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What would be the smart way for solving DS algorithms and cracking the coding interview for MAANG?

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Senior Staff Software Engineer at Taro Community3 months ago

I am a senior engineer and would like to get in to MAANG, but I'm rusty in DS. I don't want to give interviews to MAANG companies until I figure that out Are there any power patterns to start with? And what would be the good starting point to solve problems? I am looking for a smart way to achieve this.

In reality most of the Fortune 500 companies I worked in the past, they never dig too much in DS problems. Most care about system design and knowledge about code.

I see few people mentioning solving 200+ problems in LeetCode which is a lot of time consuming process. I'm trying to find answers from few people who already went through this.

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(5 comments)
  • 4
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    ex-meta SWE
    3 months ago

    Take a look at Grind 75 and NeetCode. They provide a curated list of problems that mirror the type of DS questions frequently asked in interviews.

    The key here isn't to plow through hundreds of problems but to deeply understand the ones you do tackle. It's about recognizing patterns, which these problem sets are great at highlighting. Grasp the underlying principles and learn to apply them in various contexts.

  • 4
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    Senior Software Engineer at Intuit
    3 months ago

    As someone who has worked at one of the MAANG's, here is what helped me.

    Blind 75 / Neetcode 75 -> DO NOT look at the solution, start with easy, and solve it, not in your mind, but while typing it out in a IDE. Then progress to mediums.

    If you are stuck, give yourself 15 mins to bucket a problem into a particular DSA, see if you can identify it as a two-pointer, graph, linked-list etc, if not, DO NOT look at the solution. Read the first line of the "solution" and see if you get the hint. Again do not solve in your mind, but type it out.

    As you do this for Neetcode / Blind 75, then do targeted companies, and follow the same process as described in steps (1) and (2)

    Take a few mock interviews with interviewing.io ( I am in interviewer there!) or any similar websites. Talking through a problem is different skillset altogether.

  • 3
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    3 months ago

    I went from complete LeetCode n00b to getting into Meta on my first try. It's a frustrating experience, but I truly believe that anybody can pick up Data Structures & Algorithms (DSA) well enough to pass a MAANG interview if they put in the effort and study properly. I detailed my entire experience extensively across these 2 resources:

    After you have done some LeetCode problems and gotten the hang of it, I highly recommend that you reinforce your skills further with mock interviews, which the Taro community is doing constantly. Attend an event like the following: DSA Community Meetup

    Also, given that you're a senior staff engineer, you shouldn't focus too much on DSA. The majority of your signal will come from system design and behavioral interviews (e.g. at Meta, E6+ engineers have 1 less DSA and 1 more system design round). Here's some resources for that:

  • 1
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    Senior Staff Software Engineer [OP]
    Taro Community
    3 months ago

    that was great information both alex and Rashmi .

  • 3
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    Mid-Level Software Engineer at Walmart
    3 hours ago

    Solving data structure problems pattern wise would be the best bet for you if you want to get a hand on it quickly. Rather than solving ten random problems try to solve 10 problems from the same pattern. In this case, you solve 10 problems without bursting your brain 10 times.

    Following are the patterns I'd recommend you doing step wise

    • Two pointers
      • 3 sum related problems
    • Fast and slow pointer
    • Cyclic sort
    • Sliding Window
    • HashMap
    • Top K elements (using heap)
    • Merge interval
    • Greedy technique
    • BFS and DFS on trees
    • BFS and DFS on graphs
    • Union Find

    Once you do these problems pattern wise you'd find yourself confident and less nervous before seeing a problem.

    I'm trying to find a document where I had the problems for each pattern that I used extensively. I'll post here once I find it. Hope this helps. Thanks!