- Paperback: 254 pages
- Publisher: Wiley (May 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471383562
- ISBN-13: 978-0471383567
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,510,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job
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Although designed for computer science undergraduates, this odd but intriguing book will find a broader readership because of its interesting discussion of problems and solutions. The author, both veteran programmers, based this work on questions they were asked during interviews with big league companies. About 22 pages cover social etiquette and dress and about 220 pages deal with solving programming queries that interviewers pose, from linked lists and tree navigation to sorting and recursion; highly recommended for all college, university, and large public libraries.
From the Back Cover
Everything you need to know to succeed in the programming interview and get the job you want Whether you are a veteran programmer seeking a new position or a whiz kid starting your career, interviewing for a programming job requires special preparation. The interview is likely to consist of an hour-long interactive oral exam in computers, programming, and logic. This helpful guide will give you the tools necessary to breeze through the test and make a lasting impression that will get you a top-dollar offer!
Mongan and Suojanen take you step-by-step through the same problems that they were asked on technical interviews. These veterans use their experience with the technical interview process to prepare you for any situation. With their help, youll gain critical interviewing skills such as how to ask effective questions, how to best approach a problem, and what to do when you get stuck. Integrated throughout the book are problems
taken from real interviews at top computer companies, followed by an in-depth analysis and explanation of the thought process leading to solutions. By focusing on techniques and not just answers, youll be able to apply what you learn to the wide variety of problems you will face during an interview. The problems included in this book will challenge your programming skills and help you ace the programming interview! Problem types include:
- Programming problems with emphasis on data structures and recursion
- Logic puzzles, counting and measuring problems, and spatial reasoning
- Knowledge-based problems that cover todays most important technologies
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Top customer reviews
I don't think this has anything on hashing and hashtables. It seems to have everything else I remember from algorithms/datastructure courses I once took.
If somehow you're going to be appearing for a technical interview and are just starting to program, this may be helpful (though there still aren't enough problems). Or maybe you found the solutions in Cracking to be too brief.
There are very few problems that really twist your brain up and make you scratch your head for a while—like the kind you'll actually get from companies. For those see Cracking or CareerCup.com. I'd love more suggestions for better questions.
What is this book good at?
Teaching you the fundamentals like you know nothing. This book is like a super condensed version of any algorithms and data structures textbook that reminds you of everything you've learnt (perhaps forgotten) in school.
What is it not?
Although this book does have some interesting problems to solve, the focus is to get your basics in place rather than have you practise a bunch of problems(which is more the approach of Cracking the Coding Interview). It does not necessarily teach you how to be a good interviewee but rather teaches you how to be a good programmer.
This book is great for a person who's lost touch with the basics or just needs a refresher of sorts. It is also good for students to help them understand what parts of their textbooks are most important in terms of interviews. Although, if you are a student, I suggest you pair this book with Craking the Coding interview for your interview prep since that book trains you more practically while this book gives you a strong sense theoretically.
To begin, ALL FOUR of the books in this review are 5 star "superstars" for IT interviews. The two problems are, my library customers want to know the top two, and our Amazon shoppers want to know if they can get away with one, two, three, or if they have to buy all four! Of course the answer depends both on the focus of your resume, and the overlap/focus in the four books.
First, the summary, by author, title/Amazon link, year published/edition, number of pages, trim and cost, problems included, main language(s) foci. These four are the most frequently purchased by the over 100,000 libraries (including corporate technical libraries and schools as well as private and public) in our database. (Note: page counts are via visual inspection at the time of this writing, not Amazon stats. Pages can vary with on-demand books.).
Aziz, Elements of Programming Interviews: 300 Questions and Solutions by Aziz, Adnan, Prakash, Amit, Lee, Tsung-Hsien 1st (first) Edition (10/11/2012), 2012, 481 pages, 6 x 9, $25, 300 problems (mostly C++, concurrency in Java, discrete math in formulas and English)
McDowell, Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions, 2011 (5th edition), 500 pages, 6 x 9, $23, 150 problems, (mostly all Java except of course the C, C++ question sections!)
Mongan, Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job, 2013 (ed. 3), 301 pages, 7.4 x 9, $18, 150+ problems (C, C++, C#, Java)
All four of these fine prep texts cover the usual suspects in Algorithms and Data structures, including a focus on "scalable" problems of most concern to the Amazons, Googles, Facebooks, etc. of the world. These include recursion, arrays, lists, hash tables, binary searches and trees, and other foundation coding subjects.
All also cover the usual tricks, brain teasers, presentation problems, prep, process, etc. issues, and in the case of Cracking, specifics on many different company processes.
The divergence is in the "extras." Aziz jumps into parallel computing and covers discrete math (in grad school joke terms, all the computer oriented math that has been taken out of high school courses). McDowell has an unusually well written probability section. Guiness is very up to date with cross platform apps and concurrent programming nightmares, and goes into both more depth and detail on individual topics like big O notation. Mongan is published by wrox, and has not only technical editors, but outstanding web resources. His database section is the most robust of the group.
Aziz and McDowell are print on demand, which usually means there are many more errors in early going, but much faster correction of them via almost weekly files to the printer. Guiness is Wiley and bulletproof. We've tested the code extensively in all four (my payroy sister programmers, not me!) and ALL of them are outstanding, with very few errors at this writing, which can only get better fast in the two PODs, and wasn't a problem to begin with via the technically edited wrox and wiley teams.
Surprisingly, there is NOT a lot of overlap in solutions in these four texts, just as there IS a lot of overlap in the questions (strings, arrays, binaries, hashes... structures are structures and algos are algos). The difference in ALL these books (as opposed to a Cormen) is that the algorithm examples are not academic--they give you many options to "cheat" - and most of the cheats are more real world than techniques given in the 1,300 page algo function texts.
McDowell is the industry standard, but she teaches very much to Google, as does Aziz, meaning web focus, and even a little forgiveness on php, but NO forgiveness on memory or scalability. If you're a library client and have to pick two, we advise one from the McDowell/ Aziz dyad and one from the Guiness/ Mongan dyad. If you're applying for a job with a specific language requirement, these self sort, although of course all are object oriented today.
For shoppers preparing for a real interview: buy all four. I mean, come on. This is your future! You can get all four for the price you'd pay for a larger (way less useful) algo + data structure or individual language text, and maybe less. Some points about interview technique are common, but all four offer different and important examples in approaches to solutions, even though they share common algorithmic and data structure challenges.
IRONY: The only programming area growing faster than data scientist today is at the other end of the big scale spectrum: embedded systems. I kid you not, specialize in embedded, and you're GUARANTEED a dream job, both due to the explosion of these systems, and the rarity of programmers here (but yes, you have to get into circuits!). Our sister Payroy group shows job stats, demand and salaries that are to die for if you go there-- way better than Google. NONE of these books cover it (because other than mobile and server embeds, embedded was traditionally automotive and industrial, but even "Google and Microsoft TV" type ventures are now hungering for it).
There is NO good interview book out on embedded yet, but these two are the best of breed in the field itself: 1. Samek (Practical UML Statecharts in C/C++: Event-Driven Programming for Embedded Systems) and 2. White (Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software). Why C and C++? Because that's where the majority of electronics still reside, and "object" programmers in the field often just use the C subset of ++ and don't really get into sexy classes/methods/parents/kids, etc.! 6 months brushing up on this, specializing, and going for an embedded job will be worth years of competing with the interviews in these texts!!!
Now, a simple tip. I was part of a team that interviewed for a high level, very high paying digital art programming position at shader joes dot com. One candidate stood out as really technically challenged--she even confused a call with a register in one of her answers! She called herself an "autodidact" - meaning, unlike Yahoo, we can't be recruiting only from the 18 top schools.
At the end of her interview, she asked us to check out a disc she'd brought. She had programmed her own video game with movie-real characters, explosions, storyline, etc. using Unity, Maya, blastcode, Python, Lua and C#, with web distributions in Java, HTML 5 and php. She proceeded to explain her entire process, from idea to distribution. She was hired before she could reach the elevator. In olden-days, old timer parlance, don't forget your "portfolio" if you have one! It can trump a LOT of the bureaucratic hurdles!
EMAILERS ANSWER: IF you are a manager, rusty at coding, a data scientist, etc. and are in an interview where you have to "understand" coding basics, but not necessarily code, see our review of Karumanchi (Coding Interview Questions).
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