Today, another intern (4th year) showed me a 12-week prep course he is enrolled in. www.codepath.org is an online course for students keen to join tech firms like Goog.
Each week there are two sessions with coding question assignments. My intern told me most of the assignments are Leetcode "medium" questions, sometimes "hard" problems. He estimated about 15 problems per week. 12 weeks mean 180 problems.
If a student misses three sessions then automatically kicked out. If a student fails to submit assignments for a few sessions, kicked out.
Those are the facts. Now my observations —
I feel these students can become reasonably competent at solving coding problems quickly. Over 12 weeks, they would solve an estimated 180 coding problems. In contrast, I aim to solve average 1 problem a month.
I tend to feel defeated and hopeless by such a stark contrast. I feel we need to set realistic targets , like 1 problem a month. Still better than zero.
Further, I believe many of these students will not keep up the practice after this "crash course" and will forget most of it.
Q: after 12 weeks can a participant easily pass typical west coast coding interviews?
A: I doubt it. Not easily. Improved chance for sure. Note the course has been successful mostly against internship interviews.
A: My team’s intern is a 2nd year college student. He is also practicing on Leetcode, about 10 problems a day on the weekend, so in theory, a sophomore can practice a few hundred Leetcode problems and pass FB employee-level interview? I think this is rare.
I have coded or solved-on-paper 100 Leetcode (or similar) problems, usually without running the leetcode tests. However, I know I’m still quite far below the bar at FB interview.