- Paperback: 687 pages
- Publisher: CareerCup; 6th edition (July 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984782850
- ISBN-13: 978-0984782857
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (377 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions 6th Edition
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About the Author
Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the founder and CEO of CareerCup and the author of Cracking the PM Interview and Cracking the Tech Career.
Her background is in software development. She has worked as a software engineer at Google, Microsoft, and Apple. At Google, she interviewed hundreds of software engineers and evaluated thousands of hiring packets on the hiring committee. She holds a B.S.E. and M.S.E. in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School.
She now consults with tech companies to improve their hiring process and with startups to prepare them for acquisition interviews.
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Top Customer Reviews
The DP solutions in this book are not actually tabular DP formulations--I recommend looking at the problems here http://people.cs.clemson.edu/~bcdean/dp_practice/ (Brian Dean's Dynamic Programming Practice Problems). Gayle presents memoized solutions, which are much easier conceptually but not as clean or performant as bottoms-up tabular solutions.
Many questions and solutions lend surprising (and sometimes wonderful) insights while others left us scratching our heads wondering what the heck the author was thinking about. But in aggregate, it's been helpful to just grind through the problems, one at a time in a series of mock interview scenarios.
Compared to the old 5th edition (which I also own; but the study group focuses on the 6th edition; so I bought this one to stay on par with everyone else), the author has significantly expanded the content and depth in the 6th edition.
As some people have alluded to already, this book focuses mostly on algorithms, recursions and related topics. It's light on architecture and design content. If that's your area of weakness, you might want to look for an alternative source of content to supplement this book to get your bases covered.
Don't expect to buy it to memorize all the problems that you could possibly be asked - but work through as many of the problems as you can in order to familiarize yourself with real techniques, patterns, and idioms that will be useful in real whiteboarding questions.
Make sure to hack away at every problem by yourself first, but be willing to look at the given solution if it gets tricky. These questions are meant to be even a little tougher than many real companies' whiteboarding questions, so you won't be cheating when you look at the solution. But then make sure to actually implement a solution in real code that you yourself write -- physically writing the code is a great way to learn the concepts.
After the chapters comes a slough of example interview questions rated as easy/medium/hard, each with hints that interviewers might provide if you were to get stuck as well as a solution.
Interviewing with companies can be a pretty grueling process so if you want a much better chance of landing the job the first time, I would highly recommend this book.
The only reason I can't give 5 stars is this should be available in a ebook format. I don't buy physical books anymore since it's just a pain to lug around/store and as a result, they are often forgotten. And I've loaned this book to so many people they're really losing money buy not offering it on Kindle, which I would not be able to share.
The topics covered are broad. But don't except to go "deep". This is not an academic book.
It includes many exercises with its solutions. Solutions usually are easy to understand, but not all of them.
I would add more content for the design interview, in particular how to scale different type of systems. It only covers some scenarios, but if you have little experience with the back-end, this book alone might not be enough.