- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Wrox; 2nd edition (April 30, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 047012167X
- ISBN-13: 978-0470121672
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 97 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job, 2nd Edition (Programmer to Programmer) 2nd Edition
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From the Back Cover
Programming Interviews Exposed
The pressure is on during the interview process but with the right preparation, you can walk away with your dream job. This classic book uncovers what interviews are really like at America's top software and computer companies and provides you with the tools to succeed in any situation. The authors take you step-by-step through new problems and complex brainteasers they were asked during recent technical interviews.
50 interview scenarios are presented along with in-depth analysis of the possible solutions. The problem-solving process is clearly illustrated so you'll be able to easily apply what you've learned during crunch time. You'll also find expert tips on what questions to ask, how to approach a problem, and how to recover if you become stuck. All of this will help you ace the interview and get the job you want.
What you will learn from this book
- Tips for effectively completing the job application
Ways to prepare for the entire programming interview process
How to find the kind of programming job that fits you best
Strategies for choosing a solution and what your approach says about you
How to improve your interviewing skills so that you can respond to any question or situation
Techniques for solving knowledge-based problems, logic puzzles, and programming problems
Who this book is for
This book is for programmers and developers applying for jobs in the software industry or in IT departments of major corporations.
Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
About the Author
John Mongan is a self-taught programmer with professional experience as a consultant for software and pharmaceutical companies. He has three patents on software testing technologies. He holds a BS in chemistry from Stanford and a PhD in Bioinformatics from UC San Diego, with thesis work in supercomputer simulations of protein dynamics.
Noah Suojanen Kindler graduated from Stanford with a BS in computer science, has worked for Boeing and is currently a consultant.
Eric Giguere is a software developer and the author of three Wiley programming books. He is a frequent speaker and is often interviewed by USA Today and other broad media on various topics.
Top customer reviews
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Given today's competitive market, I find that more employers are looking not only at experience (as they did in my prior job searches), but also are testing applicants on college level computer science. It's true that professionals have taken these courses, but it's been a very long time since I had to write a binary tree algorithm. Once you have experience, you still need to understand data structures and algorithms, but I'd seriously worry about a programmer that wrote their own btree functions. Part of software engineering is understanding what you need, where to find the libraries and tools to support your selection, and understanding how to apply them. So I was taken by surprise when asked about btree algorithms and red/black tree traversal. I remembered these concepts, but wasn't prepared to sit down and code one.
This is where this book came in handy. It sets the stage for interviewing in today's marketplace, covers all those CS101 concepts that some of us are rusty at, and provided good examples to practice working through those low level concepts.
I found it very helpful for my second round of interviews at a very technical company.
For those people that say there is no silver bullet, or that you can't learn to be a computer scientist from one book, I totally agree. But that is not the intended audience. This book is great for those of us that have all that knowledge, but are a bit rusty on some of the data structure internals. It's also great for experienced professionals who have been out of the market for a while.
I would recommend Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions instead with Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3rd Edition) or Introduction to Algorithms for algorithm review
Taking the interviews means you design algorithms for a specific task & code in a couple of minutes. This requires lots of practice, therefore the book needs lot of problems, with several different ways to solve them, and all explained in detail. I will not refer to a particular product (I don't like to advertise other products), but there are other well-known books doing this very well.
This book will be helpful if you don't know anything about programming & computer science/engineering. But if you already know the basics, and would like to go for a serious interview & need to sharpen your existing skills (which you acquired during undergrad & master education, etc.) - go for more challenging books.
All in all, way too introductory. Buy if and only if you don't know the basics.
I do have some issues with a number of the coding examples though. For a guide that is constantly reiterating to check your corner cases there are two examples I found just skimming that are incorrect. I attempted to add to the errata but they also asked for too many personal details so I just submitted them below for anyone that's curious.
If you just need a quick refresher, this content is at the level you would want and expect. If you want in depth understanding of the problems being mentioned, Cormen would be your best bet. If difficult programming problems and the thought process behind how they're solved is more your thing, 'Programming Pearls' is a great place to start.
Errors I noticed on the first read through:
The 'Null or Cycle' solution on page 51 incorrectly short circuits its first 'else if' condition. "Fast = slow = head" before the first iteration; if there are more than two nodes in the list, that else if condition will always cause the function to return true, whether there is a null terminator or not. The idea is a good one, but I would have checked and incremented the 'fast' pointer at least once before the loop started.
The "Remove specified characters" solution also has quite the annoying little bug in it. The characters to remove array is defined as 'r'. The input string character array is defined as 's'. 'len' is defined to be the length of s. When initially setting the 'flags' variable, the loop is indexing into 'r' based on the 'len' of 's'; an easy way to get an out of bounds exception.
These bugs are common, subtle, and easy to miss. Not going to get better at finding and preventing these without practice, no matter what books you read. My main gripe with the book is that it puts an emphasis on correctness, and how to approach a lot of these problems, but doesn't quite follow through in some cases. Since I found two examples so easily, I'll be skeptical of any other code examples on future read throughs.