countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more scflyout Pets All-New Kindle Explore the Vinyl LP Records Store sports Tools

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on May 10, 2004
This may be valuable for new grads getting their first job, or people who want to do sanity a check before looking for a new position.
In the bulk of this book, the author covers what he feels are common programming related interview questions. Almost all of the examples are in C, except for a few oddballs (one is done in Perl, which doesn't exactly lend itself to clarity). I don't understand why the author chose C. He states it is the "language of choice" for interviewers. Most universities are making their grads think OO these days. While they may have a few projects in C, the majority of their experience is going to be in C++ or Java, or C# in the near future. If a new grad is going to interview, and they state that they aren't that great with C but they know C++ or Java really well (which is probably true for most new-grads), I would be very, very surprised if this was an issue. What if it was an issue? As a new grad, would you want to work somewhere where your interviewers could only think in C?
Regardless, the common feature here is OO. The book misses the boat on this point. I have been working in the Java space for quite some time and the non-OO examples were hard for me to follow, and I found myself not wanting to follow them because they seemed inelegant. I would have preferred to see them in (OO) pseudo code.
The rest of this book covers interviewing tactics, a few logic puzzles, and a small section on resume writing. The sections on interviewing tactics and resume writing assumed a very low experience level and seemed more like they were written for high-school grads than for college grads let alone experienced software developers. The puzzle section was fun.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 23, 2001
There are many types and levels of programming jobs. This book is useful advice for people aiming for system level or hardcore type jobs e.g. embedded systems, networks and operating systems etc. For example, this book would be highly useful for you if you go for a developer's job interview in Cisco systems, IBM, Microsoft, Sun or Lucent etc. This is not too useful for application programming stuff, as one of the reviewers mentioned about Sybase etc. I have been giving programming interviews for many years and believe me, I have come across a surprising number of questions right from this book. The other good books for these type of interviews are "Expert C Programming" by Van der Linden, "Programming Pearls" and " C interfaces and Implementations" by Hansen. The interviews in companies I have mentioned do indeed last full working days, or at least five to six hours, involving lunch. The interviewers include three to four people from the engineering team, one from Human Resources and one senior level person e.g. director or head of the group type person to finish it off. The engineering team asks you to write significant code involving commonly used data structures, linked lists and trees etc. and also code that would require certain tricks of the trade that only veteran or seasoned programmers would know. So in my opinion, this is a timely arrival and gives lots of useful information to build the required confidence and thinking pattern to ace such interviews. The techniques described are all familiar and used frequently by most engineers and computer scientists in the field, but being able to answer promptly in an interview is a different ball game and I have suffered because of the lack of confidence in interviews. So, in my opinion, it deserves at least four stars.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 21, 2001
Whew! What a surprise this book was! I've been going to programming interviews for a dozen years and I've NEVER been put under a hot-seat and asked to do impromptu coding of linked lists, binary trees and the like. My programming interviews seem to always revolve around the languages and products I've used, with the "buyer" trying to find an exact match for everything they have. Like... "Do you know Sybase?" followed by 7 or 8 Sybase questions... "Do you know servlets" followed by 7 or 8 Java servlets questions... "Do you know Rational Rose?" followed by 7 or 8 Rational Rose questions... etc. And I've NEVER had an interview with technical staff go beyond 2 hours: in the book they mention a FULL DAY'S interview... with lunch! I operate in the New York City-area application development arena. Is it me or is it these authors... it's like these folks operate on a different planet than I do. I think in fact they probably do: and I think this book is mistitled. I think any second edition should be retitled "SOFTWARE ENGINEERING Interviews Exposed", because I think that's the arena they've really been operating in. Plus, they mention showing up to an interview sans necktie: that would be instant "flunk" where I come from... even if the staff IS dressed casually themselves. Maybe an even better title would be: "WEST COAST SOFTWARE ENGINEERING Interviews Exposed" (not that there's anything wrong with the west coast).
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 22, 2000
I've heard that programming interviews sometimes involve wacky, off-the-wall questions ("why is a manhole cover round?"). I bought this book with the belief that it would shed some light on how to approach these kinds of questions. I was dead wrong.
There are only around 10 pages on actual interview/resume advice. The bulk of the book is taken up by mini-reviews of topics ranging from the utterly basic (arrays, strings, recursion) to the utterly unlikely to be asked in a programming interview (implementing linked lists, trees, graphs).
A few pages are spent on mini-reviews of topics that might be worthwhile. However, the reviews are so short and basic as to be useless. For example, 1 page on graphics programming and 2 pages on SQL. The author spends a half-page in the SQL review expounding on the following: "Lesson:If you don't indicate that you know SQL, you probably won't be asked anything about it."
The only redeeming factor (and the reason for 2 stars) are the 2 chapters on mathematical puzzles and brain-teasers. Readers would be better off buying a book on brain-teasers, but the chapters do give a general idea of how to approach these problems.
Overall, this book reads like a watered-down high school CS review book. The mini-reviews are useless, actual resume or inteview advice is scarse, and the brain-teasers are better covered in other books.
Programmers wanting interview or resume advice would be better served by a more traditional book on interviews/resumes.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 19, 2000
This book serves as a good review for the student of computer science, prior to entering the interview arena. The trick questions and puzzles that are in common use by technical interviewers are covered, as well as a general overview of the interview and job hunting process. I must recommend the book for those unfamiliar with the interview process, and unprepared for the sometimes bizarre questions that interviewers ask(particularly the infamous Microsoft questions, i.e., Why is a manhole cover round?). For those familiar with the interview experience, it may serve as a guide for interviewing your own job candidates (the reason I bought it, myself).
For a better review of CS topics, I recommend Brookshear's Computer Science, An Overview, sold here on Amazon.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 30, 2001
I thought I could handle any technical inteview... then I got an interview with Microsoft. I began asking my friends what it was like and most of them said it was brutal. I took a look around and read good reviews about this book and decided to pick it up. Was I surprised! The book had a wealth of information about programming questions! As well, the book took a good look into problem solving puzzles. I read the book immediately and worked through some of the examples and was very happy with the outcome. The questions Microsoft asked were not "from the book" but required the thought process that the book helps you assume. Definitely a good buy for anyone looking to do a good review of data structures and problem solving.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 23, 2000
This book is all you will need to land the programming job of your dreams. After reading it, you will be prepared, and therefore comfortable answering any question, or solve any programming problem the interviewer can throw at you. The authors teach you how to approach a question, and give you plenty of practice with sample problems on recursion, trees and graphs, and a variety of other common interview problems. If you are like me, you will enjoy solving the brain-teasing puzzles just for the sheer challenge of it. Buy the book, and best of luck!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 7, 2000
A great book if you a programmer, or if you in a position to interview people. I had a set of questions I would ask people, and this book definetly gives me a whole new set questions to interview people!
It's also a fun read if you are a programmer, and want to brush up on your skills. I went through technical interviews at 10 companies 3 years ago, including Trilogy, and this book has a lot of great questions.
The only bad part is it's pretty weak on soft interview questions, but there are other good books out there for that.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 8, 2001
I found this a great review for thinking about programming interviews after some time away from the industry. The reviewer who claimed that no one would ever ask you about linked lists or trees in an interview has clearly never interviewed at Microsoft. ;) I think a section on sorting algorithms rather than the recursion review would have been more helpful. The authors generally do a nice job of explaining the approaches to various problems, though their occasional switch between languages felt a bit random. (Most examples are in C.)
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 18, 2003
Ever try to study for Jeopardy? That's what it's like to prepare for a tech interview these days! I've found this book to be a great collection of common topics that interviewers tend to ask in one volume. The major of the book's examples are written in C - the interviewer's language of choice - and it tends to be platform independent with examples and coverage of topics. A must have for any programmer looking for a job or for a tech manager that's been tasked with staffing a programming team.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse