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- PROs and CONs.
- Should you buy the Coding Cards?
Each card has two sides: a question side, and an answer side.
The question side contains the title of the card.
The answer side contains the explanation of the title. For example, what variable hoisting is (including code examples) or how quicksort works and performs.
As you can see from the images above, the cards manage to include quite a lot of information while remaining clean and readable.
The exact choice of the topics has been made to help you pass FAANG code interviews – that is, code interviews made by IT companies.
The Coding Cards are available in both digital and physical format.
The digital format, which I bought, includes 50 cards plus a card index. It comes as a multi-page, high-quality PDF.
The PDF is text-searchable, which is a great feature as you probably want to search for specific terms during your study.
You can get the digital version here.
The physical set contains 56 cards instead of 50.
The physical cards also include a QR code on the front side, linking to a YouTube video or an article explaining the card topic in more depth.
You can get the physical set here.
Flashcards have been around for centuries. In the modern age, they began gaining popularity in the 1970s.
Many studies and reviews have shown how using flashcards is an effective way of learning new information quickly.
But why are flashcards so effective?
The main reason is because they enforce retrieving and repetition.
When you study using flashcards, you train your memory with repetition, each time reinforcing the link between question and answer.
You can repeat the cards in sequence, randomly or spending more time on the ones you find more difficult to remember.
If you want to get the most out of your flashcards, you can use one of the many advanced repetition techniques that have been proposed through the years.
My favorite is a technique called spaced repetition.
In a nutshell, spaced repetition makes you repeat a card more often if you find it difficult to memorize. This technique optimizes the learning time, and it also gives the best long-term results in terms of memorization.
I personally have used spaced repetition to learn Japanese kanjis, and for me it really works great.
You can use spaced repetition with the physical Coding Cards as well as with the digital ones.
If you prefer the physical version, you can use the spaced repetition technique by creating 3 separate decks: one for the easy cards (the ones that you remember well), one for the medium-difficulty cards, and one for the hard-to-remember cards.
The more difficult a card is, the more often you must repeat it.
If you go with the digital version, I suggest you split each card and save it as a separate image or PDF, so that you can use it in spaced repetition apps such as Anki.
These apps provide a far higher level of precision compared to what you can do manually. And even though this added precision is more relevant when learning hundreds of cards, even with only 50 it still does help a little bit.
PROs and CONs.
These are the main PROs and CONs that I have found.
- The cards layout is clear, which makes studying (almost) a pleasure.
- The answers are complete and clear, without being too verbose.
- The fonts are readable.
- The graphics (especially for the dataset cards) are clear and explicative.
- The PDF is text-searchable. This comes very handy when you want to look for something during your study.
- A must-have if you are preparing for a FAANG interview.
- For the digital version, you need to manually separate each card to use them in an app like Anki.
- The code snippets could use a little more contrast.
- The code is not text-searchable (not a big deal actually, as searching inside the code is rarely useful).
- It can be hard to choose between the physical and digital versions.
Should you buy the Coding Cards?
So, the question is not whether you should learn these topics. The question is, do you already know them?
If you think that you could use some help, then I definitely suggest you try the Coding Cards.
For me this was also a chance to try flashcards for programming topics, something I never did before. And I found that the idea works great.
If you are planning to try a FAANG interview anytime soon, then the Coding Cards are a no brainer and I definitely suggest you get them.
Which version is best for you?
I went with the digital version because the physical version is only available in USA and Canada (and I live in Europe). However, I would have probably chosen the digital version anyway as I like to use apps like Anki for flashcards.
Generally speaking, the digital version gives you more flexibility.
That said, the physical version has some advantages.
You get some more cards as well as the cool QR codes. Also, some people find it easier to focus with a physical object instead of a PDF.
The physical version is also a cool idea for a nerdy gift for a developer.
If you want to give the digital version a try, you can get them by following this link or the other links in this post. In case you decide to buy, I’ll get a commission from the seller and you will help me keep this blog alive.
The images used in this article are property of The Coding Cards website.