Chapter 12

Solving Puzzles Is Fun


Bullet Knowing what kinds of puzzle problems an interviewer will ask you

Bullet Figuring out how to build puzzle solutions

Bullet Understanding that companies want problem-solvers

Bullet Getting better at solving puzzles over time

During your interview, it’s likely an interviewer will ask you to solve a programming puzzle. Not only is a puzzle is a good way to test your programming prowess, a puzzle also enables the interviewer (or group of interviewers) to see your problem-solving skills and how both sides of your brain — the logical and the emotional — respond as you work your way toward a solution.

We start this chapter by letting you in on what kind of puzzle problems an interviewer may ask you. Once you know that, we tell you the steps to solving a puzzle, including breaking down the problem and then building your solution.

Next, we talk about why an observation of your problem-solving skills is what interviewers want to see, what you need to focus on as you solve a puzzle, and the importance of talking with your interviewers as you work on your solution. ...

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