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Algorithms For Interviews Paperback – September 14, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adnan Aziz is a professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he conducts research and teaches classes in applied algorithms. He has won a number of awards for his teaching and research on applied algorithms. He received his PhD from The University of California at Berkeley; his undergraduate degree is from IIT Kanpur. He has worked at Google, Qualcomm, IBM, and several software startups. When not designing algorithms, he plays with his children, Laila, Imran, and Omar.
 Amit Prakash is a Member of the Technical Staff at Google, where he works primarily on machine learning problems that arise in the context of online advertising. Prior to that he worked at Microsoft in the web search team. He received his PhD from The University of Texas at Austin; his undergraduate degree is from IIT Kanpur. When he is not improving the quality of ads, he indulges in his passions for puzzles, movies, travel, and adventures with his wife.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453792996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453792995
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 93 people found the following review helpful By coolmint on January 22, 2011
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I have read the book till page 19 and already found tons of bugs in the provided solution.

On page 15, the author laughed at "Jon Bentley" b/c there is a bug in his book without correction for twenty years. Now, in this book, on page 110, the author immediately followed the same mistake. So how careless they are.

Solution on page 119 for question 1.16 is just pure wrong.

The font used in this book is too small to read comfortably. Why waste so much papers for those useless cartoon pictures, simply increase the font size and make it more reader friendly.

I also agree on one of the points indicated by another reviewer that the authors just simply include some old questions from other books and put into this book in a careless way.

However, the book does give good answer to simple questions. Whenever, it touches new concepts, it only scratches the surface and you have to dig it out yourself. For example, on page 116, the author mentioned the min-hashing without too much detail information for the reader.

Do NOT waste your money to buy this book!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By sanman on April 11, 2011
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I read the book from first page to last. The book has a collection of really good problems. It prepares the reader for the most challenging of problems that can be asked in interviews. So if you have solved this book and feel fairly confident, it's pretty likely that you'll do well in the interviews as well. The chapters on systems design and architecture were really good too, in terms of dealing with scale-up. These are the questions asked often in programming interviews.

However I wouldn't recommend that this be the first book someone attempts to read in order to prepare for an interview with Google or MS. The authors assume a certain level, which might be daunting for many people needing help. Only after someone has read other programming interview books such as Careercup and read up enough on Algos from books as Skeina and CLRS, should someone attempt to read this book. Else, they will fall into the trap of memorizing the solutions which does not help in any way.

Overall I would highly recommend this book, but only if you have done your homework first.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By junvi on November 29, 2010
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the book's idea is OK, but there are a lot of bugs in codes and seems the books is just the combination of many people's work. Sometime the question and solution is not consistence, In a word, It is definitely not a careful work
Do not worth this much of money
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By peraspera19 on February 27, 2013
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The book is an invaluable resource for computer scientists interviewing for software engineer positions. Example problems are organized by the underlying data structures and algorithmic techniques used to solve them. The problems are presented in the first portion of the book, with full solutions given in the second portion. Plus, the authors include a chapter on the non-technical aspects of the interviewing process. If you are interviewing for positions, particularly at difficult companies (Google, Amazon, Microsoft), this book is a wonderful reference!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Mudawal on October 17, 2011
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As other readers pointed out solutions are dull w/o diagrammatic illustration and more likely to be bookish than unique and innovative. Many problems do not discuss corner cases and optimizations which though being trivial are important part of an interview discussion. Lot of data structure / standard algorithm and their variations are not covered especially for guys who don't work on them on daily basis due to their monotonous programming jobs around enterprise tools and IDE's.

That being said you can't ignore the book if you are preparing for a top I.T. company. Even if you have to look similar problems online and their various different solutions, it still is the best book in market for coding puzzles. I am still into the book and would update my review once I go though it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Girl on September 17, 2011
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As many reviews pointed out, the writing is not careful enough in this book. There are errors now and then. Nevertheless, the problems and solutions are still very well worth exploring. And it is good that they have a different style than most other interview problems book in the market.

In sum, this book is best for more advanced readers than beginners. You should have read at least one of the other books (Crack ..., ... exposed) before reading this one. Advanced readers should be able to tell the errors in the book yourself and won't be confused.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nyrulez on January 20, 2012
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I have given a lot of interviews for some of the top companies with a fairly ok success rate. Usually a high quality interview requires a good grasp of coding skills (reverse bits), algorithm design (largest palindrome in a string), language expertise (virtual destructors) , brain teasers (lions eating a goat), probability/math (gambler's fallacy or getting a fair toss using a biased coin) and high level design (design me a distributed cache). All of this requires a fairly good background to begin with and a sharp mind as well.

This book covers 2 of these categories very well - algorithms and probability/math. (as the name suggests). And it also has pretty good coverage of high level design topics - nothing trivial at all.
It won't make you an expert Python or C++ programmer nor will it teach you how to code complex array manipulations in a short time. With that expectation set, I think the book is worth for the questions alone - some of the questions really make you think. I don't know if they are original (most aren't), but the categorization and the selection is good. And they also have a very nice approach towards reducing various problems to some well known techniques.

This won't make you an expert in algorithms - but provided that you have a decent background to begin with but are a bit rusty - it will provide a great quality review of many important topics and jog your neurons in the right direction.
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