Friday, September 22, 2023

Does Leetcode Help For Interviews

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How Good Is Algoexpert

How to use Leetcode EFFECTIVELY⦠and STOP grinding

AlgoExpert is a reasonably new education platform but quick to rise atop the ladder. With over 90 new and challenging questions, the platform seeks to encourage students and professionals alike to improve their coding skills. Its mainly designed for people who would like to brush up on concepts before an interview rather than seeking help from other mediums.

These questions are divided into three main categories easy, medium, hard. Each question has a thorough explanation video, along with instructions for the learner to attempt the solution. It also offers a built-in coding environment with support for seven languages, so you never have to step outside their learning platform.

Lets take a look at our opponent in this LeetCode vs AlgoExpert discussion.

Does Leetcode Premium/algoexpert/others Helps In Cracking Google Interviews

Recently I received an interview call from Google India for SWE. I was asked by the HR to purchase Leetcode premium to check what kind of questions are being asked in the Google interviews. So my question is, does Leetcode premium will help in cracking Google interviews?If not, does any other platform like Algoexpert will help in cracking the interview? Or should we just go on through all Leetcode questions?Yoe: 8.5yrs


  • Leetcode Premium

Back To Back Interview

Its pretty fast that phone interviews were scheduled. The phone rounds were purely leetcode type of questions. I completed all coding interviews during the calls or online assessment. In this part, leetcode did help a lot. I was able to identify what algorithm or what data structure to use after I read the questions. Sometimes, I struggled in implementation. But I felt confident enough while I was struggling.

Uber sent me to onsite invite first. Then Amazon and Microsoft sped up the onsite process. I got 3 onsites within 2 weeks. By the time I got the onsites, I purchased leetcode premium so that I could find out the question pools in these companies. It is $159 per year or $35 per month. I resumed my leetcode journey. But this time, my strategy only focuses on leetcoding top questions from these 3 companies. Leetcode has a feature to show company tagged questions in different recent periods, 6 months, 1 year etc. Recent 6 month questions should be most relevant. By the time I was hammering it, there were about 350 Uber questions, I planned to finish at least half of it. That means I need to practice about 10 questions daily because of the limited time I had. This time, instead of jumping into the solution right after I got stuck, I attempted to solve it with naive solution, then try to optimize. . I always analyzed time and space complexity of my solution which is very critical during interview.

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up

The greatest athletes, actors, and professionals of the world don’t achieve mastery without practice. You can’t expect to ace Leetcode problems immediately, even if you’re a competent developer.

My submissions fail pretty frequently, with only a 40% acceptance rate for the 60 or so problems that I’ve solved to date. I’m okay with that, and you should be too. Leetcode doesn’t define your intelligence or aptitude as a programmer. It’s all about spotting patternsthe more you practice, the better you get.

So forget the Leetcode grindjust focus on the value of practicing your problem-solving skills, not on doing as many exercises as you can in one sitting or getting every answer right the first time around. With this change in attitude, you’ll be much better prepared for the real world, where nobody cares if you can invert a binary tree on a white board.

This post’s social media preview image uses the Leetcode logo under fair use it is under the copyright of LeetCode. I am not affiliated with LeetCode.

Cracking The Coding Interview

coding challenge (interview) parsally AC

Cracking the Coding Interview is still one of the best resources out there for interview prep, even in 2021. I have heard some people say that it is no longer sufficient, but I have had two coding interviews that were taken out of the book almost verbatim.

Unfortunately, this is not a free resource…but here is a LeetCode forum that maps every CTCI question to a LeetCode one.

The reason this is acceptable is that they are not perfect mappings. For example, the LeetCode String Compression problem is not exactly the same as its CTCI equivalent because it has an added constraint. It is actually harder than the CTCI version

If you do choose to purchase Cracking the Coding Interview, the solutions are all freely available on GitHub. They are in multiple programming languages, in case you are not a Java developer.

McDowell herself built the repository and committed the Java portion to it, so it is very unlikely the repository will removed due to copyright infringement.

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Interview Cake Discounts & Refunds

You can get interview cake for free . To sign up for interview cake for free you just need the Github Student Developer Pack.

Interview Cake’s refund policy is the best in the industry. Parker â the Interview Cake founder â provides a “no questions asked” refund within the first 100 days of sign up. We tested the refund and Parker, indeed, honored it.

Why Interviewing In Tech Is Broken

I think interviewing is a largely broken system that is very poorly optimized from both a technical and non-technical standpoint. After applying/interviewing for 4 years straight I have some opinions on tech interviews. The fallacy is that the most qualified and most intelligent person is hired but that is rarely the case. I would like to think that I am going up against other candidates in a person against person battle of skills and who can handle pressure, but that simply isnt true. It is more subjective due to the human nature of assessing interviews, and it is flawed on asking simple algorithm questions, it is based on faith that a person who can present themselves in an interview can work as a software engineer in that team. All those things are not respective of the job, but unfortunately there is no great alternative at this point. The Googles and Facebooks have technical bars so the industry copied it and followed suit.

Equating it to regular jobs, it hinges more on WHO you know rather than what you know. And the referrals can go a long way or straight up be duds. Sometimes job hunting and interviewing just feels like blindly throwing darts at a dartboard.

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Cost For Hackerrank Vs Leetcode

Certain questions and solutions are free on LeetCode, but most of them require a subscription to make full use of the service.

Users can subscribe to a monthly package for $35 each month.

On the other hand, they can select the annual package for $159 per year, which saves you over $200 paying month-to-month.

Premium users have access to more accurate company problem sets, question sorting by prevalence, and more solutions and questions.

HackerRank for users is free.

The program makes money from the companies that use their platform to find and evaluate candidates.

To access the questions, users need to sign up for a profile.

Coding Interview Prep Free Resources To Help You Ace Your Interviews

My Strategy to use LeetCode for Cracking Coding Interviews Effectively

In the words of RealToughCandy, everyone wants a “one-stop shop” when it comes to learning.

She uses this term to describe, but costs $60 a month unless you choose to commit to its annual plan. So it’s not a free resource, which means it’s not available to everyone.

If money were not a factor, you might buy a copy of Cracking the Coding Interview, get a LeetCode Premium subscription, and sign up for access to Grokking the Coding Interview before scheduling some mock interviews.

Now, websites like LeetCode are interesting because they provide an excellent resource for free.A large percentage of LeetCode questions are free, the discussions section provides free solutions where the best code/explanations are voted to the top, and the platform itself can run hundreds of test cases in seconds.

Many people argue that LeetCode premium is not worth it, though writers like Yangshun Tay beg to differ. What interests me about LeetCode is not their premium option, but that they make so much of their service available without it.

All that being said, there are a number of quality free resources you can use to prepare for your coding interviews. Let’s go through my favorites now.

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Tldr: Leetcode Premium Vs Algoexpert Vs Interviewcake Vs Hackerrank

LeetCode is best if you:

  • Already have a strong foundation in data structures and algorithms and don’t need a refresher
  • Recently completed interview prep questions from other sources
  • AlgoExpert or InterviewCake will help you learn more efficiently and effectively if you:

  • Need a data structures refresher
  • Haven’t recently completed common interview prep questions
  • HackerRank isn’t optimized for software engineering interview prep, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the platform towards the end of your prep because many companies use it for their first-round screen.

    How I Cleared Google Interview

    The journey has been somewhat unbelievable. If someone would ask me 1 year back why dont you try for Google, I would have said not possible. I am not that good at DS/Algo. I had solved 0 questions on leetcode a year back. I solved 200 Questions until my final interview and got selected. Sharing my experience and some tips here.

    I graduated from Engineering College Bikaner in 2015. I got an opportunity to give an interview at Google India in July. And I started brushing up my skills for the first time seriously. I had basic knowledge before this, which was acquired from solving questions and reading up code monk articles on HackerEarth.

    Most of my preparation and practice was done on three platforms –

  • Geeksforgeeks
  • Leetcode
  • HackerEarth
  • Especially I like the articles on HackerEarth about Heap, Union Find & Dynamic Programming. For any topic, I would start reading the basics of a particular data structure/ Algorithm and read about some of the common problems on that topic. After that, I used to move to leetcode to solve problems.

    I had 1 phone interview & 5 on-site interviews . the on-site rounds were split in two days


    2. Cracking the coding interview

    3. For Mock Interviews – Pramp/InterviewBit/HackerEarth. Recommend pramp for simulating exact same environment as interview.

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    Should You Use Leetcode Premium Algoexpert Hackerrank Or Interview Cake

    If you need a refresher course on Data Structures or haven’t previously completed “common” interview questions then AlgoExpert or Interview Cake are the most efficient way to build a foundation. Otherwise, LeetCode is the best investment for your interview prep.Once you have an offer in hand, the next step is to make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.

    Interviewnoodle Still In Development

    Do LeetCode based interviews discriminate against the ...

    Arslan Ahmad is building a consolidated collection of interview preparation articles on Medium called InterviewNoodle. Just weeks ago, I would have written that this resource is very incomplete, but he has added so much content that I actually think he may now want to divide it into sections.

    This, like, is meant to be a one-stop shop. That Arslan Ahmad is the founder of Design Gurus increased my respect for him exponentially, since this means he is attempting to build a free version of an Educative course that makes him money.

    Currently the Medium pages on this publication are not paywall blocked. This could be a coincidence, but for now it’s a great resource.

    The rest of this article will cover additional resources, though the ones above are my favorites.

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    Leetcode Data Science Sql Interview

    In a data science coding interview, youâre asked to manipulate data and communicate insights from the data, so thereâs often a coding portion that tests your ability to do so. You can usually use any coding language youâre comfortable with but the most popular ones are SQL, python, and R.

    LeetCodeâs questions are more tailored towards algorithms where youâre tasked to search through arrays and return specific values. How efficiently you do that and the accuracy of your solution are whatâs being evaluated.

    While LeetCode has 1800 of these algorithm questions, they only have around 150 SQL questions. However, these questions are mainly created for software developers and do not focus on data insights like calculating month-over-month growth or user attribution scenarios that are important to data scientists. Rather, LeetCode questions focus more on performing specific technical tasks like joining tables together or finding the 2nd highest value in a dataset. Here are two questions to illustrate what I mean:

    • Write a SQL query to get the second highest salary from the Employee table.
    • Write a SQL query for a report that provides the following information for each person in the Person table, regardless if there is an address for each of those people

    Run By Industry Insiders

    Tech Interview Pro is run by an industry veteran who has reverse-engineered the hiring process to give you the best chance of success:

    • TechLead has grown his websites to millions of users, spent his recent years working at and Google, and has conducted over 100 technical interviews for Google.

    If theres anyone who knows how to get a job at FAANG, its this guy.

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    What Does Leetcode Do

    LeetCodes mission is to assist software engineers in strengthening their skills, learning how to use them, prepare for technical interviews, and expand their knowledge. They offer more than 1,800 questions which are divided into three skill levels:

    • Easy
    • Hard

    Premium members also have access to problem sets that are based on company questions.

    Today, LeetCode remains one of the largest communities for developers. They continue to have thousands of active users and a robust discussion board.

    To challenge themselves and earn rewards, users can participate in contests. Some contests are sponsored by big companies searching for potential hiring candidates.

    LeetCode includes 14 coding languages mentioned above, and users can write, debug, and test their projects online through their playground.

    The Truth About Leetcode

    What no one tells you about coding interviews (why leetcode doesn’t work)

    I’m not a fan of Leetcode. Poorly worded problems frustrate me. Obscure solutions and math tricks practically get my blood boiling. Who cares? When will I ever use any of this?

    Everyone’s felt like this at some point. Remember when you and other students used to complain about learning certain subjects in school that weren’t related to your interests? It’s frustrating, sure, but it’s also a necessary evil. The point of most academic programs isn’t to teach you how to become a specialistit’s to expose you to a variety of disciplines and problems.

    As much as I hate it, I have to admit that Leetcode isn’t inherently evil or bad. It can be healthy in moderation because there’s nothing wrong with practicing your problem-solving and optimization skills or learning new ways to approach unfamiliar problems. What is unhealthy is the Leetcode grind.

    And honestly, at the end of the day, Leetcode is just one piece of the puzzle.

    Want to ace tech interviews? Good luck doing that if you’ve tunnel-visioned into the Leetcode grind. What about these other important areas?

  • Polishing your resume.
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    What Does Hackerrank Do

    HackerRank was the first programming platform from India to receive sponsorship from the American seed money startup accelerator, Y Combinator.

    The company has now grown to become the leading technical skill assessment program for developers.

    Most of the high-ranking tech companies use HackerRank to provide coding tests and technical interviews to their candidates.

    HackerRank also offers practice questions for software engineers who want to train for technical interviews in similar environments theyll be tested in.

    The program can also assist people looking to learn new skills and languages.

    Each question is classified by skill level in algorithms, data structures, various languages, and general math.

    HackerRank also features contests users can participate in, and a job board aspiring software engineers can use.

    Their programming challenges have solutions in multiple programming languages and go through various computer science domains.

    Regarding the consumer side, when a programmer presents a solution to a challenge, their submission is scored by the precision and exactness of their resulting product.

    Programmers from all over the world are then scored and ranked on the HackerRank leaderboard. From there, they can earn badges based on their achievements to push more competition among the programmers.

    Is Leetcode Premium Worth It

    My AlgoExpert vs LeetCode discussion wont reach a good end if I dont discuss their premium subscriptions.

    LeetCodes premium subscription can allow you to open locked problems, unlock company problem sets, and the ability to sort those questions. As of writing this article, LeetCodes monthly subscription is for $35 whereas, its annual subscription is for $159.

    LeetCodes premium might be worth the trouble if youre going to apply for the tech giants. Other than that, I find it quite pricey, especially for access to a short subset of premium content. Similarly, you can find explanations to most problems on the internet, but their explanation videos and infographics are quite good.

    I wont simply disregard LeetCode, simply due to its pricing in AlgoExpert vs LeetCode here. It does have good features, but the free version should get you started for your coding interviews and help you improve your skill without a dime.

    After all this, you might be wondering, isnt AlgoExpert a premium service too?

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    The Break And Slow Down

    Around new year 2019, I started my semester when I took two hard courses Reinforcement Learning and Advanced Operating System. These two courses consumed 30+ hours weekly. By then, I have briefly solved most tags and get the ability to identify the problem types by looking at the question. I then started try to solve problem without reading the solutions. My submissions were a lot less between Jan and April. This slowdown is very critical for me to transition the memorization to practical problem solving skills in interview. By writing the code, it did reinforcement my understanding of the algorithms I learned.

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