An Algoexpert vs. LeetCode showdown boils down to which course will make the most difference when time is in short supply.
This extensive review will give you a walkthrough of the core philosophy behind each platform and where they make major compromises.
To wrap up, I will hand down my verdict and introduce you to my top recommendations for clearing the tech interviews in one go.
Let’s jump in.
Table of Contents
Algoexpert vs. Leetcode – Overview
Let me start with Algoexpert on this round.
With Algoexpert, you get a coding interview prep platform focusing on algorithms and data structures. Space-time complexity is also included for those who want to be Big O experts.
Videos are the method of instruction in Algoexperts. You don’t get live sessions or text notes, either. The videos accompany and provide expert explanations to each question, and you can always refer to them before attempting the questions and if you are stuck on any question.
Algoexpert’s ideology is to help you understand the patterns most interview questions follow. The logic is that knowledge of the patterns is more efficient than cramming mountains of solutions to code problems and will equip you to handle a much wider range of questions.
For extra peace of mind, Algoexpert also features mock interviews. These sessions simulate real interview situations by pairing you with an interviewer who quizzes you like in actual interviews.
The above explanation clarifies Algoexpert’s two-pronged approach to coding interview prep. It doubles as a full-fledged course and a library of interview questions.
On to Leetcode.
Unlike Algoexpert, Leetcode can hardly be considered a course package for coding interviews. However, it provides a behemoth list of actual interview questions—nearly 3,000 and counting.
In other words, Leetcode is mainly a vast library of interview questions. That’s the one thing that distinguishes it most from Algoexpert.
Leetcode’s questions are provided by users who have taken real interviews at tech companies. The answers are also supplied by the people who upload them. The latter fact provides reason to be wary of relying on the code solutions provided on Leetcode.
It is only recently that Leetcode started including video explanations of some of their code topics. Still, the level of organization and expert help you get with the platform falls below that of Algoexpert.
That said, Leetcode does offer free interview questions (a feature that’s absent on Algoexpert) and other tools that are worth checking out. You also get some Leetcode-exclusive features we can only wish were present on Algoexpert.
To be fair, however, Algoexpert and Leetcode trade blows with features that are exclusive to either platform, so how about digging a little deeper and exploring more of their differences?
Algoexpert vs. Leetcode – Course Outline and Features
Algoexpert is split into four sections: AlgoExpert, SystemsExpert, FrontendExpert, and MLExpert. Each of these categories is treated as separate and is billed differently.
AlgoExpert combines algorithms and data structures into one package and is divided into about 15 categories: Arrays, Graphs, Tries, Linked Lists, Binary Trees, Strings, et cetera.
Leetcode doesn’t really structure its content into a course outline, but it does have its own categorization of explainer videos and interview questions. In the explore section of the Leetcode website, there are three major headings—Featured, Interview, and Learn.
These super-categories branch off into lesser sections in the manner below:
- Featured: The Leetcode’s beginner guide, Data structures and algorithms, Top Interview Questions, et cetera.
- Interview: Cheatsheets, System design for interviews and beyond, and company-specific curations of interview questions
- Learn: Dynamic programming, Arrays 101, SQL Language, and more
Let’s now discuss the features that widen the gap between Algoexpert and Leetcode.
Algoexpert has nine programming languages, whereas Leetcode has up to 14.
Both coding platforms support Python and Java, but Algoexpert lacks support for PHP, Scala, Bash, and Rust, which Leetcode includes. You can say that Leetcode has five exclusive programming languages in addition to all of Algoexpert’s nine.
Interview practice questions
Pitting Algoexpert against Leetcode here isn’t a fair contest. Leetcode’s storehouse of thousands of questions handily beats Algoexpert with its few hundred questions.
Algoexpert and Leetcode provide a code editor where you can debug code and get real-time feedback. However, when it comes to implementation, one course platform did a worse job.
And I’m looking at you, Leetcode. The code editor is pretty basic and uninteresting. All you get is a white background and black or blue text for a downright monotone finish.
On the Algoexpert side, the code editor is fully fleshed out with appealing colors that just pop on dark mode. The fonts are decent, and you even get a stopwatch for a gamified experience.
We have to dock points here for Algoexpert as it doesn’t have any community support feature. On the other hand, Leetcode brings all its users together, novices and experts alike; in a teeming community, you can always consult for assistance.
Leetcode vs. Algoexpert – Pricing and Cost
Leetcode goes for $35 billed monthly and $159 yearly, while Algoexpert is billed at $49 for yearly access only. Neither program has a free trial for exploring premium features.
What we don’t like about Leetcode
If you have been sitting on the edge of your seat awaiting the analysis of Leetcode’s and Algoexpert’s drawbacks, we are in the same boat. Here are some less-than-pleasant sides of both platforms. Leetcode first:
Shortage of Video Explanations
While Leetcode started incorporating videos into their learning materials recently, they are not enough.
The videos are limited to only the categories of questions they hand-picked, just a fraction of the platform’s mountain load of questions.
And to complicate matters, some of the videos that have been prepared don’t do a good job with the explanations.
Video forms the bulk of the explanations on Algo Experts, and users often remark on the clear, straightforward manner of explanation in them. They are miles ahead of Leetcode’s offering.
If IDE was all that matters, then Algoexpert is the clear winner. Aside from the bland aesthetics of Leetcode’s code editor, the layout is static.
It’s very unlike in Algoexpert, where you can tweak the layout, display, and syntax highlighting theme to your preference.
Lack of Structure
For a person who has only a short amount of time before his coding interviews, having to organize his practice questions would be costly.
Unfortunately, that’s the predicament such a person would face with Leetcode. There are so many questions and so little organization.
At least, sorting the questions by their topics would help a person have a clear idea of what he’s doing.
Even more serious, however, is the fact that Leetcode’s manner of practice emphasizes cramming over patterns. When you need to study a lot quickly, patterns will cut out so much work for you, and that’s what Algoexpert does for you.
No. Leetcode’s questions are not the right place for a complete beginner to start from. Some of the questions even require expert-level knowledge to conquer.
True. Many of Leetcode’s questions go beyond the difficulty level of most interview questions, which can be discouraging for someone preparing for his interviews.
It can be argued that solving questions beyond the level of the interview questions can be rewarding when the real interview features simpler ones. Still, we cannot argue against the unnecessary time wastage when you spend more time on questions.
Besides, when your study plan does not help you recognize the underlying patterns in problems, solving more challenging questions might be self-defeating in the long run when similar problems come, and you can’t even remember doing something that resembles it.
Gamification, or having some indication of your progress, can increase your motivation. A platform like Leetcode, with thousands of questions, is supposed to have some way of making students feel motivated to keep grinding.
But with Leetcode, it’s all hard work and no acknowledgment of your progress.
No Behavioral Prep
Technical skills alone won’t be enough to get you past the interview net as interviewers are increasingly scouting for candidates who demonstrate soft skills, such as the ability to handle difficult work situations or the potential to work with a team to meet a common goal.
All the questions and learning materials that Leetcode contains are geared at helping you pass the technical part of the interview. Nothing much else.
Algoexpert fares a bit better in this regard. It has a behavioral prep section containing a set of 15 videos that feature interview experts discussing soft (human relation) skills, such as how to answer tricky interview questions and how to handle negative feedback, et cetera.
What we don’t like about Algoexpert
It’s not like it’s all roses and no thorns on the Algoexpert side. There are several essential aspects of the perfect learning experience that are missing on Algoexpert. That’s our next focal point.
Algoexpert is all about algorithms and data structures, but you will probably need more than that to ace your coding interviews. It also doesn’t help that you must buy a separate package to access other critical technical subjects like system design.
And 200 questions or so don’t cut it. A highly motivated learner could chomp that number of questions in a matter of days.
This is one of the areas where Leetcode proves its mettle. With its questions numbering into the four-figure zone, there is an opportunity for almost endless practice.
No Company Sort Feature
Wouldn’t it be a big bonus to have access to a list of curated questions for a particular tech company? That would enable you to narrow your options, concentrate on only what you need, and benefit most from the available time.
Unfortunately, Algoexpert doesn’t give you that advantage. It only allows you to pick questions by difficulty level.
The sort-questions-by-company feature is one of Leetcode’s biggest triumphs over Algoexpert. This insane feature does what it says on the tin and allows you to only solve questions from, say, Google, Facebook, or Amazon, among others.
Absence of Community
The lack of community is probably Algoexpert’s most significant drawback and one you wouldn’t fail to consider. No community means no one to consult when you are stuck on a problem.
On the Leetcode side, you get access to a community as a premium subscriber, which is an outright win for the mega hub of challenges.
No Free Version
Leetcode’s free version has extremely limited features, but it is there nonetheless. It allows you to view and solve more questions than there are in Algoexpert. You can even view their solutions, code your own, and submit it for auto feedback.
There is currently no free version of Algoexpert, and neither do you get a free trial. You might find that worthy of your consideration.
Not Suited For Learning Coding from Scratch
Algoexpert is not recommended if you want to start learning coding from scratch. There is no form of coaching that targets beginners, and all the questions are meant for those who are prepping for coding interviews.
But to be fair, Leetcode, too, would be asking too much for someone who doesn’t know what coding is. Both platforms require at least a basic knowledge of coding from a user.
No Live Sessions
While Algoexpert’s videos feature expert and highly detailed explanations of the concept, it won’t hurt to have periodic live sessions with the experts where you get to interact with subject experts.
That would have made up in a way for the lack of a community, which, in my opinion, is unforgivable for a 21st-century coding interview prep platform.
Our Top #2 Tech Interview Preparation Courses
The search for a tech interview prep platform that checks all the right boxes can only register more internet searches as more people turn their attention to tech vacancies.
That’s what brought you here in the first place, but as we have seen, neither of the two courses we have compared qualifies as a viable standalone option.
Leetcode has all the questions but lacks adequate video explanations. In contrast, Algoexpert has video explanations but misses by a long shot as it lacks comprehensive coverage and expects you to figure out everything by yourself without a community of experts and fellow learners.
And neither Leetcode nor Algoexpert has space onboard for absolute beginners to coding. But that’s beyond the scope of this review.
Are there any alternatives that negate the loopholes of both Leetcode and Algoexpert and can provide all you need to ace your tech interview in one go? Enter Tech Interview Pro and Neetcode.
Tech Interview Pro first.
Tech Interview Pro
Tech Interview Pro is the brainchild of Patrick Shyu, aka Techlead. He is an alumnus of the University of California, and he has worked not only at Google but also at Facebook on different levels, including interviewing and recruiting.
If you research him, you will discover he failed FAANG interviews up to eight times before Google finally considered him. Hence, he has worn the same shoes that hurt tech interview candidates today.
Tech Interview Pro combines practical coding training with the lessons Techlead learned from his failures and the experience he acquired from his years in big tech companies.
Tech Interview Pro combines all of that training in a package that contains up to 150 video lessons that focus on all four crucial aspects that FAANG aspirants must master.
While Algoexpert only treats algorithms and data structures, Tech Interview Pro juggles,
- Coding and algorithms
- System design
- Object-oriented design
- Communication (Soft skills)
Soft skills are handled in a much more effective manner than in Algoexpert. For one thing, Techlead has himself worked as an interviewer. He knows what questions mess up candidates and what interviewers are really looking for in the ideal candidate.
Tech Interview Pro has a full-fledged Facebook community for learner/expert interaction. Aside from that, Techlead conducts bi-weekly live Q&A sessions that feature him and successful candidates answering questions from students.
Another central selling point of Tech Interview Pro over Leetcode and Algoexpert is in the pricing. It’s more expensive than Algoexpert and Leetcode, but unlike them, you get lifetime access with your money rather than recurring billings.
Neetcode is another popular tech interview prep course. It is offered by an ex-Google employee who simply goes around with the nickname Neetcode.
Neetcode is Leetcode’s complement, as the former was developed to provide video explanations and solutions to the questions on Leetcode. Some of the most sought-after resources on Neetcode include Neetcode 150 and Blind 75—both compilations of Leetcode problems and solutions.
Neetcode is a place for free high-value video tutorials for aspiring programmers and software developers. It also, unlike Leetcode, provides a structure for learning coding and related topics.
Much of the content on Neetcode can be enjoyed without paying a dime. That includes the list of all 330+ questions derived from Leetcode and the algorithm roadmap that provides a learning path of topics to follow to master coding.
Alongside all of that is a free Facebook channel that contains video tutorials of many programming challenges. Neetcode also has a bustling Discord channel that is free to join for even free subscribers to Neetcode—the perfect Algoexpert alternative.
And for the paid/premium content, you will be happy to know that Neetcode also has an entire course library addressing all the core subjects every FAANG aspirant must master—minus communication skills, that is.
And like Tech Interview Pro, but again, unlike Leetcode and Algoexpert, Neetcode has a lifetime access plan that is surprisingly cheap—less than $150.
At the end of the day, it’s pretty tricky to have to choose between Leetcode and Algoexpert. Each one comes with compromises that might be too costly in the long run.
Leetcode has extensive coverage with its massive heap of questions but lacks structure, while Algoexpert tries to provide a more organized learning system but fails to provide a community.
In other words, Algoexpert and Leetcode try to remove the proverbial straw in the other’s eye but neglect their own rafters.
In the long run, I would recommend using them to complement each other to reap the full benefits because neither is sufficient.
But then, why use two separate platforms for what only one solid platform will comfortably handle for you?
If you are in for the behavioral prep and the bi-weekly Q&A, Tech Interview Pro is your best bet. Just be willing to pay the price once for all time.
And if you need the robust and (nearly) free package with the least compromises, Neetcode is the way to go!