Photo of a review of Leetcode as a software engineer interview prep tool

A review of LeetCode as a software engineer interview prep tool – 2021 update

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering advisor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of LeetCode.

Updated in 2021

What does LeetCode do?

The mission of LeetCode is to help software engineers enhance their skills, expand their knowledge, and prepare for technical interviews. They have over 1800 questions broken up into 3 skill levels: easy, medium, and hard. In addition, Premium members get access to problem sets based on company questions. LeetCode is one of the largest communities for developers. In fact, they have hundreds of thousands of active users and a very robust discussion board.

Users can participate in contests to challenge themselves and earn rewards. Some of these contests are sponsored by companies who are looking to hire top talent. They support 14 popular coding languages. Users can test, debug, and write their own projects online through their playground as well.

Photo of LeetCode platform
Photo of LeetCode coding contest

Who is LeetCode for?

LeetCode is for software engineers who are looking to practice technical questions and advance their skills. Mastering the questions in each level on LeetCode is a good way to prepare for technical interviews and keep your skills sharp. They also have a repository of solutions with reasoning behind each step. Therefore, software engineers that are not as strong can also benefit from LeetCode.

What does LeetCode cost? How much work is involved?

There are some free questions and solutions on LeetCode. But, for the most part, a subscription is necessary in order to fully make use of the service. Users can subscribe to a monthly package for $35 per month (down from $39) or a yearly package for $159 per month (down from $299). Premium users have access to more questions, solutions, and company problem sets, as well as better question sorting. There is no application process.

Ratings and reviews

The reviews of LeetCode are all really positive. Most people find that similar online sources for software engineering questions are less organized, so they really appreciate the tagging and classification seen on LeetCode. Most users recommend doing easy & medium questions, as those are more likely to come up in some variance in interviews.

People are also complimentary of the solution articles, which they say are very helpful and should be looked at if you are stuck on a problem for more than an hour. Reviewing these solutions is helpful for candidates who see similar problems on their technical interviews as they will know the exact reasoning behind each step of the process.

Alternatives to LeetCode

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

  • Created by a former Google software engineer, Interview Cake is a study tool that teaches people how to think about technical interview questions rather than just how to do them. Discover how Interview Cake can help you by reading our review. 
  • Another interview prep tool is Coderbyte, which hosts an online editor and tens of thousands of user solutions. Learn more about Coderbyte in our review.
  • Similarly, Edabit users can code on their online editor and access tens of thousands of user solutions.  
  • HackerRank is a common tool used by companies to evaluate software engineers. They also offer practice questions on their platform, so users can work through problems in the same environment as their tests.
  • Another option is AlgoExpert, which is a paid platform with questions on topics such as data structures, algorithms, and problem-solving.
  • CodinGameCodewarsCodeChefCheck.io, and CodeSignal turn interview practice problems into challenges as a way to gamify the interview prep experience.
More alternatives
  • Candidates who want to do mock interviews with software engineers at top tech companies can check out Interviewing.io. Learn more about Interviewing.io in our review.
  • Similarly, GainloTech Mock Interview, and Pramp give users the opportunity to practice for technical interviews with experts and peers.
  • Daily Coding Problem is a newsletter that sends 1 practice interview problem directly to your inbox each day. The questions are free, but users must subscribe to access the solutions.
  • In the same vein, Quastor also sends out a daily newsletter. They also have a free online course and a community where people can discuss problems and solutions.
  • People looking to prepare with real world problems can check out CodeKata. They provide challenges that mimic requests from real tech companies.  
  • Software engineers who use Ruby on Rails can check out RubyTapas, which has challenges in that language.

We compiled a list of resources to practice software engineer interview questions that you can use to decide the best one for you. You can also check out our list of 93 software engineering interview questions from top tech companies to practice.

How does LeetCode compare to Pathrise?

LeetCode is a great tool for software engineers of all levels to use in preparation for their technical interviews. Whether you are looking to hone or enhance your skills, you will find what you need, and likely more, on LeetCode.

At Pathrise, we are focused on helping our fellows with the entire job search. Part of that is mastering the technical interview and so we actually provide our fellows with free-of-charge premium accounts to LeetCode so that they can use the service on their own and with their mentors. These questions are paramount to ensuring that our fellows go into every technical interview with confidence.

In pair programming sessions and 1-on-1 with technical mentors, Pathrise fellows, with the help of LeetCode, can master the exact skills they need and even see some of the same questions.

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 performance scores double.

If you want to work with our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your software engineer interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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