Grokking the Coding Interview course review cover art

Grokking the Coding Interview COURSE REVIEW

Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions is an interactive interview prep course for aspiring FAANG engineers. The secret sauce of the course is 16 patterns that help you map a new problem to an already known problem.

It’s been said before, but interviewing for FAANG companies is its own skill set.

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While there’s debate surrounding their effectiveness, the reality is that these interviews are part of FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix) workplace culture.

As a result? FAANG engineer interview prep courses are their own cottage industry now. From Leetcode to Codewars to hackerrank to AlgoExpert, more seem to pop up weekly.

And although Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions does cost money, the price is modest compared to your earnings once you pass your interview and receive an offer from a FAANG.

While this course is relatively new, it may be easy to pass over when so many free resources are available. But checking out Grokking the Coding Interview further, there are a lot of added features the free stuff just doesn’t offer.

For example, the robust coding playgrounds feature environments available for Java, Python3, JavaScript and C++ right in the browser:

Grokking the Coding Interview review try it yourself RealToughCandy

This feature alone not only saves you the step of setting up a coding environment, but if you’re only using one screen, you eliminate the need to click from app to app. It’s kind of a boss move.

The Secret Sauce: 16 Patterns

One of the advantages Grokking the Coding Interview has over other platforms is that it features a clear, succinct strategy that emphasizes 16 patterns. In other words, it doesn’t just dive right into random coding problems and expect you to solve them.

Then, once you understand the pattern, you’ll be able to solve multiple problems using it.

You also get plenty of visual aids and interactive bits to help you. Including:

  • 1000 code playgrounds (there’s an IDE right in the browser)
  • 220 illustrations
  • 125 challenges
  • 184 lessons

…this course comes equipped with all the extras. Plus there’s a help section in each chapter for your questions.

Grokking the Coding Interview review help pages RealToughCandy
Above: help pages for the Two Pointers pattern in Grokking the Coding Interview

Some of the 16 patterns you’ll learn include:

  • Merge Intervals
  • Two Pointers
  • Sliding Window
  • Tree Breadth First Search
  • Two Heaps
  • Subsets
  • Top ‘K’ elements
  • Topological Sort (Graph)

And many more.

Stumped? You can always check out the correct answer in the solution snippet.

Grokking the coding interview review solution screenshot RealToughCandy
Above: the solutions to the problems are in an IDE right in the browser. No setup time!

Who should take Grokking the Coding Interview?

  • FAANG job seekers

Who should NOT take Grokking the Coding Interview?

  • Code newbies
  • Jr. developers not applying to FAANGs or equivalent

The nice thing about Grokking the Coding Interview is that you can buy a monthly subscription to Educative.io. That way, you can enjoy this course and dozens of others.

Additionally, this course is part of a learning track called Ace the Java Coding Interview, consisting of eight other courses in total. (Check out my review of Grokking the System Design Interview.)

Level Lessons Challenges Playgrounds Code Snippets Illustrations
Intermediate 184 125 1059 329 220

All in all, Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions is a feature-rich, practical, challenging and high-quality course.

And it definitely isn’t for code newbies. But with all the features of this course, plus the diverse programming languages available, you can’t go wrong if you’re preparing for a FAANG interview.

Pros

Built-in IDE with no setup time

Languages available in Java, Python 3, JavaScript and C++

Lots of challenges

Over 1000 coding playgrounds

Cons

Patterns seem randomly organized - no real order

Review Overview
Course Content
Features
Organization
Interactivity
SUMMARY

All in all, Grokking the Coding Interview: Patterns for Coding Questions is a feature-rich, practical, challenging and high-quality course.

It'll probably turn off those who prefer free resources. And it definitely isn't for code newbies. But with all the features of this course, plus the diverse programming languages available, you can't go wrong if you're preparing for a FAANG interview.

4.8