Cracking the Coding Interview – Review

In the past weeks, I was preparing myself to have IT interviews to get a position. In this field is pretty common that companies make technical questions and a proper code challenge to see how you code. 

In order to be prepared for that, I was reading the “Cracking the Coding Interview” book, which definitely is a pillar for being prepared for those kinds of interviews. 

Skills to be tested

One common misconception is thinking that the code interviews are just for knowing how smart you are, which is totally wrong. 

Coding is more than just that, complex work in a team, and when you try to solve an algorithm in front of others you can (or not) communicate what is going on, and your logic through the process of solving a problem. 

This is a very important point, communicate everything that is going to your mind through the process of solving a problem. 

The book opens with this, pointing out the main skills that are tested, which are analytical skills, coding skills, technical knowledge, experience, communication, and cultural fit. 

That’s why you might solve the problem and not be hired, and also you may fail to solve it and get the position anyway.

Getting ready for the big companies

The second chapter, makes a review of the big tech companies in the world, with every aspect that everyone focuses more on hiring a candidate. 

It includes some companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and startups, it is not my personal case, but if you’re aiming for that this can give you a solid starting point.

Before any interview

Without a great resume, there’s no interview. And. Without a great experience, there’s not a great resume.

One of the big advantages of this field is that you don’t need an actual job to get experience. 

Making projects just for fun, contributing to open-source projects, are only a few examples of things that you can do to have more experience and also demonstrate your interest in developing new things and acquiring new knowledge.

And, of course, they can fit in your resume and you can talk about those projects to your interviewer.

Behavioral questions

Like any other job interview, there are some behavioral questions to determine if you can be a good fit for the position. 

Have prepared the answers for those basic questions, like by example what you enjoyed, challenges, mistakes that you confronted with the protects that are in your CV. 

Another important point is to be totally honest with your answers, if you lie, they can know it, be specific with your answers and not arrogant. 

And one of the most important tips that the book has is that answer with real weaknesses when they ask for it, know yourself and express how are you trying to solve it.

Final notes 

In conclusion, besides the years, Cracking the Coding Interview is a good starting point to get into the world of programming interviews and the basic problems that a company can put to test you. 

In this review, I just talk about the initial part of the book, but it has exercises for every topic that you should learn to be prepared for every situation. 

At the end of chapter 8, it has a table of “must know” concepts that personally encounter very useful.

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