is an algorithm for arranging a set of numbers or elements in the correct order. It is a comparison-based algorithm. It is a simple sorting algorithm that continuously swaps the adjacent elements if they are in the incorrect order.

The process is repeated until the entire string is run through, and there are no two adjacent wrongly placed elements. It is also referred to as sinking sort. It is the most simple algorithm yet least used. The bubble sort is named so for the way the larger and smaller elements “bubble” to the top of the list. It is the least used algorithm by professionals as it is inefficient when working with large data sets.

  1. What does a bubble sort look like?
  2. How do computer programmers use bubble sort?
  3. How can product managers use bubble sort?
  4. What are other sorting algorithms besides bubble sort?

1. What does a bubble sort look like?

A bubble sort reviews two elements at a time, arranges them properly and then continues the cycle until the entire string is completed. A bubble sort example would be useful for a better understanding of the concept. Suppose a string consists of three digits in the order four, one and three. Bubble sort will now sort four and one properly and then three and four similarly in ascending order. Under this algorithm, the data moves through various passes. It is used in programming languages like Java, Python and C as well as C.

2. How do computer programmers use bubble sort?

The most basic use of it to the computer programmers is of arranging the numbers in the correct sequence. It is used by new programmers to learn how to sort data.  Bubble sort takes into consideration only two digits at a time and hence is not much useful for large data sets. However, it worked well on small data sets and used extensively for the same purpose. The use of bubble sort is negligible nowadays, and it has lost its popularity. Still, it is widely used for its capability to detect a tiny error in sorted arrays and then to arrange it. 

3. How can product managers use bubble sort?

The majority of the manager’s responsibility and difficulties relate to weighing competitive initiatives and decide where to focus the resources of the organization to ensure success. It helps the manager supervise the work keeping the constraint on time and resources. For instance, the product development team uses the cost vs benefits to decide which product will earn a spot on the product roadmap. The managers need bubble sort to prioritize the work so that the team’s effort is pivoted in the correct direction. It helps the product manager decide which features are relevant to the customer, what strategy would ensure success, what product is the most demanding and which techniques would attract customers, amongst other things.

4. What are other sorting algorithms besides bubble sort?

Bubble sort is not the only data set for sorting datasets, and various other algorithms are available besides it. These other algorithms are much relevant when sorting large data sets where bubble sort fails to perform. Some of them are:

  • Selection sort
  • Insertion sort
  • Merger sort 
  • Quicksort
  • Bogo sort
  • Heapsort

The selection sort algorithm sorts an array by repeatedly finding the minimum element from the unsorted part and putting it at the beginning. The heap sort is similar to the selection sort, where we find the maximum element and place it at the end. In insertion sort, the array is divided into the sorted and unsorted part. It is like sorting playing cards in your hand. Under merger sort, it divides the array into two parts, sorts the same and then joins the sorted arrays.

Quicksort picks an element as a pivot and partitions the given array around the picked pivot. Bogo sort is another algorithm but highly inefficient. It generates permutations of input until it finds the one that is sorted.


Hence we see that various sorting algorithms are available which can be used by anyone, right from computer programmers to product managers. Bubble sort is a less frequently used inefficient sorting algorithm due to its incapability to serve large data sets.

However, still many programmers who are new to the field of computer programming start off by sorting data through bubble sort. It is also useful for not so large data sets. Thus, though it might seem to be not of great use, it is still used in the market. However, for more advanced purposes, people use other sorting algorithms which provide better efficiency and effectiveness, especially when working with large sets of data.

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