Do you have a coding interview upcoming?
Have you strategized your plan to crack the coding interview?
Coding interviews are the primary step for those who have dreamt of a career in coding throughout their school and college years. It can turn into a nightmare for those who are not well prepared. They are a necessary stage of every developer’s dream job.
We agree that it is tough to crack a coding interview. But, with efforts in the right direction, one can surely land their dream job. The following article provides a one-month study plan for cracking the coding interview.
The most important topics to prepare for a coding interview are data structure like an array, string, etc., algorithm-based questions, and conceptual and general questions. The following are some tips to crack a coding interview:
Keep your fundamentals strong before the interview. Read and learn about the fundamental concepts such as data structures and algorithms, arrays, strings, linked lists, and strings. You should have knowledge of time and space complexities and all the fundamentals. During software development, choosing the right data structure is an important step. If your basics are clear, you can’t select the correct data structure. There are tutorials available on the internet providing detailed information about data structures and algorithms. You can study through the tutorials and articles online or you can also refer to books for the same.
After building up our fundamentals, let’s move to the application of the concepts on paper. In any field, practise can take you towards success. The same applies here to crack the coding interview. Coding practise trains your mind to solve algorithm problems. It also helps the mind to develop analytical skills to solve those surprise questions during the interview in less time. The majority of coding interview questions fall into the frame of concepts like sliding windows, fast and slow pointers, two pointers, merge intervals, top K elements, cyclic sort, etc. If you know these general coding patterns, you can solve the questions during your interview.
Another important tip to crack technical interviews for coding is to sit for as many mock interviews as possible, mock interviews during your month of preparation. The more mock interviews you sit for, the more you gain confidence for your final interview. Mock interviews train you for the type of questions you will face. They show the areas you need to work on and increase your chances of cracking coding interviews at your dream company. You get better and better after every interview you give.
An essential part of coding tips is debugging your code. You should work on your debugging skills because an error-free code gives you brownie points during the interview. Practice discovering and removing the potential errors in the software code that can crash the software. You should also test your edge cases and run your code through them. The edge case in coding can be empty input, some weird input, or relatively large input for testing limits and boundary conditions.
Once you have learned the concepts of coding and practiced rigorously, try teaching your friends and colleagues. Teaching something to someone strengthens your understanding of the concepts. When you start teaching, you may come across your weak areas. Discussions while teaching can result in new doubts, and ideas. In an attempt to clear those doubts you work on your concepts. As a result, improve your understanding of the fundamentals and their application. teaching process also helps you to revise thoroughly and builds your confidence.
Begin with brushing up on the basic OOP concepts. Read and learn about OOP in detail. The questions that cover the topic include the difference between procedural programming and OOPs. The basic concepts of OOP, including inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism, and abstraction, are important questions for a coding interview.
The next topic to prepare for a coding interview in one month includes concepts of data structure that include arrays and strings. The coding interview questions always include questions from this section. Learn and practice reversing an array, reversing a string, converting an array into zig-zag fashion, palindromic partitions, Pythagorean triplet, largest and smallest subarray, etc.
Give the last day of the week, to revise and practice all the concepts of OOP, arrays, and strings.
For the second week, start with stack. queue and linked lists. The questions from these topics include finding the middle element in a single linked list, insertions and deletion of a node in the linked list, comparing two strings that are represented as a linked list, union, and intersection of two linked lists, etc.
The questions from these topics are majorly application-based. The questions might include finding minimum depth and maximum path sum in the binary tree, print nodes in tip view of a binary tree, bottom view of a binary tree, etc. In the dynamic greedy algorithm read and practice about the longest common subsequence, longest increasing subsequence, edit distance, longest path in a matrix, minimum partition, subset sum problem, etc.
Revise the application and coding tips of all the topics revised in the previous days and related questions in one day.
For the third week, start by. practicing as many coding questions as possible. Coding questions from different topics like an array, string, data structure, and algorithm. You can refer to the internet to search for commonly asked coding questions in the interview and try to cover as many questions as possible.
The concepts of searching and sorting help you make informed decisions to solve coding questions. You should revise the topics related to sorting, like the bubble sort, insertion sort, ideal sorting algorithm, sort in place, merge sorts, quick sort, and heap sort. In searching you can revise the concepts of binary search, searching elements in a sorted and unsorted array.
When you practice coding questions, you might identify your weak areas. Give this one day to work on those areas as well.
In the last week start with reading and learning about operating systems. Focus upon the concepts of types of OS, raid structure, GUI, pipe, semaphore, bootstrap, demand paging, and RTOS.
The previous week began with reading and learning about operating systems. Read and practice the topics like designing a URL shortening device, designing major platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Facebook messenger, etc., designing search type.
In your final two days read more and more, practice different types of questions, work on your weak areas and brush up on your strengths.
Coding interviews are perceived to be difficult to crack. With a lot of practice and effort in the right direction, you can land your dream job. The above tips to crack coding interviews in one month will keep you on the right track. Try practicing as many mock interview questions as possible. For a month, plan wisely and be thorough with all the concepts.
With dedication, planning, and efforts on the right path you can promise a promising career as a developer for yourself.
All the best!