There’s some food for thought here, but I would strongly encourage all of us not to look at the recruiting practices and interviewing techniques of the ‘big 4’ as the gold standard. They are woefully inefficient (I’ve worked for 2 of them, this isn’t just envy).
But if your goal really is to get a job at google or Facebook or amazon, then, yes, just being a rockstar at algorithms and data structures is what you should concentrate on.
This is interesting, why do you think they are inefficient? I honestly like the idea of a live coding interview like this, it is better than a project they describe to you and you have to send to them in some days or a cold multiple choices test. I experienced both in the past.
It is not actually my goal right now, just the desire to be prepared if the opportunity arises. Right now I'm more worried about getting better at web development, the area I really like and study algorithms when I have time.
Because the experience in the interview bears virtually no resemblance to the daily requirements in the job. This means that your success (or failure) in the interview is not a good indicator of your success (or failure) in the position.
To get more specific and to pick one of those companies, Amazon’s turnover rate is sky high, but they’ve chosen to optimize by hiring at an insane pace to compensate (rather than to optimize on improving retention), which means their hiring practices are optimized for volume, not quality.
This is true for almost every interview I had in the past years, they never resemble what you actually do when you are able to go in. There job descriptions that requires many technologies they don't even use either. It is not particular from big companies.
I've heard about that although there divided opinions about Amazon specifically, it looks an awesome place to work and I've heard contrary opinions as well. In the end it depends, like anything else...
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