AlgoExpert — Learning Data Structures
Full Disclosure: I am not sponsored by AlgoExpert. I also understand that AlgoExpert can be expensive for a lot of people. I just really like the platform and I want to explain to people why AlgoExpert is a great platform for learning and practicing data structures. This is a review of AlgoExpert from someone who didn’t know anything more than basic structures before starting.
I completed an accelerated software engineering school during the summer at Flatiron School. However, like most schools, you don’t really learn data structures. So, I searched the internet for ways to learn data structures. Two of the most common web sites that I used were LeetCode and Codewars. They are both great free platforms and do their job well. However, I was looking around for something with a bit more substance. That’s when I stumbled upon AlgoExpert.
AlgoExpert is a paid platform. However, you pay for an entire year’s access. I actually paid for the full access which includes SystemsExpert because I want to learn more about that. However, that is not required for these features!
I chose AlgoExpert because it has more than just questions and answers. AlgoExpert is a whole platform. As shown in this picture, it has 100 hand-picked questions, video explanations, data structures course, multiple language support, space-time complexity analysis, assessments, and now mock coding interviews. That’s an insane amount of content for a platform to offer!
As suggested by AlgoExpert, I started out with the data structures crash course. I’m extremely glad I did. I actually learned about Big-O, how computer memory relates to programming, logarithm, linked lists, hash tables, stacks, queues, graphs, and trees! It seems like a lot to take in but, Clement does a great job of explaining each topic in video form. I took notes while going through the videos so, I could try to practice these data structures during the questions. I HIGHLY recommend completing this first. Even if you think you know about all of the structures.
After completing the crash course, I wanted to try out some questions. I created a goal for myself to complete at least one question a day since consistency is key. I didn’t want to batch a bunch of questions on one day and do nothing the rest of the week. So I sorted the questions by difficulty and clicked on the first one and I was presented with this interface.
At first, I thought this interface was a bit intimidating. However, after just a few seconds of looking around, I was surprised at how intuitive it is! You can resize any window, change the layout to tri or quad, change language, change font size, light or dark mode, scratchpad, custom tests, see your output, have multiple solutions, and even time your solutions! As well, Clement explains his solutions starting with the ‘worst’ space-time complexity and moving to the ‘best’ solution. This method works really well to show how the different solutions actually do matter!
Conclusion and Plans
I know this blog post was a bit all of the place. However, I wanted to show my enthusiasm for AlgoExpert and why you should get it to. As someone who didn’t know anything more than arrays and strings, I was shocked at how quickly I was able to pick up AlgoExpert and complete the questions. I currently have a goal to complete at least 1 question a day. I urge you to check out AlgoExpert and see if it’s right for you too! There is a few questions that are free!