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Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions Paperback – August 22, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0984782802 ISBN-10: 098478280X Edition: 5th Revised & enlarged

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 508 pages
  • Publisher: CareerCup; 5th Revised & enlarged edition (August 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098478280X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984782802
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (330 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I am not a recruiter. I am a software engineer. And as such, I know what it's like to be asked to whip up brilliant algorithms on the spot, and then write flawless code on a whiteboard. I know because I've been asked to do the same thing--in interviews at Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, among other companies.

I also know because I've been on the other side of the table, asking candidates to do this. I've combed through stacks of resumes to find the engineers who I thought might be able to actually pass these interviews. And I've debated in Google's Hiring Committee whether or not a candidate did well enough to merit an offer. I understand and have experienced the full hiring circle.

And you, reader, are probably preparing for an interview, perhaps tomorrow, next week, or next year. You likely have or are working towards a Computer Science or related degree. I am not here to re-teach you the basics of what a binary search tree is, or how to traverse a linked list. You already know such things, and if not, there are plenty of other resources to learn them.

This book is here to help you take your understanding of Computer Science fundamentals to the next level, to help you apply those fundamentals to crack the coding interview. Because while the fundamentals are necessary to land one of the top jobs, they aren't always enough. For countless readers, this book has been just what they needed. 

About the Author

Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the founder / CEO of CareerCup.com and the author of The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company.

Work Experience
Her interviewing expertise comes from vast experience on both sides of the desk. She has completed Software Engineering interviews with - and received offers from - Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Capital IQ, and a number of other firms.

Of these top companies, she has worked for Microsoft, Apple and Google, where she gained deep insight into each company's hiring practices. 

Most recently, Gayle spent three years at Google as a Software Engineer and was one of the company's lead interviewers. She interviewed over 120 candidates in the U.S. and abroad, and, as a software engineer, led much of the recruiting for her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.

Additionally, she served on Google's Hiring Committee, where she reviewed each candidate's feedback and made hire / no-hire decisions. She assessed over 700 candidates in that role, and evaluated hundreds more resumes.

Education
Gayle holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from The Wharton School.

More About the Author

Gayle Laakmann McDowell's interviewing expertise comes from vast experience on both sides of the desk. She has completed Software Engineering interviews with - and received offers from - Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Capital IQ, and a number of other firms.

Of these top companies, she has worked for Microsoft, Apple and Google, where she gained deep insight into each company's hiring practices.

Most recently, Gayle spent three years at Google as a Software Engineer and was one of the company's lead interviewers. She interviewed over 120 candidates in the U.S. and abroad, and led much of the recruiting for her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.

Additionally, she served on Google's Hiring Committee, where she reviewed each candidate's feedback and made hire / no-hire decisions.

She assessed over 700 candidates in that role, and evaluated hundreds more resumes.

In 2005, Gayle founded CareerCup.com to bring her wealth of experience to candidates around the world. Launched first as a free forum for interview questions, CareerCup now offers a book, a video and mock interviews.

Gayle holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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Customer Reviews

This book is the book to prepare for a technical interview.
Mathieu
The good about this book is that it doesn't contain much of the basics, which people going into interviews should already know.
book_thief
Solving problems through the book, I learnt different [ingenious] approaches.
ginnie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 98 people found the following review helpful By ginnie on August 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you are planning to appear for a technical interview at any big software-firm, I highly recommend studying this book.

When I started my preparation, the entire process seemed really daunting. There is so much to study, and there is vast amount of study-material available out there. I was really confused on what/how to prepare. A friend of mine suggested me this book and so I read it.

To summarize, this book is an awesome compilation of problems, strategies and approaches you must know for doing well in a Tech interview.

It starts with chapters focusing on non-coding aspects (company-info, resume, behavioral etc.). I feel that, thoroughly covering just these first 30 pages is suffice for doing well in the 'HR' parts of tech-interviews.

After that, it contains 150 questions grouped by categories, covering all the relevant areas. And finally it has useful information, solutions and discussions for all the questions.

Qu. "If I memorize solutions for all these questions, Can I crack an Interview?" Ans. No Way!
Rather, if you slog through these questions, learning techniques; I am sure you will be able to solve questions on that day.

Solving problems through the book, I learnt different [ingenious] approaches. And with practice, I was be able to [/tried to] identify patterns in new questions that I faced.

I particularly love 3 chapters- "Recursion", "Moderate Interview Problems", "Hard Interview Problems". Because they contain some really neat algorithms :)

Hope this review helps.. And all the best for your interview :)
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Anshu Mishra on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Should I buy this book for Interview Preparations ?

Short answer - Yes.

There are already many good reviews before this one, so if you are reading this, I would suggest don't waste your time and just buy this book. If you are preparing for companies such as Amazon/Apple/Facebook/Google/Microsoft, you should definitely go through this book. The quality of this edition is unparalled. It shows how much effort the author (Gayle) has put into this book. I specially like the runnable code she has provided alongwith the book to download and play with.

Did I get benefit out of it ?

Yes. I read this book for 2-3 weeks and in very first interview opportunity with one of these companies listed above, got the offer.

Did I absorb everything discussed in the book ?

No. Although I did read 80% of the book, i still feel if I had a bit free time could have absorbed the contents discussed a bit better. So what I mean to say is I am still going to use this book to make myself better (not just for interviews). You can definitely use this book even after you get your dream job (as a reference). Lots of good ideas discussed which may help you in your day to job as well.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Larry on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book 3 weeks before interview. Read the book twice with careful hand-writing practice on each question. Got Amazon offer. The interview had 4 questions and one was in the book. The other 3 were not in the book. This book will not prevent you from getting new questions during interviews. But it does cover most of the common areas that interviewers are interested in. Once you are familiar with the solutions, you have the skills and confidence to solve new questions during interviews.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Apezz on May 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
Would have given 5 stars if the book had the full solutions. The author claims that the full solutions are on the website, but all it did was redirect me to another site, with a few solutions from the book written it different languages. I rather have paid a little extra to have the FULL solutions in the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Megan Verbakel on May 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book for anyone preparing for a technical coding interview. It starts 1 year before the interview, so it's a good way of checking the areas you need to work on before you start applying for positions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Braun on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I had read this book 90 days ago. I wouldn't have blown a great job that I really wanted.

This book goes beyond the usual answers to questions likely to be asked. Instead of telling you what to think it teaches you HOW to think. This will prepare you for the hard edged interviews that ask you to go to the white board and write code in front of a group of people. It's not impossible if you know that it's coming. I didn't and I did well but not enough to get a job offer. If I had read this book first and knew what was coming I think I would have nailed it.

Sample: Write an algorithm to produce the angle in degrees between the hour and minute hand on a clock. The book doesn't tell you how to do it but how to go about reaching the solution.

Priceless!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Neil on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
You can read other reviews to get a good sense of "what" is covered in this book and "how" well it is covered, so the question I wanted to answer with my review is "when" should you get this book?

Whether you are searching for a job or not, my answer is now.

I picked up this book while in what seemed like a good steady job and my primary interest was not to prepare for a job interview but rather to have some fun and challenge myself by working through the excellent programming questions. Things change however and that once steady job started getting progressively worse which ultimately made me decide it was time to move on. I'm especially glad therefore that I picked up this book - after taking a few months off, I'm ready to start the job hunt and I know I can walk in to any interview feeling confident I can tackle whatever comes my way.

If you are already in a steady job and happy, get this book to challenge your mind and improve your programming and logic skills. And with life and the job market being as unpredictable as it is, you might find you will need it sooner than you think!
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