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Vasiliy Sobolev
Vasiliy Sobolev

Cracking the Coding Interview: Tips and Tricks from a Former Google Engineer and Interviewer


Cracking the Coding Interview 5th Edition Ebook: A Comprehensive Guide for Software Developers




If you are a software developer who wants to land your dream job at a top tech company, you know how challenging and competitive the coding interview can be. You need to master various data structures, algorithms, and problem-solving skills, as well as demonstrate your communication and behavioral abilities. How can you prepare for such a demanding test and stand out from the crowd?




cracking the coding interview 5th edition ebook



One of the most popular and effective books that can help you ace the coding interview is Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell. This book has been used by thousands of candidates who have successfully passed their interviews at Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and other leading companies. In this article, we will give you a comprehensive guide on what this book is, how to use it, and why it is so valuable for software developers.


What is Cracking the Coding Interview?




Cracking the Coding Interview is a book that provides 150 programming interview questions and solutions, as well as other advice and tips on how to prepare for and ace your coding interview. The book is written by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, a former software engineer at Google, Microsoft, and Apple, who has interviewed hundreds of candidates for various positions. She has also coached many people on how to get hired at top tech companies.


The author and her background




Gayle Laakmann McDowell has a unique perspective and insight into the coding interview process, as she has been on both sides of the table. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. She then worked as a software engineer at Google, Microsoft, and Apple, where she gained experience in developing large-scale systems, web applications, and mobile apps.


She also became involved in hiring and interviewing candidates for various roles, such as software engineers, program managers, product managers, testers, etc. She learned what skills and qualities are expected from candidates, what questions are asked, how decisions are made, and what mistakes are common. She decided to share her knowledge and experience with others who want to pursue a career in software development.


She founded CareerCup.com, a website that offers online resources and tools for coding interview preparation, such as mock interviews, videos, forums, etc. She also wrote several books on career development, such as The Google Resume, The Google Phone Screen, The Career Playbook, etc. However, her most famous and best-selling book is Cracking the Coding Interview, which has been translated into several languages and has sold over half a million copies worldwide.


The content and structure of the book




The book is divided into two parts: the first part covers the interview preparation and the second part covers the interview questions and solutions. The first part consists of six chapters that explain the following topics:



  • The interview process: This chapter gives an overview of how the coding interview works, what types of questions are asked, how you will be evaluated, and what happens behind the scenes at different companies.



  • Special situations: This chapter covers some special cases and scenarios that you may encounter in your interview, such as being an experienced candidate, a program manager, a tester, etc.



  • Before the interview: This chapter gives advice on how to get an interview, how to write a resume, how to network, and how to research the company and the role.



  • Behavioral preparation: This chapter explains how to prepare for behavioral questions, which are often asked in addition to technical questions. It also gives examples of common behavioral questions and how to answer them using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).



  • Technical questions (+ 5 algorithm approaches): This chapter introduces the five algorithm approaches that can help you solve any coding problem: examples, pattern matching, simplification and generalization, base case and build, and data structure brainstorming. It also gives tips on how to write clean and efficient code, how to test your code, and how to handle tricky situations.



  • The offer and beyond: This chapter discusses what to do after you get an offer, how to negotiate your salary and benefits, how to choose between multiple offers, and how to prepare for your new job.



The second part of the book contains 150 programming interview questions and solutions, organized by topic. The topics include:



  • Data structures: This section covers questions related to arrays, strings, linked lists, stacks, queues, hash tables, trees, heaps, graphs, etc.



  • Algorithms: This section covers questions related to sorting, searching, recursion, dynamic programming, bit manipulation, math and logic puzzles, etc.



  • Knowledge based: This section covers questions related to object-oriented design, system design and scalability, databases, testing, threads and locks, etc.



Each question is accompanied by a detailed solution that explains the logic behind the answer, the time and space complexity analysis, the code implementation in Java or C++, and some variations or follow-up questions. The solutions also highlight some key concepts and tips that can help you improve your coding skills and interview performance.


The benefits and challenges of using the book




The book has many benefits for software developers who want to prepare for their coding interview. Some of the benefits are:



  • It covers a wide range of topics and questions that are relevant and realistic for most coding interviews. It also reflects the latest trends and changes in the industry and the expectations of employers.



  • It provides clear and concise explanations and solutions that are easy to understand and follow. It also gives practical examples and scenarios that illustrate the concepts and techniques.



  • It offers valuable advice and tips from an expert who has been through the process herself and knows what works and what doesn't. It also reveals some insider secrets and insights that can give you an edge over other candidates.



  • It helps you develop your problem-solving skills and confidence by giving you a structured approach to tackle any coding problem. It also helps you improve your coding style and quality by showing you best practices and common pitfalls.



  • It saves you time and effort by giving you a comprehensive and organized resource that you can use as a reference or a guide. You don't have to search for multiple sources or waste time on irrelevant or outdated information.



However, the book also has some challenges that you need to be aware of and overcome. Some of the challenges are:



  • It is a very dense and technical book that requires a lot of concentration and dedication. You may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the amount of information and questions in the book. You may also find some topics or questions too hard or too easy for your level.



  • It is not a substitute for actual coding practice or experience. You still need to write code on your own or with others, preferably on a whiteboard or a paper. You also need to practice your communication skills and explain your solutions out loud.



  • It is not a guarantee for success or a magic formula that can solve all your problems. You still need to do your own research on the company and the role you are applying for. You also need to adapt your strategy and style depending on the situation and the interviewer.



How to Prepare for the Coding Interview with Cracking the Coding Interview?




How to Use Cracking the Coding Interview Effectively?




Cracking the Coding Interview is a great resource that can help you prepare for your coding interview, but you need to use it effectively to get the most out of it. Here are some tips on how to use the book in the best way possible:


The best way to read and practice the book




The book is not meant to be read from cover to cover, but rather to be used as a reference or a guide. You should first identify your strengths and weaknesses, and then focus on the topics and questions that are most relevant and challenging for you. You should also review the topics and questions that you are already familiar with, as they may have some nuances or tricks that you may have missed.


You should also practice the questions in the book by writing code on a whiteboard or a paper, not on a computer. This will help you simulate the real interview environment and train your muscle memory. You should also explain your solutions out loud, as if you were talking to an interviewer. This will help you improve your communication skills and demonstrate your thought process.


You should also check your solutions against the ones provided in the book, and compare the time and space complexity, the code quality, and the edge cases. You should try to understand why the solutions work and how they can be improved or optimized. You should also try to solve the variations or follow-up questions that are given in the book.


The online resources and tools that complement the book




The book is not the only resource that you can use to prepare for your coding interview. There are also many online resources and tools that can complement the book and enhance your learning experience. Some of these resources and tools are:



  • CareerCup.com: This is the website that was created by the author of the book, and it offers many features and services for coding interview preparation, such as mock interviews, videos, forums, resume reviews, etc.



  • LeetCode.com: This is a website that provides a platform for practicing coding problems online. It has over 2000 problems that cover various topics and difficulty levels. It also has a discussion section where you can learn from other users' solutions and feedback.



  • HackerRank.com: This is another website that provides a platform for practicing coding problems online. It has over 1500 problems that cover various domains and skills. It also has a leaderboard and a contest section where you can compete with other users and test your skills.



  • InterviewCake.com: This is a website that provides a structured course for coding interview preparation. It has over 50 lessons that cover various topics and techniques. It also has interactive quizzes and exercises that test your understanding and application of the concepts.



  • Pramp.com: This is a website that provides a service for peer-to-peer mock interviews. It matches you with another user who has similar goals and backgrounds, and then gives you both a coding problem to solve together. It also records your session and gives you feedback on your performance.



The feedback and testimonials from successful candidates




The book has helped many software developers achieve their career goals and land their dream jobs at top tech companies. Many of them have shared their feedback and testimonials on various platforms, such as Amazon, Google Books, Goodreads, etc. Here are some examples of what they have said about the book:


"This book was my main study guide for coding interviews. I read through it twice, once without coding up solutions to any problems (just reading through them), then once again while coding up solutions to every problem I could (I skipped some of them). I ended up getting offers from Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Yelp & Palantir." - Amazon review


"This book is amazing! I bought it after failing at several interviews where I wasn't prepared enough for algorithm design questions. After working through this book (and related online resources), I was able to ace all my subsequent interviews at Google (and other companies) with confidence." - Google Books review


"I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to prepare for software engineering interviews at top companies like Google or Facebook. The author does an excellent job of explaining how these interviews work, what skills are expected from candidates, how to approach different types of problems, and how to avoid common mistakes. The questions and solutions are very realistic and relevant, and they cover a wide range of topics and difficulty levels." - Goodreads review


Conclusion




Cracking the Coding Interview is a book that can help you prepare for and ace your coding interview at top tech companies. It provides 150 programming interview questions and solutions, as well as other advice and tips on how to prepare for and perform well in the interview. It is written by a former software engineer and interviewer at Google, Microsoft, and Apple, who has a lot of experience and insight into the coding interview process.


The book is not a substitute for actual coding practice or experience, but rather a reference or a guide that you can use effectively. You should identify your strengths and weaknesses, and focus on the topics and questions that are most relevant and challenging for you. You should also practice the questions in the book by writing code on a whiteboard or a paper, and explaining your solutions out loud. You should also check your solutions against the ones provided in the book, and try to understand why they work and how they can be improved or optimized.


You can also use other online resources and tools that can complement the book and enhance your learning experience, such as CareerCup.com, LeetCode.com, HackerRank.com, InterviewCake.com, Pramp.com, etc. You can also learn from the feedback and testimonials of other successful candidates who have used the book and achieved their career goals.


If you are serious about getting your dream job at a top tech company, you should get Cracking the Coding Interview and start preparing today. It will give you the interview preparation you need to get the top software developer jobs.


FAQs





  • What is the difference between the 5th edition and the 6th edition of Cracking the Coding Interview?



  • How long does it take to finish reading and practicing the book?



  • How do I get access to the ebook version of the book?



  • How do I contact the author of the book?



  • Where can I buy the book?



What is the difference between the 5th edition and the 6th edition of Cracking the Coding Interview?




The 6th edition of Cracking the Coding Interview is an updated and expanded version of the 5th edition. It has 189 programming interview questions and solutions, instead of 150. It also has more topics and questions on system design, scalability, databases, testing, etc. It also has more diagrams, examples, scenarios, tips, etc.


How long does it take to finish reading and practicing the book?




The answer depends on your current level of knowledge and skill, as well as your availability and dedication. Some people may finish the book in a few weeks, while others may take several months. The author recommends that you spend at least one hour per day on coding interview preparation, and that you start preparing at least one month before your interview.


How do I get access to the ebook version of the book?




You can get access to the ebook version of the book by purchasing it from CareerCup.com or Amazon.com. You can also get access to some sample chapters of the ebook for free by signing up for CareerCup's newsletter.


How do I contact the author of the book?




You can contact the author of the book by sending an email to gayle@careercup.com. You can also follow her on Twitter (@gayle), LinkedIn (Gayle Laakmann McDowell), or Facebook (Gayle Laakmann McDowell).


Where can I buy the book?




You can buy the book from various online platforms, such as CareerCup.com, Amazon.com, Google Books, Barnes & Noble, etc. You can also find it in some physical bookstores or libraries. 71b2f0854b


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