JS109 Interview assessment - Afterword

I’ve passed the interview assessment today. Comparing to the written part, the interview was easier for me to prepare to. You can check why written was that hard for me here.

Except for the LS study guides, I found artile from Callie most useful. Callie’s article clarified for me what is a proper preparation to the interview.

How much time it took

To give a bit of the background, I am working full time and study in the mornings and evenings. On average, I try to dedicate 20 hours of studying for Launch School per week.

I passed the written assessment on May 27, 2020, and started preparing for the interview part on May 30th. It means that I have spent 42 days to prepare for the interview: 110 hours to complete exercises, live code with other students and attend LS study groups.

Here’s exact time tracking during this period: launch-school-js109-interview-prep-time-tracking-naida-dmytro

Preparation for the interview

The study groups with Srđan were amazing. The key takeaway from those was to always break down the problem into the parts you understand.

Srđan showed how to decompose a problem into manageable chunks and make an algorithm. Also, problems are same level of difficulty as in the real interview. During the time of the preparation I was trying to attend the study groups every week if there was enough space. I have attended 4 study sessions while preparing for the interview assessment.

Second most helpful preparation activity, for me, was live coding with other students. This shows you how other people approach same problems. You practice talking out loud while coding. On top, you get to chat with guys who are in the same boat.

I had 4 calls with Peter, 2 calls with Elodie, 1 call with Christian. Also, I have a developer friend, Olexiy, who joined 2 live coding sessions with me and gave his feedback. I am appreciate each of those calls. You guys rock! 👨‍🎤💪

How do you know you are ready?

This is actually an easy one:

  • you have to complete all JS101 - Small Problems twice
  • you have to reach 500 honor points on Codewars by competing level 6 and level 5 problems
  • during this time, make sure to attend as many study groups and live coding sessions with LS peers as possible

I am not saying that this is a rule to follow for everyone. Some people study and comprehend new concepts way faster than other. Some need more time. Though, here’s how I come up with this:

Launch School study guide says:

Note: if you find the Easy [problems from JS101 - Small Problems] ones difficult, do not schedule an interview as it's almost certain you won't pass. Instead, continue practicing until you feel comfortable doing the Easy ones and you can do the Medium exercises in under 20 minutes. Most of our best students do all of these exercises at least twice, and often 3 or 4 times.

LS suggested blog post from Callie says:

Gosh, I love Codewars. They say that you should be able to solve difficult 6 kyu and easier 5 kyu to be ready for the interview. My experience confirms this. At the time of the interview, I was (am) ranked at 5 kyu with over 500 points, i.e. I spent a lot of time on Codewars.

On top, the result for me is also proving that this approach works. I could not believe I completed both interview problems in ~30 min instead of 50-60 minutes and passed from the first take.

PS: If you wish to jump on the live coding session with me for JS109 interview prep, you are welcome to reach out via the form below, email, or in LS Slack. And good luck! 👊

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