Avoid Leetcode Anxiety - it's not real
How will I solve 1500 problems? How do these people do it?
It looks like they just know the solution. They must be smarter than me. Am I not smart enough?
And then, after enough frustration - screw this interview process. I don't want to sell out to FAANG.
And believe me, it's not your fault. Anyone who sees 1000 complex problems will be overwhelmed. On top of that, it doesn't help that Leetcode users show off complex solutions.
We don't realize something important - Leetcode is a competitive programming platform at its core, not an interview platform. Yet, we fall into the trap of thinking it's an educational website.
The truth is, most features on leetcode are not useful for interviews.
Do you really need 1500 problems to prepare for interviews? No.
Do you need discussions where users show off their "5 line" solutions? No.
Do you really need to know 5 solutions to the same problem? No.
Do you really need to run code against extensive test cases? No.
Imagine another platform where things were simple. Just 100 core problems with guided instructions to solve them. Slowly progressing from Easy to Medium. No extensive test cases to pass, no discussions with complex solutions. Just intuitive solutions that work.
Sounds a lot better, doesn't it? Now, what if I told you that's all you need for interviews?
Because it's true.
Here's all you need - master 100 problems first, then slowly progress to maybe 200 more problems. Do it well, and you can crack several top companies.
Sounds too good to be true? You're probably thinking I'm selling snake oil. I'm not though.
Leetcode and other websites have conditioned us to think that we need complication. That we need 1500 problems. That we're always behind.
Think about this - when do you feel more motivated? If you think you're making progress, or not making progress? Of course, more progress feels better! It's hard to feel progress when you have 1500 problems to solve, code, and pass all test cases.
Yet many engineers on Leetcode feel anxious all the time. They feel like they're not good enough. I'm here to tell you, that's not the case.
Ok, what should I do then?
Honestly, if I were you, I'd avoid leetcode altogether at the beginning. Grab a book. Take a course. Progress systematically.
Then, when you feel like you have a grasp of things, maybe try Leetcode. Notice I said "maybe".
Contrary to popular belief, Leetcode is not mandatory for job offers. It's just a tool. At best, it's a list of coding questions - which you can find in several books, courses and sites.
Don't let Leetcode Anxiety let you down! Realize that it's not real. Avoid that feeling of being behind.
Throughout this site, we talk about factors that lead to anxiety and why you should avoid them