How to Crack the Coding Interview

Thu, May 2, 2013 2-minute read

It has been a long time since my last post. Lately I’ve been quite busy and I almost forgot I had a blog but I’d really like to keep it alive so I’ll share what I am doing in order to get ready for coding interviews.

Books

My first recommendation is to read some books and do a lot of exercises. Right now I am reading and working on the exercises contained in Programming Pearls and Cracking the Coding Interview.

From a programmer perspective Programming Pearls is probably the most attractive of the two. It is more focused on giving clever solutions to interesting problems than on providing a comprehinsive guide to interview questions. Reading it you’ll have some uh moments as you discover very simple but effective solutions to tricky problems.

The only thing I don’t like too much of this book is that it is quite old and some part of it didn’t age very well. They’re still interesting but I got a weird feeling when I read them.

Cracking the Coding Interview is more pragmatic. It has short chapters containing a brief review of what the interviewee should know and lots of questions (and their answers). The good thing of this book is that it covers a variety of topics and the material should be enough to get an idea of what an interviewer could ask you.

I liked that it contains questions ranging from the basics of programming to challenging exercises. With the first kind of questions you can get back to the good old times when you studied algorithms and data structures without getting too bored while with the latter you can challenge yourself with tricky problems.

Coding Problems I already blogged about some coding problems and I really think that solving them may be very useful.

You should also search for puzzles on companies websites. Facebook has some, Spotify has others just to name a couple of them. Look for the careers or jobs pages of the companies you like and you’ll probably find something interesting.