I had a brief chat with my young, talented Indian colleague (not the talented intern). He pointed out that he is making progress with his Leetcode real-code drill better than 2 years ago in his Master’s program, because at that time he was in a (job-hunting) hurry and under real pressure. I can identify with him — at present, both he and I feel low or no pressure to improve coding skill so our brains work more efficiently. When I made this point he immediately agreed.
Over-stress inhibits brain capacity; Insufficient stress reduces energy level in the brain.
This colleague always focus on passing Leetcode tests.
You asked me this question —
Q: so exactly what do you want from your coding drill? I won’t answer for my colleague, but my answer is related to him nevertheless.
Indeed if my goal was to pass coding interviews, then my real-code practice is not efficient and overkill. So why am I spending 20% to 33% of my coding drill effort on real-coding rather than reading key ideas… what’s the real reason? I described a fundamental reason in
https://bintanvictor.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/why-our-coding-drills-are-different-fundamental-reason/ but today I will shift focus.
- A1: I want enjoyment, positive feedback, self-esteem, feeling good about myself …
- A2: I want some sense of achievement — when you read posted solutions you probably feel you learned something and achieved something. I feel more achievement when I come up with my own solutions, even if not optimal nor elegant.
- A3: I want visible progress— When you read posted solutions to three common questions, clearly you feel progress. That’s why you aim to study 800 questions. I’m different. I don’t feel significant progress reading posted solutions.
- A4: I want self-mastery — overcoming many obstacles, similar to yoga. I want to regain control of my spare time and follow some self-directed course.
- A9: I want to build my mileage — as in driving. Mileage means how many productive hours I have spent on coding problems since age 20. A1/A2/A3 above all help keep me focused on doing more problems. Even with all the joy, achievement and progress, it’s still very easy to give up or lose steam.