Coding challenges in interviews. How do you prepare for them ? I’m curious to know about your experiences.
3 years ago I interviewed for a backend dev position and was given a coding challenge where I had to look at java code on a white board and figure out what was wrong. I had done some java in college but not professionally. I did manage to figure out what was wrong (infinite loop) but I didn’t exactly aced the test.
Then in another interview, I had to actually write a small algorithm on a white board, which is not something I’m comfortable with. Don’t remember the specifics of the task but I was supposed to use a recursive function … and I didn’t do that. I was interviewing for a position as a web developer (rails, ruby) and at that time I don’t think I had coded a recursive function in years…
Then recently, I interviewed for FOUR HOURS (whew) and one of the 1-hour meetings was a pair programming session. I had to code a ruby parser to convert a toml file (similar to yaml) into a ruby object. Again, not exactly the kind of stuff I do every day. I didn’t panic and made sure to communicate clearly what I was trying to do. I didn’t think the result would matter as long as I demonstrate that I understand the problem. I didn’t get the job.
I’m curious to know how you guys prepare for these challenges. I understand the need for it, especially in web development, where skill sets are sometimes all over the place but I feel my anxiety gets in the way and doesn’t allow me to show my skills.