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Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  5,686 ratings  ·  236 reviews
I am not a recruiter. I am a software engineer. And as such, I know what it's like to be asked to whip up brilliant algorithms on the spot and then write flawless code on a whiteboard. I've been through this as a candidate and as an interviewer.

Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabli
Paperback, 6th Edition, 708 pages
Published July 1st 2015 by Careercup (first published October 14th 2008)
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Miranda it's a very popular book to help prep for interviews.
So, you have to be aware that there's a possibility that some people might have already read thro…more
it's a very popular book to help prep for interviews.
So, you have to be aware that there's a possibility that some people might have already read through the book.
A large majority of the book are algorithmic and coding questions in the pattern of what you would see in a technical interview.
It could be a great idea to discuss solutions to problems everyone has a bit of trouble with and help each other out(less)

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Rod Hilton

I absolutely hate the way technical interviews are done for programmers. Can you imagine if a heart surgeon went to interview at a hospital, and they handed him a game of "Operation" to play? That's how we interview programmers. It's so stupid, I could go on and on about it for paragraphs.

But, if you want to work at the top tech companies in the world, you have to play the game, incredibly stupid and poorly aligned it is to the task at hand. And if you're about to head out on some
Zeyuan Hu
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cs
This makes me not want to be a programmer or a developer.
I suppose it's fair to say I'll never quite be "finished" reading this, but regardless, I have an opinion of it.

Laakmann (McDowell? Which last name do I choose?) does a thorough job of breaking down different kinds of interview questions, from brain teasers to OO questions, and there's a good breadth of difficulty as well. My only gripe is that it seems like this book is more for the Java-enthusiast programmer who is dying to interview at Microsoft, rather than... anyone else. It doesn't help th
Maxim Perepelitsyn
I am very negative about hiring practices in the US software industry, where often for a pizza delivery kind of job they interview as if they need a space ship pilot. And this book and many similar ones are culmination of this flawed approach, that forces people to memorize tricky tasks and their solutions instead of developing strong CS and Math backgrounds.

Overall the book was OK to get a taste of what insanity to expect on coding interviews. But almost every topic in the book is covered much
Mohamed Elsherif
For better or for worse, this book is a must read for any developer, at least from pragmatic point of view, I personally don't see the current interview practices any good, but reality is reality. ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great interview prep book, and I would recommend catering your focus to the types of companies you're interviewing with.

In general, most companies probably aren't going to give you questions from math/probability and brain teasers (the exception is the big-name companies the author mentions, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc.).

I actually brushed up on the java section last night before an interview today, and believe it or not, I was asked about a topic from the java overview (I was thank
Danail Nachev
This book is a must have for any software engineer. It doesn't matter whether you already have the perfect job or you are a college graduate, who needs to find your first job - it provides a good base for how programming interviews are done in the majority of the software companies.

The book is structured in two parts: overview of how interviews for software engineers proceed and actual coding exercises with hints and complete answers.

The overview of the interview process focuses on how most of t
Venkat Pedapati
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The list of questions and solutions is not comprehensive, but I guess that is the point. Coding interviews are about judging your approach to problems rather than specific solutions. I found that some of the problems were quite simple compared to the difficulty level currently in force at various companies. In particular would like to see more dynamic programming problems.

But the way the solutions are laid out is amazing. Although you should try to solve it yourself before reading the solutions,
Aaron Sun
Feb 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not help me crack the interview
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was searching for software engineering internships for this summer. Before reading this book, I failed all four tech interviews with various companies, 2 bigger companies and 2 startups. And then I got more interviews, and I decided to spend an weekend reading this book. I passed the subsequent interviews with three companies, including Google and a hot SF startup. I learned some key crucial techniques from this book which I applied to my latter interviews, they are:

1. Talk out loud so that yo
Nov 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book attempts to define *the* format for programming interviews, equating interviewing with competitive programming, which is the type of programming used at events like IEEE Xtreme or ACM ICPC (among others).

Competitive programming has a lot of merit, and provides a tangible demonstration of some of the programmer's abilities, but in many cases, high performance in these tasks will not be a predictor of on-the-job performance. In this regard, "Cracking the Coding Interview" is a bit of a d
Vitaliy Zasadnyy
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books to prepare to the technical interview. It covers everything starting from questions on your previous experience and finishing hardcore algorithms.

If you have 3+ month before your first tech interview - this book is probably your best bet.

And it works, thanks to it (and bunch of others) I managed to get offers from Facebook and Google.
Ryan McCarthy
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic resource that I never want to have to read again.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not finished all the exercises in here, but the book did give me a good idea what to expect in a tech interview. Not related to the book, but I found this complete, comprehensive solution set in other languages on github: ...more
Khoi Nguyen
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is so great to have detailed advice about everything of a coding interview. Clear writing, straight-forward discussion about salary-dealing or why algorithmic interviews are still dominant.
Tim O'Hearn
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been through this book, front to back, many times, and, this time, I've shelved it with great optimism. So here's to you, Gayle. You've helped mediocre students like me to chase their wildest dreams without concession.

Reviewing CtCI has traditionally been considered the best way to test Software Engineering fundamentals among those entering the industry. With the popularization of interactive platforms like HackerRank and Leetcode, it has become a rite of passage among undergraduates to gri
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
Cracking the Coding Interview is one of the best books to remember old topics. If you are still coding or like coding this book is a great resource to practice old topics. Most of the topics are not too detailed but it is good to check the abstracts.

After reading this book, you probably need more detailed books for each subject.

- Arrays and Strings
- Linked Lists
- Stacks and Queues
- Trees and Graphs
- Bit Manipulation
- Brain Teasers
- Mathematics and Probability
- Object-Oriented Design
- Recursion a
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read book for all engineers looking for work. It goes over how to act as well as coding/behavioral questions. A related site for more examples can be found here:

Again, this is a must read book (and fast read). It will let you know what areas to improve on and which ones are normally asked (and they really do get asked!)
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Even though "Cracking the Coding Interview" looks voluminous, it is read fast due to more than 50% of pages are devoted to solutions. Author tries to generalize the interview process of a developer, although there are several companies and so various processes to hire a programmer. Her advice is realistic and logical; discussed technical topics are indeed relevant (and hard to implement in interview). She summarized almost all subjects that computer scientist studies as an undergraduate such as ...more
David Dvali
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I can not say it is a bad book. But I think, long analysis of solutions makes solution harder (when it is not), which is in this case. Sometimes I was writing solution by myself and understanding how it works, but looking solution in the book and needed time to figure out what it was saying. It is my position. Someone may find it really helpful this solutions. But also in many cases my written code was better (readable) than in the book. My suggestion is do not read this book in one go. It is to ...more
Nov 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has some decent information about how to walk through problems, think about Big O time complexity, and prepare for interviews from months out, weeks out, and days out. However, I think that LeetCode has better problems and a better environment to practice in. My recommendation would be to read the beginning chapters first, and then switch to LeetCode when you're ready to start doing problems. ...more
Mayank Pratap
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read for coding interview preparation. Not only the questions are great but Gayle explains the approach to breakdown different problems into steps so that you can easily tackle problems you have never solved before.

This book helped me in my placement interviews and I was able to crack interviews of companies like Oracle, Amazon easily.

A Mig
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-tech
Targeted to the software engineer, the data scientist will also find some valuable information in this book. The first chapters are general enough that the description of the interview process, difference between different tech companies, behavioural questions, etc, shall apply to both engineers and scientists. Then I really enjoyed the sections on math and logic puzzles and the advanced topics on math. Of course, the bulk of the book, on coding, will mainly interest the software engineer.
Yura Gavrilovich
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book for preparing for the coding interview. Explains how a typical interview goes in big corporations like Google, Amazon, etc. Gives you concrete steps to prepare yourself for all interview stages. And the most important part, which takes ~70% of the book, problems with detailed solutions. Prepare to spend most of your time not reading the book, but solving problems.
Huy Nguyễn
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pirating, ebook
- Realistic, easy to read for people majoring in Computer Science and preparing for job interviews
- Good sample questions for whiteboarding interview (currently doing some exercises in the books, but other sources such as leetcode, hackerrank are also great)
- Lack some example of non-whiteboarding inrterview (small + middle companies)
Endilie Yacop Sucipto
While CtCi is a great coding interview prep book, I still believe that it is slightly over-rated. It should be read with other books, not as a standalone due to lack of explanation in some parts.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to someone who had never read other coding interview prep book.
Vaibhav Singh
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best book for coding interviews, period. Gayle Laakmann McDowell cuts through the crap and clearly establishes what is important and what is not. Also, this book serves as a guide for a lot of recruiters out there.
Dec 17, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
I have so, so much to learn. It’s as if people get college degrees in this stuff!
Nathan H.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i got the job!!!

didn't end up doing any of the questions, just read the content chapters and focused heavily on Big O section. also did leetcode and practice interviews on Pramp
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technology, education
Really good book (in addition to practice on LeetCode and HackerRank) for those who haven't been on algorithmic technical interview for many years. ...more
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Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the founder / CEO of CareerCup, and the author of Cracking the PM Interview, Cracking the Coding Interview, and Cracking the Tech Career.

Gayle has worked for Microsoft, Apple and Google as a software engineer. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Computer Science, and an MBA from the Wharton School. She currently resides in Pa

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