How to prepare for Google coding challenge
Coding challenges are technological developments designed to test your knowledge of algorithms and data structures.
The company invites developers to participate in these events, solves coding problems, and wins top competition awards. Google runs three coding challenges each year.
Preparing for a coding challenge can prepare you for interviews at large technology firms, as FAANG and tier-1 Technical interviews also revolve around troubleshooting algorithms and data structures.
So, how to prepare for a coding challenge (at Google interview)?
Preparing for a coding interview is strategic. It requires a lot of focus and time. Below I’ll share a 12-weekly plan, which you can follow to crack the coding interview:
Week 1: Basic knowledge review
This should be the first step in your preparation. Review the basics of your programming language. You don’t need to read every page of Introduction to Algorithms, but if you brush up on the basics, you’re less likely to stumble during your test. Go over basic data structures/algorithms to be sure you are familiar with all of them.
Week 2-3: Focus on data structures and algorithms
Data structures and algorithms are essential for cracking google coding challenges.
Data structures you should know:
Algorithms you should know:
- Breadth-first search
- Depth-first search
- Binary search
- Dynamic programming
- Divide and conquer
Week 4-5: Practice simple coding problems
Practice data structures/algorithmic challenges with sites like Leetcode. Practicing simple coding problems will make it easier down the line to tackle harder questions.
Start practicing code on the whiteboard so that you get comfortable coding on white board. Hold a command of one coding language and do not try to code in a language you are not comfortable with.
After writing the code, always “run” the code and ‘debug’ the errors. And, then take a second to analyze why the bug occurred and ensure your fix was a fix. That way, you would avoid errors in code during the final interview.
Week 6-8: Practice complex coding problems
Start timing yourself during your solving complex coding problems. That way, you’ll consider Runtime and Memory complexity for each solution.
The books I recommend you to use while practicing: Introduction to Algorithms and Cracking the Code Interview.
Week 9-10: Interview questions
Practice as many interview questions for data structures and algorithms as possible. You can practice questions from a platform like LeetCode, Glassdoor.
Week 11: Mock interviews
This is a crucial step to cracking the coding interview. Practicing mock interviews will help you have an exact idea of the final interview and work on the constructive feedback before attempting another mock interview.
I recommend you check InterviewHelp for practicing mock interviews with professionals. This is an excellent service provider for mock interviews with professionals.
Week 12: Connect with the friends at your target company
If you have some friends who work in your target company, this is a significant chance to get more information about the interview and the company. Or you can connect with employees through social media.
If you can have more information about your target company, you will surely be better prepared.