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Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy in Java: Data Structure and Algorithmic Puzzles, Second Edition Paperback – Dec 1 2011


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Paperback, Dec 1 2011
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About the Author

Narasimha Karumanchi is the Senior Software Developer at Amazon Corporation, India. Most recently he worked for IBM Labs, Hyderabad and prior to that he served for Mentor Graphics and Microsoft, Hyderabad. He received his B-TECH. in Computer Science from JNT University and his M-Tech. in Computer Science from IIT Bombay. He has experience in teaching data structures and algorithms at various training centers and colleges. He was born and bought up in Kambhampadu, Macherla (Palnadu), Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 63 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
As expected/described Sept. 23 2011
By Rutvij - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers all you need to know for technical interview. It has what it says in title/ cover page. Only reason to give it 4 star is book is not well formatted, it looks like simple word document printed and shipped, even table of contents is not well formatted(for example, cannot differentiate chapters as they are in same size fonts headers are not bold either).

Bottom line: To learn it is an excellent book but, as a reader: book needs attention to its formatting.
31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Not 700+ Puzzles, 100+ Errors tough. Dec 11 2011
By Algorithmic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I write this review purely for the purpose of helping future readers to make a correct decision.
Note: Although I only own the C++ version of the book, I believe my review (at least the general idea) also applies to this Java version.

Background: I am CS graduate warming up for Job hunting, with 10+ years of programming experience.
I was so excited when I first saw the book (title) several weeks ago. Now I have finished several chapters and I should say it is not as great as it appears.

Let's cut to the meat directly.

Pros:
1) Nice chapter organizations. It helps you to know what are the major topics you should work on to warm up for a coding interview.
2) Each chapter has a general introduction to the basic concepts.
3) Each chapter has a set of problems, with some decent analysis and solutions.

Cons:
1) False advertisement. 700 puzzles? Come on. You do not have that many puzzles! Let's look at an example in the linked list chapter.
Problem #2: Find the nth node from the end of the list (give the puzzle, with a solution that guarantee you to be rejected by any interviewer).
Problem #3: Can we improve the solution of #2? (you will still be rejected if you present a solution like this)
Problem #4: Can we solve the same problem without hash table? (Here starts with the solution that make some sense)
Problem #5: Can we solve #2 in one scan? (finally here gives a good solution)

Many of the problems in the book are like this: different solutions to the SAME puzzle, You can do it, sure. But it is called an analytical process or algorithmic design process to one single problem. They are not different puzzles! Furthermore, the first 2 solutions are usually very naive, which can barely be counted as solutions. Sometimes, even the final version is not efficient enough.

2) Presentation mistakes, solution errors, typos.
For example, the presentation of XOR linked list in the linked list chapter is just wrong. You can not traverse 2 directions using just one node address.
For example, The solutions to problem 15 and problem 30 in the list chapter are wrong. The solution errors are actually more frequent because of cons #1.
For example, the usage of the term "hash table" is abusive and misleading. Why not follow the conventional usage? Not every table is a hash table.

3) Not many insightful ideas or analysis to a topic. Even there are multiple solutions to the same problem, the book does not show the underlining analytical process.
So to understand a topic or a problem well, you must read other data structure or algorithms books.

Suggestions to readers:
I used to read more than 5 algorithm/data structures on the same topic at the same time, which is in general a good approach to study a topic. This approach will
be especially useful when you read this book due to the reasons presented above. Remember to check out other online resources for coding problems too.
Take-home message:
1) Buy the book. It is helpful.
2) Read it with your own discretion.
3) Read other books and online resources on the same content at the same time.

Suggestions to authors (Why AUTHORS? Because I am almost 100% sure that some content was written by students):
1) Fix your false advertisement. Combine your "problems" together in to real puzzles. Do not present very dumb solutions just for the advertised numbers. Readers are fine without them. Let's respect our limited resource on the earth.
2) Add more problems to your book. I have seen about 80% problems elsewhere.
3) Fix your mistakes, errors and typos. Especially the presentation mistakes are not acceptable. Understand a topic before you add it into your book.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Very Comprehensive Book May 3 2013
By AJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author does a great job of covering a very large number of topics that you'd expect to face in an interview with bigger software development companies. I found the way the questions started off easier and built to be very helpful in grasping the topics. It was also good to be able to contact the author with further questions.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good for some interview prep April 19 2014
By Sourabh Agrawal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well , I got what i was looking out from this book , though not exactly got benefited of it . Was looking more detailed explanation & approach to the solution of any problem. It did helped me in improving my algorithm thinking , but would have expected more from it , especially when one has lost touch with algorithms after college!.. but still overall a great book!.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read for Beginners April 19 2014
By Sriharsha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been using this book for quite some time now, and this has enhanced my ability to understand the concepts of Data Structures and Algorithms. I would recommend this book to anyone who aims to achieve a good understanding for DS and Algos. It's a must read.


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