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Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions
Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions
by Gayle Laakmann McDowell
Edition: Paperback

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Interview Preparation Tool, 22 May 2012
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When I casually mentioned to a friend that I was interviewing for a software engineering position at XXXX, he suggested having a look at Gayle's book.

My first impression was that it was a little overkill for an interview preparation, but on flipping through the book, I realized there was quite a lot of material from my Computer Science undergraduate degree that wasn't so fresh in my mind a decade after graduation. This book does a phenomenal job of refreshing all the core CS concepts that you would need for an interview at one of these big software firms. The writing style is fresh, smart, concise, and dead accurate. Gayle gives you just enough detail get started on the exercises (or to go out and dig deeper on your own), and the sample problems are really well written -- just the style you might get in a 1 hour coding interview. The breakdown of topics is logical and makes it easy to tackle the book section-by-section without feeling overwhelmed. Even if you are god's gift to computer programming, the "soft" sections at the beginning of the book give insight into why there's more to getting hired than just writing code on a whiteboard.

Even if you don't take mine or the other reviewers' word for it, just do a quick search for the author and look at her experience. She's worked as an engineer at Microsoft, Apple, and Google (where she participated on hiring committees). Having been through so many of these interviews and helped administer them, she might be the most qualified person in the world to write a book like this.

This isn't some cheap promise to magically get you hired at a big tech company just by turning a few pages. It is a beautifully-written companion that will guide you as you _work_ to refresh and hone your skills so you can be on the top of your game for the big day(s). I can not recommend this book highly enough to anyone interviewing for software engineering jobs.


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