I recently went to an extremely helpful and exciting webinar about helpful ways to read, look at and solve algorithms when whiteboarding. Algorithms have proven to be a rather difficult tasks for me to tackle. I really appreciate my career coach suggesting I go to this event. The event showed a couple videos and discussion but at the end of it all there are several rules to follow that really will help you defeat these daunting tasks.

The first rule is to read the problem outload. Yes this does sound kind of silly at first but what this does it that is begins the entire interaction of the white boarding by including your interviewer in the question. The more involved the interviewer is, the easier time you will have asking questions and engaging with them

The second rule is to “Confirm Understanding”. Walk through the problem clarifying the basic idea of them problem. What are you attempting to accomplish? What do you need to locate? This leads into rule 3. Discuss inputs and outputs too. What are we expecting this to return? Are we working with an array? Are the strings or integers?

Rule 4 is now a good time to talk basic strategy. At this point it is even more important to engage with your interviewer. Bring them info the discussion. Should I use a for let loop? Will that take too long? Perhaps there is another tactic I can use? Locate my index location?

Rule 5 is to begin writing pseudocode. Write out as many notes as possible to get your thought out and working. Rule 6 is simple, make sure to ask for permission to use built in methods.

Rule 7 is actually extremely important. Talk out loud while you code. Do not mumble. Read everything outload so you properly hear it but also once again includes the interviewer and help to clear up any confusion

Rule 8 is to make sure you clearly name all your variables. Nothing silly or random. Do not name a variable “banana” when it is a persons name or a function

Rule 9 use correct coding terminology. The example they gave was “do not say ‘go over the numbers’ say ‘iterate over the array’” perfect example.

Rule 10 final rule is another simple one. Do not say things like “I think this will work” instead say something similar to “let’s step through the code”. It sounds more engaging like you’re following through the end.

Following these 10 rules will greatly assist in completing any whiteboarding interview.

Houston Flatiron student 2020