We bring you an actionable guide to be on top of your coding test preparation. Keep these in mind while you practice Data-Structure and Algorithms, participate in contests and write a coding test!
🪓 Sharpen your Axe
Using the right tools is equally important as putting in dedicated hard work for the preparation. It is highly recommended to invest some time on learning C++ STL (or other equivalent library for your language of choice ) as :
This takes away the load of implementing commonly used data structures. You don't need to reinvent the wheel every time.
These libraries are inherently optimized, tested thoroughly by community over time and widely accepted.
You can implement all standard Data Structures quickly, saving you some crucial time you can utilize in time bound evaluations
⌛️ Don't stick to a problem for too long
Getting to a solution "all on your own" is really satisfying. But there are times when you just can't seem to magically produce the solution by yourself. It's quite common misconception that if you can't come up with a solution by yourself, your preparation is not good enough.
Rule of thumb is : Don't spend more than 30 minutes on a problem. Instead, follow these steps if you're not able to come up with an approach within 30 minutes:
Try to break the problem in smaller parts
Look up the internet for a solution to individual parts if possible
Once you have clarity on the approach, try and code the solution by yourself
As you now know how to solve the subproblems, you can reuse this knowledge to solve small parts of other problems in future. A great addition to your arsenal of problem solving skills!
📝 Use the pen before you touch the keyboard
If you can visualize it, you can actualize it
Jotting down your approach gives you clarity about the problem. It is highly recommended to dry run your formulated approach on paper before coding it in.
Solving the problem on paper has multiple advantages :
This will help you visualize the problem and the solution approach, which in turn helps you retain the information for longer time
Many companies conduct a Whiteboard Round or Group-Fly Rounds wherein you are required to code a solution on paper. This simple habit will help you a long way in such tests
These were some actionable tips for you to boost your coding test preparation. They also are some of the backbone practices that we follow in our end-to-end placement preparation program at EdMad
Follow us to get insights of our laser-focused tech-interview preparation course!