Coding interviews are a pain in the butt.
Frequently, the questions asked have nothing to do with the tasks you’ll be performing on the job as a software engineer.
For example – when’s the last time you needed to serialize and deserialize a binary tree when debugging that Vue ecommerce app?
But these types of questions are becoming more popular among employers, and are the de facto practice at the FAANGs.
And of you want to pass the FAANG coding interviews, you have to play their game.
💾 Hacking the Coding Interview by Coderust helps you solve very specific coding challenges asked at FAANG companies.
🛎️ It features over 400 FAANG-level challenges, nearly 550 coding playgrounds, and 1500 illustrations.
🔎 Check out Hacking the Coding Interview here.
So where do you start?
Coderust dropped a course exactly for that purpose.
Hacking the Coding Interview walks you through over 80 problems, showing you their solutions with step-by-step visualizations.
With coding playgrounds that run in the browser, there is zero configuration time and you can modify your solutions easily.
Today we’re taking a look behind Hacking the Coding Interview, what to expect, and whether or not you can benefit from it.
- 83 lessons
- 414 challenges
- 548 code playgrounds
- 52 code snippets
- 1525 illustrations
Major sections include:
- Linked Lists
- Math and Stats
- Stacks and Queues
- Back Tracking
- Dynamic Programming
Table 1: Coderust sections and challenges
Coderust Sample Problem
Now let’s take a look at a sample problem you’ll encounter in Hacking the Coding Interview. Each problem starts off with a table of contents so you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Given an integer array, sort it in ascending order using the quicksort algorithm.
Right away you’re given two “freebie” hints: 1) use the divide and conquer strategy 2) use Hoare’s algorithm.
Then, it’s time to have fun in the built-in coding playground with your language of choice:
Then, you’re provided a written overview of how a quicksort algorithm works.
Finally, you’re provided another coding playground that contains a possible solution:
Of course, you should always optimize your answer. Try coming up with a few and see how they perform!
There is a timer in each playground for that purpose. The implement quicksort challenge is less “bulky” than many of the other questions here, but the layout and workflow is essentially the same for each of them.
Coderust Pros & Cons
There are lots of courses out there that show you how to solve computer science challenges. So what makes Coderust’s Hacking the Coding Interview stand out? And what makes it not so great? Let’s look at its pros and cons.
Pro: Multiple Programming Language Support
Pro: Feature rich
But one of their downsides is that they don’t walk you through the solutions in explicit detail.
This is where the Coderust course outshines the free platforms.
From its organization and diversity of topics, to the code playgrounds, code snippets and illustrations, it’s a classic case of “you get what you pay for.”
There are over 1500 illustrations including slideshows that should you exactly how things work.
For example, while the quicksort algorithm is explained with text in bullet points, it’s also depicted in a 22-slide illustration:
Pro: Fair Pricing & Subscription Option
That way, you can take this course and dozens of others as needed.
It’s also part of a learning track called Ace the Java Coding Interview, consisting of 8 other courses in addition to this one.
In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the subscription even if you just need to prepare for a technical interview.
But if you only need this course, you can buy it a la carte too.
Con: Perpetuates an impractical ritual
Asking a candidate to find Kth permutation at an interview is nothing less than a high-tech hazing ritual.
These questions almost always have nothing to do with your daily duties as a software engineer.
Unfortunately, interview prep for software engineers that centers on computer science trivia is now a cottage industry.
And although a solid course, Coderust’s Hacking the Coding Interview only further contributes to the inane practices originally adopted by FAANGs, and now used by many other companies too.
Coderust vs Grokking
Let’s take a look at how Hacking the Coding Interview by Coderust compares to Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions by Design Gurus.
Software engineer interview prep materials are competitive.
And Coderust has plenty of competition just on the Educative platform alone. Their biggest rival is Design Gurus, whose Grokking series includes fan favorite Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions.
And while Grokking is a high quality series, it targets intermediate developers while Coderust is geared towards beginners.
Additionally, the Coderust course emphasizes challenges over lessons, whereas Grokking weaves in a lesson (often multiple) for each coding challenge.
Both courses offer multiple programming language support, but Grokking doesn’t support Ruby.
The Coderust course also has nearly 7x more illustrations than the Grokking course. If you’re a visual learner, Coderust has the clear advantage here over Grokking.
Most significantly, the Coderust course focuses on solving very specific coding challenges, while Grokking teaches you patterns to solve problems thrown your way.
For example, Coderust wants you to reverse a singly linked list, while Grokking introduces you to the Fast & Slow pointers pattern.
This is a pointer algorithm that uses two pointers to move through an array/sequence/linked list and you can use it to solve many problems.
If you are a beginner, a visual learner, or need Ruby support choose Coderust.
If you’re more advanced, and need to focus more on patterns rather than implementation, choose Grokking.
Hacking the Coding Interview by Coderust is an ambitious entry into the FAANG interview prep world.
Its strongest selling points are its selection of programming language options, diversity of questions, and visual aids such as illustrations and code snippets.
Despite perpetuating an impractical ritual, this course is highly useful for people wanting a FAANG-level job where they are certain to encounter computer science trivia questions.
And while there are numerous other platforms like leetcode that provide similar coding challenges, the Coderust course is more illustrative and descriptive with step-by-step explanations.
🔎 Check out Hacking the Coding Interview here.
- What is Coderust?
Coderust is the company that created their flagship software engineer interview prep course, Hacking the Coding Interview. It's available on Educative.io as either a single purchase or as part of their subscription service.
- What's the difference between Hacking the Coding Interview by Coderust and Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions by Design Gurus?
Coderust's Hacking the Coding Interview course is geared towards juniors seeking FAANG-level jobs, visual learners, and also supports Ruby in its interactive coding environments.
On the other hand, Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions is geared towards intermediate developers, and teaches you patterns rather than focusing heavily on implementation.
- How is Coderust different than platforms like leetcode or codewars?
Whereas leetcode and codewars can sometimes feel “bare bones,” the Coderust course is more explicit with how things work and includes more educational aids like illustrations and coding snippets.
- Multiple programming language support
- Feature rich
- Fair price and subscription option also available
- Perpetuates an impractical ritual of asking questions not relevant to the job position
Hacking the Coding Interview by Coderust is an ambitious entry into the FAANG interview prep world. Its strongest selling points are its selection of programming language options, diversity of questions, and visual aids such as illustrations and code snippets.
Despite perpetuating an impractical ritual, Hacking the Coding Interview is highly useful for people seeking a FAANG-level job.