A Developer's Guide to Surviving Whiteboard Interviews


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A Developer's Guide to Surviving Whiteboard Interviews

How to make the worst part of the interview into your secret weapon

About the Book

Like traffic jams, whiteboard interviews are an annoying fact of life that get in the way of where you want to go as a developer. It's a bad way to evaluate programmer skill and is used across the industry, mostly with the mistaken belief that it is a good way to actually evaluate someone's development skill. In this book we discuss how things got to this dreadful state, and how you can take advantage of that to ace the interview any way. When you face the whiteboard at a development interview, there are a lot of subtle (and not so subtle) things you can do to make sure that you stand out as the best candidate, and this books explains the how and the why of them.

About the Author

William Gant
William Gant

William Gant is a software developer, podcaster, and writer living in Nashville, TN. He spends an inordinate amount of time tinkering with computers and producing podcast content about them. When not writing, writing code, or podcasting, he can be found engaging in his other hobbies, such as martial arts, cooking, meditation, hiking, hunting, and weightlifting. He believes that most annoying things can become advantages when one looks at them in the right way, and strives to do the same.

About the Contributors

David Neal
David Neal

Cover Artist

David Neal is a friend and mentor of mine and also created the cover art for the book. He's a great example of the kind of quiet, humble leadership that advanced developers should exhibit.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 0: About Me
  • Chapter 1: Why You Hate Whiteboard Interviews
    • Physiological responses
    • It’s in your head
    • Get Your Stuff Together
  • Chapter 2: Hiring Is Broken
    • The Problem of Evaluation
    • Busted Problems; Busted Solutions
    • Whiteboard interviews
  • Chapter 3: Whiteboard Interviews Are Bad For You
    • Code on a board doesn’t compile
    • Your nerves are against you
    • It’s a personality test
  • Chapter 4: Preparing
    • First, Google
    • FizzBuzz
    • Code Katas
    • Practice Whiteboarding With Friends
  • Chapter 5: The Actual Interview
    • The Personality Test
    • Body Language Hacks
    • Posture and Nervousness
    • At the board
    • Make the interviewer participate
    • Accepting Feedback
  • Chapter 6: Additional Resources
    • Complete Developer Podcast
    • Junior Developer Toolbox
    • Developer Launchpad
    • Cracking the Coding Interview - Gayle Laakman McDowell
    • John Sonmez and SimpleProgrammer
    • Interview Cake
    • CodeNewbie
    • CodeKata.com
    • Companies that don’t do whiteboards
  • Chapter 7: Understanding Fizzbuzz
    • The general idea
    • C
    • C++
    • PHP
    • Ruby
    • Javascript
    • Python
  • Congratulations!

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