I, you, and probably everyone using C++ for CP are using STL. It wouldn't even be a lie if I told you that
std::sort probably saved many people's lives. However,
std::sort is not the entire STL. Even combined with the relatively-wide spectrum of features we use daily, we can't say we're using the entirety of STL. Therefore, I am writing this series of blogs to review a lot of important STL features, and give you some examples of using them in actual CP problems.
So, before we begin, what really is STL? Is it a part of C++? Quite clearly, yes. Is it C++ itself? Almost, but no. The STL is almost analogous to the Standard Library for C++ in most cases, but even the Standard Library and the STL are two different and separate identities. (Even there are cases where you can use C++ but not STL.) In this series I will try my best to not mislead you by saying the Standard Library and the STL are same things.
What does the STL provide? It provides containers, iterators and algorithms. In this series, we will cover algorithms, containers and iterators on their corresponding posts, and then after that, we will look at other notable features (which may not arguably be part of STL, but still are quite useful and important). I shall update this article with a link to the next chapter as soon as it is out.