Leetcode is pointless to obsses over

Albertsons rvUd7211
May 3 78 Comments

You spend hours trying to identify what they consider a valid number in Java, only to see that it's just a four liner for them in python wrapping the primitive integer parsing function.

Leetcode is tedious, in real interviews there is not much general algorithm knowledge that will help you. FAANG hires people who took cs classes and memorized a handful of algorithms for tree traversal, quicksort etc and everything else is just at the mercy of the interviewer. If the interviewer asks you to code a linkedlist in 30min on a white board with fully compileable Java primitive code that isn't humanly possible.

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TOP 78 Comments
  • Amazon bingming
    Couldn’t you write a LinkedList just using namedtuple? That would surely take any candidate less than 5 minutes to do and I’m being generous there.
    May 3 19
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      It is, Java is near useless without spring. With spring it's the only sane way to scale.
      May 3
    • DS I believe here would be Data Structure. Could be Data Science or Dark Souls depending on the context, lol.
      May 4
    • Google Awlj82
      Doh!
      May 4
    • Google Awlj82
      I don’t think even Google would make you write a LL. They’d let you use Java’s. There would be plenty harder to do than make that extremely simple DS.
      May 5
    • Amazon bingming
      Agreed, OP’s complaining is why they call it a “cool-off period”
      May 5
  • Qualtrics / Eng rOwA64
    What
    May 3 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      If you can write 2 lines per minute on a white board the solution might be 200 lines
      May 3
    • Google / Eng ChrisPBacon
      No one will ever ever ever give you an interview problem that requires 200 lines of code, especially in python.
      May 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      Well at a shitty startup with a lazy interview they did
      May 3
  • Magic Leap zoinkz
    Someone got burned
    May 3 1
  • Google Awlj82
    I do agree that writing code on a whiteboard is stupid as F. tho. They should give you a full environment.
    May 3 4
    • Apple AirDrop
      And sometimes google doc 🤯
      May 3
    • Google Awlj82
      Stupid as well but better. I don’t code in order. So now I have to practice coding on a whiteboard just for an interview? Stupid.
      May 3
    • New old?
      It’s not about writing code on a whiteboard vs full dev environment. If you can’t properly articulate and solve a problem verbally or in your head, you’d most likely fail as well on your computer.

      Same goes for whiteboard gurus, they might struggle having to setup a real large scale dev environment. Both are 2 separate skills and they only test the whiteboard part = academic problem solving part.

      There are many other problems that have to be resolved at work.
      May 3
    • Google Awlj82
      It is though. Because if you aren’t good at organizing code on a whiteboard or tend to think in your IDE as many of us do, the interviewer just sees sloppy whiteboarding instead of smooth sailing.
      May 3
  • Google MigBuscles
    Trust me - solving unseen algorithm problem is the best hiring signal I've seen till now. Better than your take home project, knowledge based questions etc.

    Note, I said unseen. Like Google does. Rarely you'll encounter a seen question in G interview.

    Sure, it does filter out some awesome but lazy folks. But the important thing is it keeps the worst ones out.
    May 3 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      Google asks the same coding question to new grads and architects. It doesn't promote based on leetcode.
      May 3
    • Google MigBuscles
      L5 onwards, folks will have design rounds and problem solving expectations are higher.
      May 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      They aren't harder problems though, they just expect a better explanation.
      May 3
  • Google Awlj82
    I don’t agree. At Goog they usually give something that has a trick. Seeing more things like that on LC gives you more ways to think about problems. If you give me a basic tree question or even coding a linked list, I’ll ace that. These are much much different.
    May 3 6
    • Google Awlj82
      Misguided IQ Test.
      May 3
    • Apple etubrute
      Hopefully it’s not a trend. They’ve exhausted all LC mutations so back to gotcha tricks. 🤷‍♂️
      May 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      I'm fine with coding questions just ones that have genuine complexity and not tedium.
      May 3
    • Microsoft FromMars
      Trick questions are the worst. Some idiots think that tests the brain. Just let them submit IQ test result or college entrance exam score. At least those were evaluated based on hundreds of problems. Giving one or even 5 problems don’t test anything yet many dumb software engineers believe such trick questions are a good measure.
      May 3
    • Google Awlj82
      More than that. The whole of google does.
      May 3
  • Google coolguy00
    yes it is possible. maybe not for you, but for others.
    May 3 7
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      It's a lot more in Java.
      May 3
    • Google MigBuscles
      None of my G questions were more than 350 loc. That's about 10-15 lines of error free code per minute. It's doable.
      May 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      Not on a whiteboard, good luck writing 2loc/min.
      May 3
    • Google coolguy00
      you can't write 2 lines of code in a minute? why are you so obsessed with that? nobody cares about your writing speed. an interview last an hour.
      May 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      Not if they spend 30 minutes chitchatting and half the rest is annoying questions to slow you down
      May 3
  • Microsoft FFSake
    Reason people dislike LC is cause it has nothing to do with real work. But this is what US is all about - kids compete to enter University by doing volunteering work which has nothing to do with field of study (cutting your dick off to meet quota etc.)

    While it is pointless to ask me shit I will never ever do, it does serve the purpose of filtering the huge flow of people from entering the door. Consider this as extra curriculum you are competing on, and don’t take rejection to your heart. Work it out, change yourself, and you will end up in a best place for you.
    May 3 4
    • Microsoft FromMars
      Yeah and they all scream about talent shortage while the truth is the artificial barriers engineers themselves have created.
      May 3
    • Microsoft FFSake
      I think this “shortage” is based of understanding the ridiculous compensation we are getting. If they get more people in the pool, they could significantly cut down their expenses.
      May 3
    • Google Awlj82
      It’s just about getting in more H1Bs they can under pay (no offense to H1Bs).
      May 3
    • Amazon / Eng scoops34
      Definitely agree with Google ^
      The "talent shortage" is a myth.

      Netflix pays top dollar because they want the top talent, not because there isn't enough talent.

      There's a surplus of people that are sufficiently "competent" to write the code; enough so that companies are able to push a competent employee out the door in order to get another one that they deem to be a higher performer
      May 4
  • Apple etubrute
    Just went through the interview process at 3 top FAANGs. Not a single leetcode question. I went back to check. Got offers in 2/3. I didn’t use leetcode to prep either.
    May 3 5
    • Google Awlj82
      How many years out of school?
      May 3
    • Apple etubrute
      15
      May 3
    • What position?
      May 3
    • New / Eng Bsky
      Were you applying for chef position or what? No leetcode at fang? What has this world come to?
      May 4
    • Apple etubrute
      SWE. Crazy I know. You actually have to be able to solve problems you haven’t seen before. What is this world coming to?
      May 4
  • Microsoft FFSake
    Come on - fully compilable linked list is the easiest shit there is.
    May 3 4
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      How many loc per minute can you white board?
      May 3
    • Google coolguy00
      nice username FFSake!
      May 3
    • Microsoft FFSake
      I can write about 50 lines per minute, but they are usually shit and pointless.
      May 3
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      People's writing speed is usually a lot less than their typing, and if you have to explain as well it might be ten times less.
      May 3
  • New old?
    Problem is, it’s not only faangs now. Most companies do it.
    May 3 1
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      The problem with focusing on leetcode testing is that they ignore important things that will help you in real life like systems design
      May 3
  • IBM / Eng
    !important

    IBM Eng

    BIO
    Install Gentoo
    !importantmore
    Bro... It's a linked list
    May 3 0
  • Amazon bingming
    Surely you asking how many loc per minute should illuminate that your paradigm is flawed. A great programmer doesn’t necessarily code fast, but takes a short amount of time to whip up the algorithm and plans out how to code said solution in as few lines of code possible while maintaining optimality.
    May 3 3
  • Amazon / Finance 25apr
    Wtf are you talking about. I can program you a linked list in 5 minutes in plain C. With Java it would be similar... On the whiteboard. In vi it would take me 3 minutes...
    May 3 1
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      Well that is quite striking because typing speed is usually several times faster than walking through step by step on a white board
      May 3
  • Google Awlj82
    Why on a whiteboard though. That at a minimum makes it nothing like work.
    May 3 1
    • Albertsons rvUd7211
      OP
      Because they needed a reason to fire me I suppose
      May 3
  • New 500k
    No
    May 3 0