Need advice in moving towards next career move

Rakuten / Eng +x
Aug 26 13 Comments

Hi everyone,

This is my first post on Blind so pardon if a similar question has been asked.

Have been looking through Blind, some youtube channels and also some subreddits; and I came upon the conclusion that succeeding in a CS interview boils down to practicing lots and lots of Leetcode questions or other similar CS interview preparation sites.

So, I want to ask what's people's view on someone who aims to join top tier tech companies either as a Software Engineer or Data Analyst by the end of next year (~1 year preparation time). I hope that I could gather your insights on how should I approach the next year.

A bit of a background, I am currently a Software Engineer in an e-commerce company , working on developing Backend APIs serving medium scale traffic and I graduated with a CS degree about 2 years back. However, I understand that my understanding in Data structures and Algorithms are not strong and I struggle even solving Easy Leetcode questions (regrets for not studying harder before). Although I have no problem writing code in my daily work; I also work on some personal projects developing serverless applications that are more fun for me.

I have tried working on firecode.io and making little bit of progress each day but I still felt like I am lacking the underlying understanding of the data structures and algorithms being used to solve the problem. But the dilemma is that, i don't know whether focusing on studying from books like CLRS or Skiena's algorithm design manual would actually benefit in helping me ace the interviews instead of just practicing leetcodes all day everyday.

So yeah, kind of lost on what step should I take and even wondering if software engineering is right for me or should I focus more on other tech careers with less programming.

Thank you very much and once again, I am sorry if somehow my post doesn't adhere to some rules here

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TOP 13 Comments
  • Google Ocarina
    firecode.io has weak test cases and too few problems
    (source: I solved all of them)
    Aug 26 5
    • Rakuten / Eng +x
      OP
      Ah yes, understand that they are simpler but as I explained in the post, I am looking to work towards leetcoding cause my fundamentals are weaker. So you think I should just skip it?

      Thank you
      Aug 26
    • Google Ocarina
      Yes, skip it and start with LeetCode easy. They should be approachable for anyone with a basic understanding of algorithms and data structures.
      Aug 26
    • Rakuten / Eng +x
      OP
      But given that my algo and ds understanding isn’t strong, do you think i should study while leetcoding or study them first then LC
      Aug 26
    • Google Ocarina
      In that case, I would read CtCI while trying out some LC easy. Then if you finish CtCI, move on to EPI.
      Aug 26
    • Rakuten / Eng +x
      OP
      Alright! Thank you so much!

      Let me try that and see how it goes :D
      Aug 26
  • New tOtB01
    Yeah, you'd easily cruise through firecode (solved them all). I agree with @Ocarina.

    Practice on leetcode or interviewbit for coding problems.
    Aug 26 5
    • New tOtB01
      Also, get the two books
      Cracking the coding interview.
      Elements of Programming interview.
      Aug 26
    • Rakuten / Eng +x
      OP
      I have both books actually (as I mentioned) but I felt they're a big jump from my current state. Do you think I should just dive right into it?

      Thank you
      Aug 26
    • Rakuten / Eng +x
      OP
      Oh, may i ask if you have any advice on how to approach these books?

      Thank you
      Aug 26
    • New tOtB01
      I would say reading it in full, right from the start, where the authors introduce you to the book is necessary in your case (if you're feeling you lack some or the other thing). Both the books advice on how to read them and what's the agenda, also they have a decent plan to be followed for practicing, based on the time you've got.
      So, I'd suggest you to read that( that's what I did when I had started).
      Don't try to take up too much initially, just read a topic and then try to solve problems from various sources. If you don't get anything, just read it multiple times.
      I hope this should help.
      Aug 26
    • Rakuten / Eng +x
      OP
      Yup! Thank you so much good sir! :)
      Aug 26
  • New Nvrk24
    Leetcode
    Aug 26 0