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Should You Buy AlgoExpert?
Having purchased AlgoExpert twice, it was worth the investment.
For visual learners the video explanations and solutions turn an unsolvable problem into a learning opportunity to understand the gaps, instead of rushing from problem to problem.
Most of our clients found AlgoExpert to a very effective way to prepare. However, the #1 flaw with AlgoExpert is that the majority of the 160+ question bank are the most commonly seen questions on Leetcode and have significant overlap with Cracking the Coding Interview. If you have done interview preparation before then you risk repeating questions.
Let's dive into the details.
AlgoExpert pricing has become more complicated (and expensive) over the last two years.
Currently, they charge:
- $99 for AlgoExpert. This includes the Data Structures Crash Course and 160 questions with video solutions
- $99 for SystemsExpert. Their system design course (not reviewed here)
- $148 for AlgoExpert and SystemsExpert bundled together
In addition, AlgoExpert has MLExpert products. Pricing details can be found here.
AlgoExpert Deep Dive
AlgoExpert Data Structures Crash Course
The crash course covers the basics (Big O Notation) and more advanced materials like Trees and Graphs.
Disappointingly, AlgoExpert doesn't teach Dynamic Programming (DP) or advanced algorithms like Dikstra's and Bellman-Ford. FAANG-style interviews commonly ask Dynamic Programming problems and most interviewees struggle to learn the concepts and apply them. Given the gaps, AlgoExpert isn't comprehensive enough to cover all of the interview preparation needed for FAANG-style interviews.
With 150 questions spanning easy to very hard, there is enough breadth to build a very strong foundation. If you haven't done extensive interview preparation within the last few years, most of the questions will challenge you and feel like "net new".
However, if you have prepped before, you will likely find yourself doing repeat questions - generally an inefficient use of your time.
You can sort questions in three ways:
- Difficulty (easy, medium, hard, very hard)
- Category (e.g. trees, linked lists)
All three are helpful ways to group questions but they lack the ability to sort via company (e.g. Google) - likely because the question bank is too small to accurately tag questions on a company level.
AlgoExpert's solutions are top notch. Clément - AlgoExpert's co-founder - personally has created video solutions that give you a conceptual overview and a code walkthrough.
The solutions are elegantly explained and well suited for visual learners. Compared to most YouTube channels or free solutions online, Clement's are much easier to understand.
Most interview questions have multiple feasible solutions. AlgoExpert is one of the few tools that shows multiple solutions which greatly enhances the chances that one of them resonates with you.
One drawback is that all solutions are written only in Python instead of the nine languages that AlgoExpert supports. Since Python is one of the easier languages to read, this will likely not be a deal breaker.
The single biggest reason to purchase AlgoExpert is for the solutions. They will help you learn at a faster rate - ultimately saving you time and increasing your changes of getting offers.
When completing interview questions it is easy to get stuck. In live interviews, interviewees will often be able to give you a hint.
AlgoExpert has simulated this by providing hints for each question. Each hint provides significantly more advice than the last, helping to unblock users and minimize giving up / jumping to the solution.
AlgoExpert Mock Interviews
AlgoExpert has two mock interview features.
First, you can be paired with another AlgoExpert user and take turns being an interviewer and interviewee. For the interviewer, AlgoExpert will supply the questions.
Second, AlgoExpert can generate interview questions to send to a friend who is willing to be a mock interviewer.
Both are helpful but aren't recommended until you have developed a strong foundation - most users will leverage the mock interview features shortly before their first round of real interviews.
AlgoExpert has built out a seamless mock interview experience allowing for a shared code editor for both parties. Despite that, it isn't worth purchasing AlgoExpert just for the mock interviews. There are free alternatives like Pramp.com.
Should You Buy AlgoExpert?
If you need a refresher course on Data Structures or haven't previously completed "common" interview questions then AlgoExpert is a great way to efficiently build a foundation. There are enough questions that if you completed the full course you should be able to ace FAANG-style based interviews.