4 Common Coding Interview Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

first_img 3.6★ 3.1★ N/A Sr. Java/APEX Software Engineer Bridgeline Digital Woodbury, NY 4.8★ Software Engineer General Dynamics Mission Systems Pittsburgh, PA Sr. Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) Act-On Software Portland, OR Ah, the dreaded whiteboard coding interview. Where you’re thrown in front of a whiteboard, stripped of your usual code editor and hotkeys, and asked to solve a complicated data structures and algorithms question on the spot. Yikes. It’s enough to make anyone a little nervous — even the most seasoned engineers.Lucky for you, you stumbled onto this post about the four most common coding interview mistakes I’ve seen hundreds of candidates make. Let their mistakes be your unfair advantage!1. Not knowing data structures and algorithms.Nothing stops a coding interview dead in its tracks like a candidate saying, “I… don’t really know how big O notation works.” If you have any weaknesses here, this should be priority number one. Make sure you’re 100 percent solid on big O notation. Make a habit of thinking about the big O time and space costs of all the code you write. And definitely get comfortable with logarithms — they come up more than you might think, and they take too many candidates completely by surprise.Before your next interview, take some time to read up on all the core computer science data structures. Know the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Focus on knowing when you should use each one.How To Get Un-Stuck During a Tricky Coding Interview Problem2. Pretending to understand something that you don’t.It’s a very easy mistake to make. You’re chugging away at a problem, and your interviewer interrupts you to point something out. “Okay, I see we’re doing a post-order traversal of the tree.” And you have no idea what that means. But your first instinct is to just… hope it’s not important. Or hope you can get away with pretending to know what that means. Or something. So you just say, “…Right.” At first, it looks like you’ve gotten away with it. But it comes up again later. “So, why did you choose to do a post-order traversal?” “Uh…” You’re busted. Not only do you not know what the heck post-order means… but now you look dishonest. Because saying “I don’t know what that means” at this point means also saying “….I, uh, sort of pretended to know what that meant earlier.” Best to nip this kind of problem in the bud before you end up in that situation.When your interviewer says something you don’t understand, point it out immediately. Lean right in. Because letting them think you understand is only going to make things messy later. Try to be as specific as possible about what you don’t understand. It makes your thinking sound much more organized. Huge difference between “Huh?” and “What does post-order mean in this context?”3. Writing code before you know what the code will do.I see this all the time. You’re a few minutes into the interview. You’re talking about the problem with your interviewer, batting around some ideas for how to get started. Suddenly you have this sinking feeling that a lot of time has gone by — and the whiteboard is still blank. You decide it’s time to get moving. Even though you don’t know yet what your code is even going to do, you start writing it anyway.The function’s gotta have a name, right? So you write out a function declaration with a name and some arguments. That’s safe — we’ll definitely need that. Maybe a closing brace at the bottom of the board. And… there’s going to be a loop in here, right? So let’s throw a loop in there. I guess it’ll loop through that first argument? So you kinda sketch out a loop. Maybe you call a subroutine in there that handles some tricky part you’re not sure yet how to handle. “I’ll write out that function later,” you say.And then you realize you’re sort of back to the drawing board, because you still have to figure out what your code is actually going to do —  but now you have all this half-baked code on the board, which might already have bugs, or might already be pointing you in the wrong direction. That instinct to “get moving” and start writing code actually ended up hurting you. Because now another 10 minutes has passed, you’re no closer to an algorithm, and you have messy, half-baked code scrawled all over the whiteboard.Instead, when that instinct kicks in, just pause. Take a moment. Breathe. Know that worrying about time isn’t going to make you move faster. Lean into the moment. You could even say out loud, “I’m starting to feel like I should start writing code soon, but I know it’s no use to start writing code before I know what it’s going to do.” Just get back to the problem at hand, and keep batting around ideas for how to solve the problem. Play around with a sample input on the whiteboard. Draw a picture of the data structure. Brainstorm. Trust that you’re not supposed to know the answer right away… that’s what makes it a good coding interview problem!What You Need to Know to Ace Your Technical Interview4. Rushing through the debugging at the end.After 45 long minutes, you’ve finished writing your code. Whew. You just want to turn your brain off and relax. You look at your interviewer expectantly — you’re just waiting for them to say, “Perfect! It’s perfect.” But they don’t. Instead, they say “can you find any bugs in your code?” You hope it’s a trick question, but you begrudgingly look back at your code. You step through each line, but you’re not really debugging. You’re just sort of explaining the intention of each line. You’re so hoping that your code is right that you’re only seeing what you want to see. You’re not seeing the bugs. So, of course, you miss the bugs. And of course, your interviewer sees them.Here’s how you actually debug whiteboard code. Write out a sample input. Something short enough that you’ll be able to get through the whole thing, but long enough that it’s not an edge case. Then walk through your code line by line. As it changes the input, actually change it on the board. If it makes new variables, write those on the board as well. That’s right — you’re using your brain as the computer processor and the whiteboard as your computer memory. It’s tedious, but that’s the only way to debug code on the whiteboard. Oh, and once you’re done, do the same thing with all the common edge cases. Empty arrays, single-element arrays, negative numbers, disconnected graphs, etc.Those are some of the most common coding interview mistakes. If you can avoid them, you’ll be bounds ahead of most other candidates. Now go run some practice problems!Parker Phinney is the CEO of Interview Cake, which makes free guides and online courses on how to pass coding interviews. 2.7★ Lead Software Engineer Forward Financing Boston, MA Senior Software Engineer II – CareKinesis Mount Pleasant, SC 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 3.1★ Software Quality Engineering Lead 4G Clinical Wellesley Hills, MA 4.6★ 4.4★ Available Software Engineer Jobs Lead Software Engineer FHLBank San Francisco San Francisco, CA Systems Software Engineer at Vertica Micro Focus Cambridge, MA 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 3.0★ Software Engineer – Java Sila Solutions Group Shelton, CT 23 hours ago 23h Senior Software Engineer **INTERNAL CANDIDATES ONLY** Montana State Fund Helena, MT 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h See more Software Engineer jobs 23 hours ago 23h 2.7★last_img read more

REVEALED: Lionel Messi pushed Barcelona to sell him to Man City last year

first_imgBarcelona superstar Lionel Messi asked to be allowed to join Manchester City last season, it has been revealed.The Argentinian was keen to join Pep Guardiola at the Etihad, says El Mundo Deportivo, at the height of his row with local tax authorities.Led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu and vice-president Jordi Mestre, who flew to Miami in a bid to find a solution with Messi’s father Jorge, the Catalan club attempted to reassure the player.Despite Messi’s initial wish to leave, Barcelona stood firm, pointing to the €250m release clause and nothing less, even if City would have willingly put up a record-breaking €150m offer.It wasn’t until after a heart-to-heart with Luis Suarez that Messi ultimately chose to stay.last_img read more

What the WHO and IHME Research Tells Us About Unsafe Abortion

first_imgPosted on June 18, 2014November 4, 2016By: Manuelle Hurwitz, Senior Adviser, Abortion, International Planned Parenthood Federation; Rebecca Wilkins, Programme Officer, Abortion, International Planned Parenthood FederationClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IPPF welcomes the research released by IHME and the WHO providing new estimates of maternal mortality and its causes. The research provides a lot of food for thought and areas for discussion, in particular around the recording and reporting of data on unsafe abortion.While these findings are not directly comparable to previous estimates of maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion, currently given as 13% [1], the findings suggest that maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion have been reduced. If accurate, this is in no small part due to the tireless efforts of many service providers and advocates working around the world, often in challenging environments, to increase women’s access to post-abortion care and safe abortion services and the rise in the use of misoprostol, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, which may be replacing other less safe methods of “unsafe abortion”. However, the data requires closer consideration and while these new findings suggest good progress in preventing maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion, we must bear in mind that the reality is likely to be much different.The WHO research acknowledges the challenges in collecting accurate data on maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion, challenges which make it highly likely that the number of maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion are consistently under reported. In many countries, abortion is subject to legal restrictions making it very difficult for women to access the safe and legal abortion services they need. Even in countries where legislation makes abortion more accessible, stigma around the issue may result in women using methods of abortion which are unsafe. These challenges can prevent women from telling friends and family about their attempts to end a pregnancy. Therefore any maternal death resulting from unsafe abortion may not be reported as such, leading to the under-representation of this issue in its contribution to maternal mortality.It is also important to note that in this research the categorization of maternal mortality due to abortion includes all induced abortion, miscarriage, and ectopic pregnancy. While we acknowledge that this methodology was chosen due to the ICD-10 reporting category definition of deaths due to “pregnancy with abortive outcome”, we need to recognize both the limitations and the potential for misinterpretation of this categorization. The major concern is that this categorization may lead to the results of the study being communicated in such a way that unfairly and inaccurately implies that all abortions are risky. We know that when performed under the correct conditions abortion is one of the safest medical procedures and carries very minimal risks to a woman’s health and life. The complications and risks to women – which have been well documented – arise from abortions performed unsafely.These statistics highlight two things. Firstly, there continues to be a need for further research in this area looking specifically into the incidence and outcomes of unsafe abortion, to provide a more up-to-date and accurate picture on the impact of unsafe abortion worldwide. Secondly, governments need to make abortion safe, legal and accessible to all women who need it. Abortion stigma also presents a real barrier to women accessing safe abortion services, and deserves equal attention by advocates, service providers and policy makers. Only by addressing these issues, will we see further reductions in preventable maternal mortality and morbidity resulting from unsafe abortion.Efforts to achieve this took a step forward in March 2014, when global leaders signed up to a declaration calling for universal access to safe legal abortion after a key two-day meeting that was co-sponsored by Ipas, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.Would you like to share your thoughts on the new maternal mortality estimates? Contribute to our blog series by sending a submission of 400-600 words to Katie Millar.[1] Ahman E, Shah IH. New estimates and trends regarding unsafe abortion mortality. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2011;115:121–126Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Israel pulls warplanes from Red Flag training exercises due to rising regional

first_imgAn Israeli Air Force F-15C Baz takes off from Ovda Air Base, Israel.(Flickr photo courtesy of Mark Rourke)Dozens of U.S. and allied warplanes are assembling at Eielson Air Force Base in preparation for an upcoming round of Red Flag training exercises. But F-15s from the state of Israel will not be participating, reportedly because of rising tensions in the region.Listen nowAn Eielson Air Force Base spokesman says Israel will for the first time be participating in a Red Flag training exercise. But Lieutenant Kitsana Dounglomchan confirms that Israeli F-15s that were scheduled to take part in the exercise that gets under way later this month won’t after all.“The Israeli Air Force will not be sending F-15s to Red Flag-Alaska 18-1, which occur from 26 April to 11 May,” Dounglomchan said in an interview Wednesday. He says he can’t say anything about why Israel decided against dispatching the warplanes to Red Flag, nor how many of the fighters the nation had intended to send.Israeli media, which first reported the story, say national leaders decided to keep the F-15s home due to rising tensions in the region in the aftermath of Israeli military strikes against Iranian proxies in Syria. According to the media accounts, the Israel Defense Forces have placed its ground and air elements on high alert in case Iran launches a counterattack.The accounts vary in their estimates on how many of the warplanes Israel had intended to send, ranging from a handful to more than a dozen.Dounglomchan says the Israeli military will, however, take part in Red Flag.“Despite this change, we’re still looking forward to hosting the Israeli contingent that will be participating in Red Flag-Alaska 18-1,” Dounglomchan said.Dounglomchan says he can’t offer any details on how the Israeli Air Force will be participating. Media outlets say Israel will send personnel and other aircraft to Red Flag, including a KC-135 tanker variant, similar to those used by the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing that’s based at Eielson.More than 60 aircraft from U.S. and allied units will take part in the upcoming Red Flag exercise, according to the Pacific Air Forces, the Alaskan Command’s higher headquarters that directs Red Flag. The aircraft will be based at both Eielson and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and most operations will take place in a simulated combat environment in the skies above the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.last_img read more