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Title:CRACKING THE CODING INTERVIEW 150 Programming Interview Questions and Solutions
Authors:GAYLE LAAKMANN
Keywords:Microsoft Review ; Coding InterviewComputer Science
Issue Date:2010
Publisher:CareerCup, LLC Seattle, WA
Citation:pdf154.pdf
Abstract:We walked out of the hiring meeting frustrated, again. Of the ten “passable” candidates we reviewed that day, none would receive offers. Were we being too harsh, we wondered? I, in particular, was disappointed. We had rejected one of my candidates. A former student. One who I had referred. He had a 3.73 GPA from the University of Washington, one of the best computer science schools in the world, and had done extensive work on open source projects. He was energetic. He was creative. He worked hard. He was sharp. He was a true geek, in all the best ways. But, I had to agree with the rest of the committee: the data wasn’t there. Even if my emphatic recommendation would sway them to reconsider, he would surely get rejected in the later stages of the hiring process. There were just too many red flags. Though the interviewers generally believed that he was quite intelligent, he had struggled to develop good algorithms. Most successful candidates could fly through the first question, which was a twist on a well known problem, but he struggled to develop his algorithm. When he came up with one, he failed to consider solutions that optimized for other scenarios. Finally, when he began coding, he flew through the code with an initial solution, but it was riddled with mistakes that he then failed to catch. Though he wasn’t the worst candidate we'd seen by any measure, he was far from meeting “the bar.” Rejected. When he asked for feedback over the phone a couple of weeks later, I struggled with what to tell him. Be smarter? No, I knew he was brilliant. Be a better coder? No, his skills were on-par with some of the best I'd seen. Like many motivated candidates, he had prepared extensively. He had read K&R’s classic C book and he'd reviewed CLRS' famous algorithms textbook. He could describe in detail the myriad of ways of balancing a tree, and he could do things in C that no sane programmer should ever want to do. I had to tell him the unfortunate truth: those books aren’t enough. Academic books prepare you for fancy research, but they’re not going to help you much in an interview. Why? I'll give you a hint: your interviewers haven’t seen Red-Black Trees since they were in school either. To crack the coding interview, you need to prepare with real interview questions. You must practice on real problems, and learn their patterns. Cracking the Coding Interview is the result of my first-hand experience interviewing at top companies. It is the result of hundreds of conversations with candidates. It is the result of the thousands of candidate- and interviewer- contributed questions. And it’s the result of seeing so many interview questions from so many firms. Enclosed in this book are 150 of the best interview questions, selected from thousands of potential problems.
URI:http://localhost:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/225
Appears in Collections:Computer Science