Books, LeetCode, build-your-own-blog & more

TL;DR - On Monday I visited my alma mater to talk to a small group of students about ways for them to get ahead in their search for an internship/job in the coming months. I may decide to come back to this and summarize my take(s) which I shared with them. Until then I’ll leave some links with a sentence or two of “blah blah” for context.

LeetCode

I’ll leave my opinions about interviewing systems for another time. Fact of the matter is, if you study your butt off doing LeetCode and you apply to more than a couple positions that grant you an interview loop, you’ll come out the other side with an offer.

Software (Programming) Interview Prep Books

This is how I prepared for my interview at Microsoft. I probably read Programming Interviews Exposed and worked through the problems three or four times just in the hotel room the night before my interviews. I’ve heard good things about Cracking the Coding Interview as well, and from the titles I’m guessing you get the idea. Just like LeetCode, these books don’t substitute for years of studying or never having studied the material. They do, however, do their job at freshening up all those tools you forgot you had and need ready for the big day.

Blog, Online Resume, Portfolio, Project Site… Call it whatever you want

While a traditional resume is necessary, it’s not uncommon to have something extra cool you want to show off. My reccomendation is to keep your resume content semi-traditional; don’t try and turn it into a project pamphlet. You should totally showcase your work though, I use Hexo to build this site. I still build and deploy it from my laptop, and I created and manage the Azure resources it runs on. That’s my thing and I wanted that control of the full system. There are other tools/sites you can use that offer more simplicity too.

  • GitHub Pages are super awesome and even simpler than Hexo (you don’t have to worry about the infrastructure like how I manage my Azure Web App for this site).
  • WordPress is free if you don’t mind the limitation of hosting on a WordPress subdomain. In other words, if this site was hosted as a subdomain it would be danzumwalt.someothersite.com instead of the easier-to-remember-and-just-cooler danzumwalt.com. But, sometimes you can’t compete with fast and free; I wouldn’t pass judgement on anyone whose resume had a link to some-site-with-impressive-stuff-to-show.wordpress.com.