Acing coding interview questions comes down to three things: practice, practice, and practice. For this, you will need a good resource to guide you on what to practice on and help you understand how to tackle interview questions.
AlgoExpert is one of the best interview prep resources for practicing coding interview questions. It’s designed to help you nail down data structure and algorithm interviews, which is the foundation of most technical interviews for software engineering roles at top tech companies.
Still, AlgoExpert isn’t for everyone and it doesn’t come cheap. Before you shell out money for a subscription, it’s smart to find out if the course has what you need to help you pass that interview and get the role of a lifetime.
This is where this AlgoExpert Review comes in. Read on to learn everything you need to know to decide whether the course is right for you or not.
Table of Contents
- What is AlgoExpert?
- AlgoExpert Pros and Cons
- Indepth Review of AlgoExpert
- What are some good AlgoExpert alternatives when preparing for software engineering interviews?
- Final Verdict: Is AlgoExpert worth it for coding interview preparation?
What is AlgoExpert?
AlgoExpert is an online interview prep course geared towards software engineers looking to land a role at one of the FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet) companies. It’s designed to help developers ace a crucial part of the coding interview: data structures and algorithms.
AlgoExpert Pros and Cons
To start with, here is a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of this popular interview preparation resource.
- Has everything you need to know to ace the data structure and algorithm interview
- Uses a visual teaching approach, which makes it engaging and enjoyable
- Combines an interactive coding environment with in-depth video explanations
- The coding interface is user-friendly and the videos are full HD
- Goes beyond giving the answer to questions and explains the how and the why behind each answer
- Instills problem-solving skills that go a long way in helping you tackle any question you might encounter
- Includes a crash course on data structures to help brush up your grasp of the fundamentals
- Also offers behavioral interview tips, practice assessments, and mock-up interviews
- Provides answers in not one or two but nine of the most popular programming languages
- It’s not a comprehensive interview preparation package. It focuses on algorithms and data structures and doesn’t cover other important areas such as system design
- Does not offer a free trial period. You’re either in or out. You don’t get an opportunity to see what you’re getting and request a refund if you’re not satisfied.
- You don’t get lifetime access to the course. Your subscription only gives you access for one year.
- Being a visual resource, it’s not ideal for coders who prefer a text based resource.
- Assumes a basic understanding of basic programming concepts and writing code. Not suitable for an absolute beginner.
Indepth Review of AlgoExpert
Now let’s delve deeper into the platform, so you can have a full picture of what to expect.
Who are the Guys Behind AlgoExpert?
As you can expect from a platform of this nature, AlgoExpert was created by a seasoned software engineer who’s been through the coding interview process multiple times.
Clément Mihailescu, the guy behind the platform, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has worked as a software engineer at both Google and Facebook.
The idea for AlgoExpert came to him after he landed an interview with Google. To prepare, he had to pour through multiple articles and text books and watch a myriad of YouTube videos.
Despite hours upon hours of practice, he was left feeling frustrated. He decided to create an organized interview preparation resource that would leave software engineers feeling adequately prepared and confident to tackle their interviews. He launched AlgoExpert in 2017.
Features of the AlgoExpert Interview Preparation Platform
AlgoExpert focuses on one area of the technical coding interview: data structures and algorithms.
In order to leave candidates adequately prepared, it incorporates the following features:
- Answers to 160 (and growing) of the Most Common Coding Interview Questions. These questions cover a wide range of topics including: Binary Search Trees, Binary Trees, Dynamic Programming, Famous Algorithms, Linked Lists, Recursion, Searching, Sorting, Strings, Graphs, Arrays, Heaps, Stacks, Tries, and Big O notation.
- 100+ Hours of Video Explanations. Each question has a video answer that offers a conceptual overview and a code walkthrough. The conceptual overview explains the theory behind the algorithm the question is based on. It shows you how to approach the question, how to implement and optimize the solution, and how to analyze its space-time complexity. The code walkthrough part walks you through how to execute the code in order to answer the question.
- Data Structures Crash Course: This is meant to Equip you with the foundational knowledge you need to tackle any algorithm question. It covers fundamental concepts including memory, complexity analysis, and Big O notation, and goes through the popular data structures. Especially helpful if you’ve been out of the game for a while and need a refresher.
- Space-Time Complexity Analyses: Each answer also includes an in-depth space-time complexity analysis so you can understand how much memory an algorithm uses and how fast it runs.
- Curated Assessments: Four assessments carefully selected to show you what the real coding interview is like. Tackling these assessments is a great way to prepare for your coding interview.
- Mock Coding Interviews: You don’t just prepare by tackling potential questions. You get to do a mock interview with a real human being. This is a great way to learn what to expect in an actual technical interview situation with an interviewer, and ensure you will show up to the interview feeling confident.
- Advice for behavioral interviews: You also get advice on how to handle the behavioral interview and the best answers for behavioral interview questions.
- Interview tips from the experts: To equip you with soft skills such as problem solving, communication, and culture fit.
AlgoExpert Content Quality: How Good are the Practice Questions and Answers?
AlgoExpert features the standard interview questions encountered during interviews with the top tech companies. Many people attest that they encountered the exact questions or variations of the questions during the actual interview.
The curation of the questions is one of the top-rated aspects of this program. Although they only cover 150+ interview questions, these have been carefully selected to cover everything a software engineer should know in order to ace the data structure and algorithm interview.
So how good are the answers? This is another area where AlgoExpert manages to stand out. They combine the two most effective ways to learn: interactive code editor and clear video explanations.
What separates them from other interview preparation programs out there is that they explain both how to tackle a question and why to approach it that way. This sharpens your problem-solving skills and leaves you ready to tackle any question you might encounter in your interview.
How is the User Experience?
No matter how good the content is, an interview prep platform isn’t good enough if it isn’t easy to use. Clement has gone out of his way to ensure the platform is easy to use no matter what kind of developer you’re.
The UI/UX design is very user-friendly. When you click on a problem, you will be directed to a 4-pane workspace where you can read and view the content, get hints, type your answer, and run your code. That you don’t have to hop between screens helps save time.
You also have the freedom to personalize your coding environment. For example, you can change the layout and font size, change the syntax highlighting, or time yourself with the built-in stopwatch.
The answers are clear and easy to understand with user-friendly features such as descriptive variable names and helper functions. The viewing experience is also top notch as the videos are in full HD resolution.
AlgoExpert costs $99 for an annual subscription. This is in the mid range, when compared to the alternatives. LeetCode Premium is $159 per year while the Grokking the Coding Interview course costs $79 per year. If you purchase both the AlgoExpert and SystemsExpert course, you will enjoy a discounted rate of $129.
Does AlgoExpert Really Work?
Given that AlgoExpert provides answers to a curated set of problems, it’s only natural to wonder whether AlgoExpert is really effective at preparing you to tackle all the problems you might encounter in a coding interview.
AlgoExpert overcomes this challenge by providing not just the required answers to problems but going deeper and explaining both the how to arrive at the answer and why the question should be tackled that way.
It will show you how to approach and break down questions and how to apply the knowledge you have to solve problems. This instills an understanding of the patterns and thought processes behind the solutions and equips you to tackle even new problems.
The results attest to the effectiveness of this program. Hundreds of professionals in big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon credit it for their success. Here are some testimonials:
AlgoExpert does a great job selecting problems- many of my interview questions were variants of problems on the website. And when I came across problems I hadn’t seen before, AlgoExpert gave me the tools to select the right data structures and identify patterns.Marlies, Software Engineer at Palantir
Their curated list of questions and Clément’s thorough review videos ensured that I was ready for anything thrown at me in onsite interviews. I highly recommend AlgoExpert to anyone looking to secure a tech job, or just brush up on their algorithm skills.Jeremy Analyst at BlackRock
AlgoExpert got me from zero to ready in 6 weeks. While I bought other prep material, AlgoExpert was easily the best one because of its problem curation, whiteboard videos, optimized solutions, and edge-case testing. Everything I needed for a real interview setting!Shawn, Software Engineer at Two Sigma
I used AlgoExpert to prepare for my coding + system design interviews at Facebook and Amazon and I got an offer both companies! Ended up taking the L5 offer from Facebook.Brian Fitzpatrick, Software Engineer at Facebook
This is an excellent resource! I made it to the HC stage at Google, and got offers from Facebook and Amazon.Amit, Software Engineer at Facebook
Is AlgoExpert the best place to practice coding interview questions?
Anyone preparing for a coding interview will benefit from the guidance provided by AlgoExpert. The course is especially perfect for:
- Software engineers preparing for interviews with top tech companies
- Visual learners who learn best by watching the instructor type out the answers and explain them
- Anyone who’s pressed for time and only has about a month to prepare for their interview
Who Is AlgoExpert Not For?
However, AlgoExpert is not suitable for everyone. If you’re looking for a comprehensive course that covers every aspect of the technical interview as well as soft skills, AlgoExpert isn’t the course for you as it mainly focuses on data structures and algorithms. You might also not find AlgoExpert satisfactory if you prefer a text based course to a visual platform.
What are some good AlgoExpert alternatives when preparing for software engineering interviews?
Without a doubt, AlgoExpert is one of the best interview prep platforms for practicing coding questions. It does an excellent job of preparing candidates for the data structures and algorithms coding questions.
However, it’s not a complete interview preparation resource. It doesn’t cover systems design and only touches on behavioral skills and interview tips. The best way to use AlgoExpert is to pair it with other great interview preparation resources. Here are some top-rated alternative/additional programs you can consider:
- Leetcode: If you’re looking to tackle as many questions as you can get, LeetCode is a great AlgoExpert alternative with more than 1000 questions. It relies on peer content and competition and thus a great platform for a collaborative approach.
- Tech Interview Pro: For a comprehensive resource, Tech Interview Pro covers technical interview questions as well as the non-technical aspects of the interview like how to tailor your resume, how to communicate effectively, and how to demonstrate your leadership skills. You also get one on one sessions with the founder and access to a private Facebook group.
- Grokking the Coding Interview: This is also an interactive interview prep course for software engineers aspiring to work at FAANG companies. It focuses on teaching the patterns to use when solving algorithmic questions.
- Interview Cake: If you prefer a text based resource, consider Interview Cake. It will show you the right way to approach coding questions. You will also find in-depth articles on data structures & algorithms.
- Interview Camp: Learn tried and tested techniques for acing coding interviews, tackle curated challenges and tips based on insights from hundreds of companies.
- Coursera’s Algorithms Course: AlgoExpert isn’t designed for complete beginners in data structures and algorithms. If you’re looking to learn these topics from scratch, Coursera’s algorithms course is a great resource.
Final Verdict: Is AlgoExpert worth it for coding interview preparation?
Is your dream to work in one of the big tech companies? Are you looking for an interview prep program that will get you there? You can’t go wrong with AlgoExpert.
The carefully curated content, immaculate organization, and well-done video explanations set it apart from other resources. Best of all, it will show you not just the answers to questions but also the how and the why behind the solutions.
However, AlgoExpert doesn’t cover everything you will encounter in a coding interview so you will have to pair it with other resources. You might also be better off with another program if you prefer a text-based solution or are looking for an all-in-one interview preparation kit.
When it comes to tackling algorithms and data structure questions when interviewing at big tech companies though, we can confidently assert that AlgoExpert is hands down the best resource for coding practice. Pair it with other resources covering other areas and you will be set up for success!
Mike is the creator of Go With Code and a coder at heart 🙂