So you were looking for the best tool to get you prepared for tech interviews and stumbled upon AlgoExpert? Well, today we are going to review this coding platform and see if the software is really worth your time and money.
Here at thecodebytes.com, we have reviewed a bunch of coding platforms, such as LeetCode, HackerRank, CodeChef, Codewars and more. We feel we have a good opinion on what makes up a good platform and what you could realistically get for free or not.
With that in mind, we have a great review in store for you. So let’s jump in!
What Is AlgoExpert?
AlgoExpert is a software engineer prep tool created by Clément Mihailescu, an ex-Google Frontend Software Engineer.
Clément created the software because of his experience with Google coding interviews. He found the resources at his disposal to be lacking and wanted something better.
That’s why he created AlgoExpert. An online platform with curated algorithm questions at differing difficulty levels, an online editor, test cases, hints, and clear video explanations.
In addition to AlgoExpert, the product line has expanded to SystemsExpert, FrontendExpert, ProgrammingExpert, MLExpert, and BlockChainExpert. All of which follow a similar ideology as AlgoExpert but in their respective domains.
Let’s start off by mentioning the benefits of AlgoExpert and where we personally saw the product thrive.
1. All-In-One Package
The main advantage that you get with AlgoExpert is that it really is an all-in-one package. Instead of jumping between LeetCode, YouTube and multiple websites, AlgoExpert has everything you need within one place.
What’s even better, is that if you’re interviewing for a specific role, you can combine the algorithm portion of the site with whatever role you are currently applying for. Such as frontend development, backend development or machine learning.
As a frontend developer, I personally did find the FrontendExpert material pretty interesting. I think there was a lot of value in providing specific frontend interview questions that would realistically be asked in an interview. Although it is possible to find this content online for free, the $50 price tag is pretty minimal in comparison to the job you could get by studying the material.
This is very similiar to a CodePen environment but it also shows you a description and expected output all in one place for added convienence.
2. Focused On Tech Interviews
The other benefit of the platform is that you know that the CEO is knowledable in coding interview preparation. Since he has been through it. This means that the entire site was created for the sole intent of helping with interviews.
Where as platforms like HackerRank feel more like a site to improve your coding skills. AlgoExpert places its focus on landing a job. So instead of wasting time learning things you will never need to land a job, you are only studying important topic.
This is crucial because you could easily spend a lifetime learning the different technologies and techniques used in software development. Knowing what to study is equally as important as putting in the hours to study.
3. Cheaper Than LeetCode Premium + More Accurate Difficulty
Finally, a big benefit over platforms like LeetCode is that if you want a premium platform, AlgoExperts is cheaper. Costing you only $50 for the core software per year. In comparison to LeetCode that costs $35 per month.
Although I think the price tag on LeetCode Premium is worth it. I understand that it can be a bit expensive depending on your circumstances. If that is the case, AlgoExpert may be a cheaper option for you than LeetCode.
In addition to the cost, it does seem that the accuracy of the problem difficulty is better on AlgoExpert than LeetCode. Although to be fair, it’s notoriously bad on LeetCode.
For that reason, I think beginners that don’t know much about algorithms and data structures might have an easier time on AlgoExpert than a lot of coding platforms. Since you can start with the easiest problems and work your way up from their.
However, obviously, most of those other platforms are free.
Now that we have touched on the major benefits of AlgoExpert, let’s talk about the things we disliked about the platform.
1. No Free Version
This is my biggest issue with AlgoExpert. There is no free version of the software and there is very little free content for you to test out. What is even worse, is that the platform has a very strict ‘no refund’ policy. A huge red flag for anyone looking to invest in the content.
Of course, there are many reasons for a company to not provide refunds for their content. However, any company that truly believes in their content would have a refund policy to back it up.
I have also read a lot of threads on reddit stating that the paywalled content on the platform isn’t that great, and they would need to resort to YouTube to find a clearer explanation. This kind of defeats the purpose of a ‘all-in-one’ platform!
2. Seems Pretty Basic
My second major drawback of the software is that the content seems pretty… basic. Especially the frontend and systems content.
Honestly, it would be a great place to start if you have very limited knowledge in these topics but I feel like interview questions will go deeper into these subjects than what is covered in AlgoExpert.
Sure, if you are only using AlgoExpert for their algorithms, they do have pretty good crash courses to teach you the basics of DSA. However, I would love to see better content on the frontend and systems side.
This was originally the most promising aspect of AlgoExpert for me. As a frontend developer with a somewhat unique interview process, I wanted a platfrom that could help me with the entire process, not just algorithms. Unfortunately, it fell short.
Side Note: Since I am not an expert in Machine Learning or BlockChain, I can’t comment on these sections. However, I assume they are equally as basic based on the content I am familiar with.
3. Very Similiar To LeetCode But Lacks Features
My last major drawback is that AlgoExpert seems like a lackluster version of LeetCode. It has less content and everything is behind a paywall. Most of which is free on LeetCode!
In fact, everything worth paying for in LeetCode is not available in AlgoExpert.
It has a comparison chart between itself, LeetCode, and Cracking The Coding Interview, which is plain false advertising.
This image is currently on their homepage and states that LeetCode does not have Mock Interviews or Video Explanations, which it does.
This is another big red flag in my opinion.
AlgoExpert Review: Is AlgoExpert Worth It?
Overall, AlgoExpert has a few things going for it. It is an all-in-one platform, that focuses on coding interviews, and is a cheap alternative to LeetCode. However, I really dislike that everything is behind a paywall, the content is beginner-focused and it lacks the premium features worth paying for.
I also dislike that the platform seems to be piggybacking off the success and image of the CEO, Clément Mihailescu. I can respect the entrepreneurial spirit and the work that has been put into the platform, but it just doesn’t compare to the content you can get for free on other platforms.
is AlgoExpert worth it for beginners?
That being said, AlgoExpert might be a good choice if you are a beginner coder that has never worked in the industry. The content begins at a very beginner-friendly position and can be easier and more structured than any other free platform.
is AlgoExpert worth it for self-taught developers?
If you are a self-taught developer, you probably already have the skills that you can start using LeetCode and see a lot more benefits from the premium features there.
Is AlgoExpert worth it to find a job?
If you have never had a coding job before, AlgoExpert can be a good place to start. It probably won’t be enough to land your first job, but it will help you get a decent foundation in DSA.
If you want to check out some alternatives to AlgoExpert, you can view them here. If you have a hole burning in your pocket and want to check out AlgoExpert, it could be worth your time. However, there is no doubt that you can find the same quality of content on the free platforms listed here.
As always, good luck and happy coding!