Should you use Leetcode?

Welcome back! One of the most popular websites for learning / developing your programming skills is Leetcode. This website allows you to basically sharpen your skillset(s) for most programming languages, but i’ve also seen it mentioned quite a bit for interview prep. I went ahead and tested it out myself and ultimately found it fairly robust, I personally believe that any website offering value in programming is always a good place to learn coding from, so regardless I do appreciate the free access that Leetcode provides.

First off

As always, if you have any suggestions, thoughts or just want to connect, feel free to contact / follow me on Twitter! Also, below is a link to some of my favorite resources for learning programming, Python, R, Data Science, etc.

Let’s begin!

Signing Up

The sign up process is pretty easy, you just use your email, pretty basic stuff.

The Interface

Starting off, there’s alot of value you can gain just from the free version of Leetcode. There are a couple of different paid versions of Leetcode that offer more value, these are the paid versions:

To be honest, from all of the hype that i’ve heard about Leetcode this actually seems kind of cheap, but as I mentioned, the free version of Leetcode still offers a lot of value. Now some of the most popular aspects of Leetcode (in my opinion) would be the problems and the mock questions. The problems range from easy, medium and hard questions. First off, the problems don’t really require you to build out a crazy large project from scratch, they’re pretty much mock interview questions that you should be able to solve in a typical interview time limit. To be honest, i’m not the best programmer but I have been working full time as a programmer for a few years now, and although there were some questions I have seen before, there actually were a ton of questions I haven’t really heard of, which I think is awesome! Leetcode allows you to have a range of questions, you don’t want to be getting the same questions every-time since you practically will know the answers at that point.

Features

Now the layout of a typical programming question from Leetcode goes like this: Description of problem and solution on the right, the code interface is on the left. You can interchange between different languages which is super convenient, all of the code is compiled on their web site so you don’t have to compile any of the code yourself. They typically will give you a bit of starter code, then it’s up to you to solve out the rest of the problem. From the few questions I tested I noticed that it’s a pretty good interface, but as I mentioned before, the range in difficulty will probably be the biggest factor in how much you gain from this website.

One of my favorite things about this website is the Mock Interview portion of the site, this is the thing that separates this web site and other free resources. Although there are only 3 free interviews available, if you subscribe there are tons of sample interviews from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and so many more companies. The mock interview will essentially give you 2 questions and you’ll have 1 hour to complete it. To be honest, I attempted the problem but about 10 minutes into it I realized I was probably going to get it wrong and stepped away from it ☺️, definitely don’t be like me, but for those of you who want to preapre before going into an interview, this is a great part of the website for sure!

Not Everything Is Perfect

As always, not everything is perfect. LeetCode in my opinion is overall a positive thing to do, a majority of the program is free and you can learn a ton from it, but the only gripe I can see from people is the fact you have to pay for solutions, the code debugger, more mock interviews and pretty much all of the main stuff from this web site, is it a big deal to me? Absolutely not, but to some people it maybe a barrier of entry. If you fall under this category, I would highly suggest using the free services Leetcode has to offer, watching videos on Youtube about mock interview questions and maybe even taking a free course online about your specific tech stack. As I mentioned before, I think the overall free features from Leetcode are positive, but the subscription payment maybe one area some people may not be happy about.

Verdict

I love Leetcode, like I said it’s not perfect, but as a free resource to prepare yourself before doing an interview, I think it’s a solid option. Whatever you do keep this in mind: do not use Leetcode as your only source of learning, I would highly suggest taking any other free online courses, watching Youtube videos, etc. Leetcode is great but combining Leetcode and other free resources on the internet can greatly help you become a better programmer overall.

Data Scientist / Engineer

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