Photo of a review of CodeKata as a software engineering interview prep tool

A review of CodeKata as a software engineering interview prep tool

Updated in 2023

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my review of CodeKata.

What does CodeKata do?

CodeKata is an online collection of coding problems that helps software engineers practice bridging the gap between theory and the real world. In fact, their challenges are based on actual problems that software engineers encounter when working for businesses and companies. For example, some questions deal with programming specific requests from the marketing or sales teams. This is a common occurrence for software engineers working at tech companies.

Users work through short exercises that take 30 minutes-1 hour to complete. While some challenges have 2-3 clear solutions, other questions are open ended and do not have correct answers. Therefore, the challenges focus on mastering the steps you take to solve the problem, rather than the end result itself.

The collection covers topics such as binary algorithms, data extraction, algorithms, and more. Each exercise includes learning goals, instructions, and test data, which users can modify. While the examples are written in Ruby, software engineers are encouraged to write solutions in their language of choice. Plus, Dave Thomas, CodeKata’s creator, often tweets and blogs about potential solutions. So, curious software engineers can keep an eye on that space, especially if they are having trouble with a specific type of problem. 

Who is CodeKata for?

Software engineers who are looking to advance their skills by solving coding problems that relate to real world business experiences could benefit from using CodeKata’s exercises. In addition, the challenges are especially useful for software engineers who use Ruby. 

What does CodeKata cost? How much work is involved?

CodeKata is free. In fact, users do not need to even create a profile, subscribe, or register. 

Ratings and reviews

The online reviews of CodeKata are generally positive. CodeKata was mentioned in QASymphony’s list of top 101 software development resources. One user reports that CodeKata’s exercises “improve your coding skill in any language or even your thinking about a problem in a business domain” and “stretch your thinking and coding abilities.”

Similarly, a reviewer on Quora praises CodeKata helping them change their thinking. They noted that the creator “has developed his own Zen-like approach to the art of coding to help developers change their attitude to coding, and develop an always-learning mindset.” 

Alternatives to CodeKata

If you decide not to use CodeKata’s exercises, there are a number of alternatives to help prepare you for your technical interviews. 

  • A good alternative is AlgoExpert. It is a great platform for software engineers to practice questions that cover a variety of interview topics.
  • Created by a former Google software engineer, Interview Cake is a study tool that teaches people the right way to think about technical questions so they do well in interviews. Read more about Interview Cake in our review.
  • Similarly, Codebasil and feature questions written by software engineers at top tech companies like Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.
  • Perhaps the most popular option, Leetcode has over 1,050 interview-type questions that software engineers can use to practice for their technical interviews.
  • Or consider Coderbyte, which hosts an online editor and offers tens of thousands of user solutions. Learn more about Coderbyte in our review.
  • A common tool used by companies to evaluate software engineering applicants, HackerRank offers practice questions in the environment that people will likely be tested in.
  • Likewise, CodinGame, Codewars and CodeSignal use challenges to gamify interview practice problems.
  • Software engineers can use the tracks offered by Educative to brush up on skills or practice for specific-language interviews.
  • Other options, CodeChef, Quastor, and Edabit provide free online communities and platforms to practice software engineering technical questions.
  • Those looking to participate in mock interviews with software engineers at top tech companies should check out Learn more about in our review.
  • Similarly, Pramp, Tech Mock Interview, and Gainlo are interview prep tools that allow software engineers to conduct mock interviews with their peers or anonymous engineers.
  • Finally, with exercises in Python and JavaScript for beginners and advanced engineers, CheckiO is a good free resource to check out.

How does CodeKata compare to Pathrise?

CodeKata is a good tool for advanced software engineers looking to prepare for their technical interviews and for potential requests that will come up when they begin working. However, they do not provide job-seeking resources or answers to their challenges.

Pathrise is a full service organization that works extensively with software engineers to prepare for technical interviews by providing workshops, 1-on-1 mentoring, and pair programming sessions. We also help fellows with resume and LinkedIn optimization, behavioral interview preparation, cold email and reverse recruiting strategies, and salary negotiation. 

Advancing technical skills is a crucial aspect of landing a job as a software engineer. So, fellows in our program can use CodeKata, as well as our technical workshops, to deepen their programming knowledge. You can also check out our list of 93 software engineering interview questions from top tech companies to practice.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview scores double.

If you are interested in working 1-on-1 with any of our mentors to optimize your job search, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

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Brian Wong

Brian Wong is an experienced senior software engineer and has worked at top bay area startups and organizations. In his free time, Brian works with Pathrise SWE fellows to help them land their dream job and learn insider tips on how to ace technical interviews.

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