A Free Bootcamp Interview Prep Resource

The greatest benefit of attending a bootcamp was being surrounded by brilliant people everyday. I was constantly humbled and pushed to work harder to keep up. And, to be straight, I don’t think this would’ve happened a bootcamp that doesn’t have a competitive admissions process.

When I decided to go to a bootcamp, I was dead set on going to HackReactor or App Academy. If I was going to make this commitment, I needed to know that I was going somewhere that I had to prove myself to get to.

At the end of this article, I’m going to provide you with an exact collection of algorithms that you should study in order to get into the best bootcamps, but first, a bit of background:

With no experience in engineering or math , I studied my way from complete novice to getting accepted to both on my first try within a couple of months. The issue is that I studied /a lot/ for those few months. (Like 4 hours every single day.) The problem is that I didn’t know exactly what I needed to be studying, so I inevitbally wasted a bunch of time.

I’ve found that one of the most difficult things about studying for anything post-college is knowing /what/ to study. How deep should I go on a topic? What topics will be covered? I’ve found that in the professional world, there’s rarely any guidelines for these questions, and it can be overwhelming.

For both bootcamp’s technical interviews, you need to be prepared to solve basic algorithms in JavaScript (JS), and you need to be able to talk through your thought process as you’re solving them. That’s it.

The catch here is that these algorithms probably don’t seem ‘basic’ to anyone who’s planning on attending a bootcamp. They certainly didn’t to me at the time. And, explaining your thought process (especially when half of it is ‘guess and check’) is intimidating.

You can certainly learn all the syntax you need to know from an online tutorial like CodeAcademy or CodeSchool, but how deep should you go when it comes to practicing algorithms?

It’s hard to know /exactly/ what the cut off is for ‘too advanced’, but there are some general guidelines.

  • Know looping well. In JS, this includes for loops and while loops. Know when a nested loop is necessary.
  • Know basic sorting and cipher algorithms. When I say basic, I mean basic. Bubble sort and Caesar’s Cipher are the most basic.
  • Know super basic recursion. Recursive multiplication or Fibonacci sums.(more on this in a bit).
  • Be comfortable writing very basic helper functions. For example, be able to write a helper function called isPrime, that’s called within a function that adds up all the prime numbers from 0 to x.

That may look overwhelming. (Recursion!). I know it would’ve overwhelmed me to read this 6 months ago. But, it’s completely doable. Trust me, you got this. The overwhelming feeling is coming from the unfamiliar vocabulary, but its just that: vocabulary. These problems only require basic logic skills.

Not only that, but I’ve tailor-made a collection of problems and solutions that will /definitely/ get you into whichever bootcamp you want to go to.

You can practice these algorithms all over the web, (and I encourage you to get more practice with a site like Codewars) but, this is a laser focused list of what you need to know to be a badass.

This collection of problems will not only prepare you to pass the technical interview at any bootcamp, but also have the foundation you need to kill it once you’re there.

The tougher bootcamps will teach you CS fundamentals, in addition to how to build applications. This is a big benefit, but it’s also challenging. As a little bonus, if you decide to go there, these problems will help you prepare for the assessments that you’ll be given on algorithms as well.

Find it on GitHub: GitHub - ericwindmill/javascriptbasicalgorithms

Or, simply download this file and open with your favorite text editor. Dropbox - javascriptbasicsalgorithms.zip