You maybe know that I offer C++ mentoring via Twitter (DMs are open!) and, as it happened, someone approached me and wanted to be mentored. So I asked him for his questions and then wrote some responses, which ended up to to be qute long... Then the idea to share what I wrote in this blog - maybe someonw will find it interesing.

Without much ado, to the questions.

1. Questions

I first asked about the goals. Thes answers are probably in line with many young programmers want:

1. I just need to be able to solve programming problems and strong myself in

this part, to be qualified for big tech companies interviews like Google,

Microsoft and Amazon.

2. No the programming language doesn't matter for me, I know the basics of C, C++ and Python but I just want to be a problem solver and think like a programmer

Then also came a list of resources that one finds on the internet using uncle Google. I won't show them here, as thea are quoted in the response.3. I just want to understand the theory behind Algorithms and Data Structure

2 The Response

Here's my response, in full, without any later editing:

Hi Xyz!

I had a look at your references:

>Courses:

>Algorithms and Data structures by Revi

>https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEbnTDJUr_IeHYw_sfBOJ6gk5pie0yP-0

Here we have much complexity theory but little of algos - only basic sorting methods.

>Algorithms by Abdul Bari

>https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDN4rrl48XKpZkf03iYFl-O29szjTrs_O

Don't know what to think about it's TOC - maybe too academic (too much about recurrences) but also covers a broad range of themes you'll need. So-so.

>MIT 6.006 Introduction to Algorithms

>https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUl4u3cNGP61Oq3tWYp6V_F-5jb5L2iHb

Had a look the TOC and liked it! If you can grasp these themes, you'll have good working knowledge of Comp.Sci.

>Books:

>Data Structures and Program Design in C by Robert L. Kruse

>https://goodreads.com/book/show/27846.Data_Structures_and_Program_Design_in_C

Looks like it's pretty old. Probably outdated, looks like waste of time.

>Introduction to Algorithms By Thomas H. Cormen

>https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/introduction-algorithms-third-edition

This is a classic, maybe a little heavy on the academic side, but a good reference to check what the options are. For an algorithms book the"The Algorithm Design Manual"by Steven Skiena is a much lighter read I'd recommed!

>Think Like a Programmer by V. Anton Spraul

>https://goodreads.com/book/show/13590009-think-like-a-programmer

I don't know this one. Had a look at the TOC and it can be OK or even good. It has a couple of programming problems but the title seems to be kind of a clickbait. Notheless. maybe it's good.

>Practice:

>https://hackerrank.com

Don't know this one (sorry) and couldn't check it out, as it requires a login. Back in the day Google recommended topcoder.com for testing your problem-solving skills in competitions, but I don't know the current status of it.

>https://leetcode.com

Don't know this one (sorry), but it looks somehow inetersting at first glance. You have specific questions for Google, Facebook, etc. Could be worth it.

And responses:

>I just need to be able to solve programming problems and strong myself in this part, to be qualified for big tech companies interviews like Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

A classic book for that is"Cracking the Coding Interview"by Gyle Laakmann McDowell - but it's a real tome!"Programming Interviews Exposed"by J. Morgan et. all was a lighte read."Algorithms for Intreviews"by A. Aziz & A. Prakesh has many tough problems, but the solutions aren't that well explained - a challenge!

>Q1: No the programming language doesn't matter for me, I know the basics of C, C++ and Python but I just want to be a problem solver and think like a programmer

To be a (real) problem solver you need some deep knowledge in at leas one OO-langauge! Programmers think in patterns, you have to learn them by solving programming problems! On a little higher level, you'll need at least cursory knowledge in design patterns - look at the 4 Amigos book!

>Q2: I just want to understand the theory behind Algorithms and Data Structure

You'll have to undertstand the O-notation at least and to be able to estimate the O-complexity of your algoriths. The Master theorem is not really needed though. You have at least to understand NP-complete complexity class (NP=P?). You'll have to be able to estimate run time of an algorithm - which algos would need thousands of years to complete?

Regards,

Marek

3. Summing Up

Hopefully some young programmer will find it helpful!

Hopefully some young programmer will find it helpful!