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on May 14, 2015
First things first: this book helped me get multiple offers, and I recently accepted a job at a top-name developer.

My education is in computer science, and I have been writing software for about 10 years, but that's not enough for interviews these days. They will grill you repeatedly with varied problems, and see how you handle the pressure. I picked up this book mid-way through my interview process for a handful of software jobs. While I am confident in my ability to interview well from a personality perspective, the technical parts of the interview have always stressed me out, and frankly, I'd gotten a little cynical about the whole process.

The problems in the book are cool, but you can find plenty of problems for free online. It's really everything *around* the problems in this book that make it great. The book starts by explaining the "why" of technical interviews, the peripheral stuff, such as how to dress, how to practice for non-technical questions, how to break down problems, how to write good code, and how to respond to rejection and acceptance. Then it breaks down technical problems into a series of categories, such various data structures (arrays, trees/graphs, linked lists, etc), object oriented design, and mathematics and probability.

What helped me more than anything, though, was the breakdown of the "why" of technical problems. In one of my successful interviews, I was presented two purely mathematical physics problems. In both cases, I knew generally how the solution would work, but in one case, I couldn't remember the formula, and in the other I knew the principle of the algorithm, but not the execution. In both cases, the first thing I did was confidently look at my interviewers and say "I'm going to need some help with this one." Then I proceeded to work through the problem with their help and hints, exhibiting collaboration and courtesy. This book helped me get to that point of not freaking out when I know I don't know the solution--it's not just about answering correctly, it's about how you work through road blocks, confusion, walls, and frustration.
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on April 6, 2018
Really good to go over school type tech concepts, and some IT HR departments seem to standardize to something like this. I received some of these type of questions for jobs. Usually these kind of places would go ghost after I spend lots of time and I would try to find the places that were actively looking for people. Often these places would find some reason why the code challenge was not good enough "didn't demonstrate a clear understanding of binary data" or "thank you for spending the time with the coding challenge, unfortunately we only select 1% of whom we outreach too". From my take most companies that are actually hiring don't really follow these or similar questions, and you will have to demonstrate enterprise experience or bs those concepts i.e understand what the tech is so you can tell the hr why yes I've been sitting behind an enterprise environment for the last 10 years making microservices which is why I am here unemployed trying to get your entry level job. The companies that ask these kind of procedural questions likely treat the hiring process like a lottery game where you will be jumping through the hoops with other 100's of other competitors. It is usually by companies that get so many applicants that the hr departments turn the process into a lottery game, google, facebook, amazon, Microsoft, and government. My advice would be to look for places that need to perform explicit business task, and need people rather then the places that want to waste your time with excessive tiered challenges and time wasters that have nothing to do with the employment function. In other words remember to spend more time with apache, react, Hadoop, spring, data science, webservices ect. then reverse engineering something you could just use java.util.* for.
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on February 23, 2015
I own both her books, this one, and the PM Interview.
This one is Great, has many many good pointers for going in to relatively any kind of technical, managerial, or leadership position.
Good review of the Algorithms, and good to know what the companies are looking for & expecting you to know...

Except for maybe the guidance on being able to write a complete complex program, without any errors, (logic or syntax) and it being able to run the first time, perfectly... I've been doing software 15 years, and another 20 years in the military in High Tech Avionics... Her one expectation there is rather ridiculous, to say the least....
That would be synonymous with asking a test pilot to demonstrate how to take off or land his aircraft safely, without consulting the checklist....
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on March 25, 2016
This book was an extremely helpful and solid resource when graduation and looking for a job.

The key to this book isn't memorization of the solutions to the problems, but the WAY to solve the problems and how to think about them.

I highly suggest this book (it has newer editions, so look at those) for anyone who wants to improve how they approach and solve problems. Absolutely worth it.
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on April 5, 2017
I would recommend this book as a cheat sheet type of reference. It will tell you all the concepts that you need to know. But always remember that technology is a moving target, so the content is getting more stale as we speak, no fault of the author, that's just the way it is. I did start with this book when I prepped for my interviews, but overall I found it not as helpful as I would have hoped. Instead I made sure I understood the terms and efficiency of different data structures and algos referenced in the book and then used sites like HackerRank for the rest of my interview prep. The sites often detail which questions are asked by which companies, how often the questions are asked, and different answers which optimize for different things (speed over memory etc).

I would skim this book at best. The questions cover some but not all of the current questions being asked. Also, the system design questions which I do not believe are fully represented here, do compose roughly 1/4 of all interview questions asked, and you have to spend time prepping those as well.
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on October 12, 2017
Didn't do most of the questions but the meta-hints at the beginning of the book pretty much got me the job in not one, but two major tech companies.
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on November 2, 2015
I've been a Software Engineer for almost two years, and was looking to make my third career move. I wanted to shoot much higher for a job, and wanted to prepare accordingly. I'm not one of those people who have been programming since age 10 or a natural genius, so I had to practice. A lot.

Fortunately, Gayle Laakmann McDowell's "Cracking the Coding Interview" goes a long way towards making the reader feel comfortable with answering technical and behavioral questions that inevitably appear in technical interviews. There are other books like hers, namely Elements of Programming Interviews: The Insiders' Guide and Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job. "Elements" doesn't explain behavioral questions as well, and the technical questions are much harder than any I've ever seen in an interview. Whereas in contrast, "Exposed" had questions that were a bit too easy.

Whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional, this book is invaluable to helping you ace the interview. The market has become extremely competitive. I have been interviewed by people who have been at the company 20+ years who have said that they probably wouldn't have gotten the job if they had to interview in today's environment. This isn't a bad thing, as programmers get paid way more these days. But with the pay comes competition, and success in programming interviews is a matter of preparation, not luck. Do yourself a favor and get this book.
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on December 9, 2016
There is lots of information here for interviews and prepare you really well.
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on January 27, 2018
Must read for all computer science and computer engineering guys looking for software jobs.
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on May 1, 2018
really good. excellent insights into how to break down and approach a problem. enough interesting problems that will keep you busy all the way up to the interview(s)
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