Interview Cake Story
Interview Cake is a study tool that preps software engineering candidates for programming interviews.
Hi, I'm Parker Phinney. I started Interview Cake in 2013 after my life-changing experience tutoring my friend Alice at programming interviews.
Alice had fallen on hard times. She had lost her apartment and was running out of money. She was just finishing her coursework at a coding boot camp in San Francisco, hoping a job in tech could turn her life around.
Alice was kicking butt at coding, but to land her dream job she needed to kick butt at coding interviews. That meant having a rock-solid foundation in algorithms, data structures and big O notation. It meant having a plan of attack when she had no idea how to even get started on a tricky problem.
So we got to work running practice problems, drilling her weak points in algorithms and data structures, and really focusing on how to think through tricky algorithmic questions. She struggled at first, but it took just one weekend to get Alice to a point where she could crush all the interview questions in my arsenal.
Alice ended up landing a job at Facebook. Overnight she went from crashing on my couch to . . . making more money than I was.
Seeing Alice's life turn around was amazing. I was hooked. I quit my job to start doing this full time.
I tested and refined my curriculum by teaching students at several coding boot camps around San Francisco. I figured out how to get people comfortable with algorithmic thinking way faster than the textbooks and online courses. And I figured out how to get people to stop freezing up during the interview—how to begin breaking down a new problem and how to keep moving even when you get stuck.
I built Interview Cake so I could help more people than I could fit in one room. I'm so excited that these days Interview Cake helps tens of thousands of people prep for coding interviews every single week.
Some are graduates of coding bootcamps, like my friend Alice. Some are computer science students at MIT. Some are 20-year industry veterans. Some need to learn data structures and algorithms from the ground up. Some just need to run some practice questions.
Wherever you are in your software engineering career, I wish you the best of luck with your interviews. Let me know if I can help in any way.
D. Parker Phinney