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Interview Kickstart Reviews

See what Students & Instructors are saying about Interview Kickstart

Davide Testuggine

I took Interview Kickstart last August, and I highly, highly recommend it.

I am an experienced software engineer (I was in Microsoft) so I had a pretty clear idea of what was the bar to clear for a technical interview, but I just hadn’t done any practice for years.

I always found technical interviews very scary: I think that what triggered my anxiety was that when I was still in school, I did an interview with Google for a summer internship and I was annihilated. I had absolutely no idea on how to even approach that problem (it was a pretty tough dynamic programming problem, but at that time I didn’t even know what DP was). I ended up studying a lot for my Microsoft interview, and while I did get my offer, that ended up being a quite stressful experience.

So this time, when I decided that it was time for me to move on to my next challenge, I thought I'd do something to make it less stressful. I first joined a meetup for interview prep because it was free, but quite frankly the level there was just not good enough. Being a full-time employee, I just could not afford to waste time by learning so little. So I decided to look for something else. What eventually turned me to Soham’s course is that he was the way he talked about the course as not a substitute for hard work, not a “cheat sheet” of questions but a way to actually get good at algorithms, through a lot of perspiration.

The course was very intense. During the two months it lasted, I would easily work 2+ hours every day, weekends included, on the homework problems. Nobody will teach you an intro to algorithms: you should probably do an algorithms course beforehand if you don't know what a BST and a hash table are. This course is just practice, practice, practice. And it works! A few weeks into the course, I thought again about that Google question that was so scary when I was in school, and realized that I now could easily solve it. I also went a bit on Leetcode to do some Hard problems from Google and Facebook, and everything went well. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I accepted my offer with Facebook. I am now almost through bootcamp and about to join an amazing team that is my dream fit. And I am now finally confident about interviewing!

Finally, I think that all that practice had a long-lasting effect on my ability as a software engineer. I am simply faster at coding than I ever was. I focused a lot on my coding fluency, so now I don't make trivial errors such as “off-by-one” loops, I don't need to go searching for documentation left and right, etc. This had an effect on my flow: I can keep focused on the idea if the implementation takes a few minutes as I don't get lost on implementation details anymore, so the productivity increase I experienced is greater than just the delta in time for the implementation itself.

Tl;dr - Yes, do it.

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