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Programming Interviews Exposed:
Secrets to Landing Your Next Job

by John Mongan, Noah Kindler

ISBN 0471383562 / 9780471383567 / 0-471-38356-2
Publisher Wiley
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

This is a fascinating and compulsively readable book. Although ostensibly aimed at interviewees, it's just as useful for interviewers--if only to ensure you're not using clichéd questions. Basically, it consists of short, concise and sensible advice on personal presentation and preparation followed by long discussions of small, non-obvious, programming problems. The authors present the kind of question for which you might be asked to code an answer at interview--using C for preference--followed by obvious and then less obvious solutions with background discussion on the purpose of the question, programming traps to avoid and areas worth mentioning to your interviewer (but not coding for).

Publishing such a book is a comment on the times. In the eighties and early nineties such programming problems were a mainstay of computer magazines--now they're in a book aimed at professionals. Presumably nobody reads Knuth's classic books on algorithms now. Within the pages you'll find such classics as the "find the heavy ball using a balance" problem, linked list searches, sorts, counting the ones in a binary number and string permutations (using recursion).

Few of the problems are intrinsically difficult but finding the most efficient solution in a few minutes under exam conditions is stressful. Read this and you'll be prepared for most common algorithmic questions. In fact read it anyway, lift yourself above the slog of writing yet another module for Accounts Receivable and give your brain an invigorating fun, workout. Isn't that why you started programming? --Steve Patient [via]