If you are preparing for a software engineering job interview, you might be wondering how to ace the coding questions that are often asked by top companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Coding questions are designed to test your problem-solving skills, your knowledge of data structures and algorithms, and your ability to write clean and efficient code. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to crack the coding interview based on the popular book Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell.
What is Cracking the Coding Interview?
Cracking the Coding Interview is a book that contains 189 programming interview questions, ranging from the basics to the trickiest algorithm problems. The book also provides a walk-through of how to derive each solution, hints on how to solve each question, five proven strategies to tackle algorithm questions, extensive coverage of essential topics, a behind-the-scenes look at how top companies hire developers, and techniques to prepare for and ace the behavioral questions. The book is available in PDF format online , but you can also buy a physical copy from Amazon or other retailers.
How to use Cracking the Coding Interview?
The book is divided into two parts: the first part covers the interview process and preparation tips, and the second part contains the 189 questions and solutions. Here are some suggestions on how to use the book effectively:
Read the first part of the book carefully. It contains valuable advice on how to approach the interview, what to expect, what to study, how to practice, and how to handle common pitfalls. Don't skip this part!
Pick a programming language that you are comfortable with and stick to it throughout the book. The book provides solutions in Java, C++, Python, and C#, but you can use any language that you prefer. However, make sure that you are familiar with the syntax and features of your chosen language, and that you can write code that is readable, concise, and follows good coding standards.
Solve the questions by yourself before looking at the solutions. Try to come up with multiple approaches and compare their time and space complexity. Write down your code on paper or on a whiteboard, as this is how you will be expected to do it in a real interview. Test your code with some examples and edge cases. If you get stuck, use the hints provided in the book or online resources like Stack Overflow or GeeksforGeeks.
Review the solutions and learn from them. Don't just copy-paste the code or memorize it. Understand why the solution works, how it can be improved or optimized, and what are the trade-offs involved. Try to implement the solution in your own words and style. Learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them.
Practice as much as you can. The more questions you solve, the more confident and prepared you will be. You can also use online platforms like LeetCode or HackerRank to practice coding questions in a simulated environment. You can also find mock interviews or peer-to-peer practice sessions on websites like Pramp or Interviewing.io.
Cracking the Coding Interview is a great resource for anyone who wants to prepare for software engineering job interviews. It covers a wide range of topics and questions that are relevant and realistic for today's market. However, it is not enough to just read the book or solve the questions. You need to practice your skills, learn from your feedback, and improve your performance. Remember that coding interviews are not only about technical knowledge, but also about communication skills, problem-solving skills, and attitude. With enough preparation and practice, you can crack any coding interview! 06063cd7f5