INTRODUCTION

This book was written to prepare you for the technical interview process so that you have no problem demonstrating how great a programmer you are. It doesn’t teach you how to program; it shows you how to use the programming skills you have to shine in a programming interview. As you read this book, keep in mind that programming interviews (for the most part) are not factual recall tests, so this book isn’t a cheat sheet of all the facts you need to know for your interview. Instead, it teaches by example the techniques and thought processes you need to succeed. The best way to internalize these is to take time to work through and understand the problems.

WHY PROGRAMMING INTERVIEWS?

Why do software firms use programming interviews? They want to hire great programmers who can work well with others to successfully produce great products. Unfortunately, bitter experience has taught employers that a substantial portion of applicants for programming jobs simply cannot code. You might expect that these applicants could be screened out by careful review of résumés, experience, course work, and degrees, but in practice this often fails. A surprisingly large number of applicants with sparkling résumés and years of apparently relevant industry experience cannot accomplish even the simplest of programming tasks. Many of them have picked up enough terminology that they can appear competent in conversations about programming and technology. Hiring one of these “developers” who ...

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