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101 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2011
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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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2011
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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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
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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53 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2013
I respect this book for being jam packed with lots of info and no filler. It's very well-written, well-organized, and having authored many documents myself, I can tell you that I couldn't have done a better job! All that aside, I gave it 3 stars (instead of 5) because I had some significant issues with the content. I'd recommend skimming/ignoring everything in this book but the code examples. The code examples/exercises are where you'll find the most value in this book.

If you're interested in my personal issues with the content, read on:

1. The author presents her claims as if she's worldy, having worked for Microsoft, Google, et al. I simply didn't feel this book was very "real-world". I've been consulting for nearly 2 decades, have interviewed dozens of people, and have thus been on both sides of the interview many, many times. In all that time, I never witnessed some of the experiences/conditions that this book pretty much guantees you'll encounter. Some of her advice is simply illogical and makes no sense. I'm not saying she's giving bad info, and the material is presented very well. I'm simply recommending you take what she says with a grain of salt.

2. The code style isn't the best. I hesitate to judge here because, not only have I seen SO much worse, but because well-written code doesn't always fit nicely into books. Sometimes everything gets crammed into tight, hard to read, crappy code statements with poor formatting. However, this is THE book (if there ever was a case to be made) that should have made space. EIther that or the author simply doesn't care about code style. Then again, she may thing her code looks wonderful. It's all perspective. Just wanted to include a warning that, given 2 candidates and one write clean code vs. the code in this book, I'd probably pass on hiring this author.

3. The code exercises are good. My problem is that the material is basic. Any (good) programmer will already understand everything in this book by the time they get their degree (or equivalent experience). Sure, sorting and searching algorithms are fun. We all live for bit shifting and implementing our own stacks. That said, I can't recall every seeing that come up in an interview. Surely, it can come up and probably does. You may be asked lots of basic, technical questions. The issues is that, while some interviews are easier than others and you should definitely know this stuff, it's really not what I think companies care about. I've seen brilliant people fall flat on their face when approached with a real-world problem. I see morons write better code than PhDs on average. Skills are very, very important...but getting the work done (right and on time) is critical.

The material in this book only goes so far. Coding is only a part of what's covered in the interview. I'm not saying the book promised something it didn't deliver. It IS named "Cracking the Coding Interview" and not "Cracking the Interview". However, the author opened up that can of worms when she addressed issues beyond code in this book. I just wish it had more depth to it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2014
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2014
If you are thinking about starting prep for interviews and dont know where to start, buy this book. I was working for some years at a company and out of touch with algorithms. Then when I wanted to give interviews I bought this book first thing. This books certainly covers the questions you need to know but assumes you know the concepts. This is where I was stuck so I stopped halfway and started on Skiena's youtube lectures his "The Algorithm Design Manual" book. Once I was done with the book I came back and completed this. The problems and solutions made more sense that way. I did not have time to complete the medium and hard problems in the end and some problems/chapters might not be relevant for all interviews so you could skip them. Also some solutions are not the best/easy to follow. So compare the solution with that given in other great resources mentioned below.

Here is my suggestion for prep:
1. Start with Skiena's lectures on youtube or "The Algorithm Design Manual" book. Even if you dont have time for war stories or the questions in the second half of the book, that's fine. You should know the contents in the first half of the book.
2. Continue with this book. Feel free to skip some questions and come back later.
3. Further you may read "Elements of Programming Interviews". It is not the easiest to start with but once you are familiar with the concepts from 1 and 2 this is great reference. Some problems might be repetitive but they have a concise way of implementing the solutions.

Work out problems from geeksforgeeks.com and leetcode.com There are a whole variety of problems not even discussed in the above resources which are solved there. Dont refer to careercup website for solutions, they are just some random thoughts and people showing off their coding skills.

Apart from that you should be strong in your language of choice and know its concepts. All this takes time so dont rush. Give yourself 2-3 months to familiarize and read the concepts and algorithms. Then read the above books again and again. All successful people did lot of hard work behind the scenes. They got into top companies since they put the hard work not because they got some free pass because they studied in top tier school. And that is the reason Gayle wrote this book, so with hard work and luck anyone can aim high. I thank her for that.

Side note. I was never asked a question directly from this book in most interviews. What they usually ask is some flavor of questions in this book. That's why you need to know the concepts rather than memorizing the solution. This book gave me the confidence to tackle similar questions and covered a wide breadth of questions so I didn't have to wonder what to study. All the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2015
I know the book is titled "Cracking the CODING Interview," but it seems to put too much emphasis on the technical part of a job interview. I've been developing software professionally for 13 years now and at least HALF of my "hireability" (is that even a word?) at interviews has depended on my personality and communication skills.

As an interviewer myself, I'm most concerned with 1) Can I work with this person, 2) Can they be taught, and 3) Do they seem like a naturally intelligent person? Yes, I want to see some relevant technical skills, and that's where this book can HELP, but overall we are looking for people we will enjoy working with and who can learn the job.

My most recent interview (last week) consisted of meeting with 10 people. Of those 10, four were focused on technical skills and the other six were focused on other skills. They stressed how important picking the right people for their culture was. My point? I could have answered every technical question right and still done poorly overall.

I made the mistake of buying this book with only seven days before my last interview. That was barely enough time to go through much of what the author considered basic (hash tables, etc.). If you think you'll be interviewing in the next few months, buy this book now and start going through it - it's way too dense to use on short notice.

I'd recommend it, but make sure you leave plenty of time to prepare. It had lots of great preparation advice in the beginning that's applicable to everyone. I'd also recommend that you focus on your interpersonal/communication skills because every company isn't just concerned with how good you are at writing code. Be well rounded!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
Given how hard it is to get an interview at one of the top IT companies you really want to make sure you come prepared..

Here is where 'Cracking the Coding Interview' comes.

It's essentially 2 things:
1) A short walk through the whole hiring process. From both of the perspectives: a recruiter and a job seeker.
2) Huge collection of a potential interview questions that are going to make your brain melt..

Invaluable training before an actual interview.

The author really know what she's talking about. She's been there, done that, on both sides..
She's concise, unapologetic and straight down to the point.

No interview is going to be scary if you master the questions from this book.
A friend of mine who recommended it to me recently scored a position at Microsoft. Need anything more for recommendation?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2015
printed on really thin paper and feels cheap, but the information is invaluable for those wanting to learn something useful.there is nothing special about any of the programs mentioned here, but it does bring ones attention to some of the reasoning behind why it is done this way, and what to look out for.
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