I’ve read some discussions about Algorithms that took place in the forum here and I wanted to share some things that have happened to me that shows me we need the Algorithm challenges.
- First off, the Algorithm challenges are hard but they can make you a better developer
You may come across some that are easy but you will find many of them to be painfully challenging. You may even find some you can’t possibly solve, even with tips/help. This is ok. Going to interviews are hard and the challenges we face when coding can be hard.
These challenges show us who we are. How do we handle frustration and stress when given a challenge we may not know how to complete. When asked in an interview about handling stress, changes, challenges, and problems we just couldn’t figure out, these challenges are perfect examples to cover.
If you skip the challenges or just go find the answer and paste it in and move on, it tells a lot about how you work and it will cause some issues in the future. Now sometimes you just have to find the answer to see how it is broken down and how you could have completed it.
These challenges are perfect for developing patience, seeking help, searching solutions, breaking down the problem into small chunks, and building skills that can make you a great developer.
- Learn advanced coding techniques
I went to an interview today where the manager reviewed my coding exercise I did in C#. He saw an advanced technique I used and thought I copied and pasted it from StackOverflow and wanted to see if I really knew what I did.
It is called “fluent method syntax”. (ex. string.toLower().distinct().count()
I didn’t realize what I was doing was advanced. I saw I could chain together methods in C# like I learned in the algorithm challenges in FreeCodeCamp. This manager said he has never seen a Jr Dev use this technique and the line I wrote is exactly how he would have written it. I explained exactly what was happening with the methods chained together.
If I didn’t do the algorithm challenges, I wouldn’t have known about this technique.
- Prepares for algorithm challenges in interviews
If you haven’t interviewed for a dev position yet, it is likely that you will have to do some kind of algorithm challenge or a combo of different algorithm challenges in an interview coding test.
In one interview, I had an algorithm challenge that was similar to one I did in FreeCodeCamp. So by completing these and understanding them, it helps with future challenges that may show up in future interviews or code you are writing.
My tip for these challenges is to do them until you need a break then work on something else like a project. Come back when you are ready.
If you are wondering about the interview I mentioned I had today, I thought it was for a Jr Dev job but they only have mid level jobs. The manager said I belong in development. I think like a developer, I approach the problems correctly, and my coding is fine. He said I’m at a good place to get a Jr Dev job but he just doesn’t have one.