AlgoMonster or Algoexpert? Should we be coding monsters or coding experts?
No pun intended, but honestly, the naming scheme could get you thinking of these two platforms as twin brothers jealous of each other.
They are both different tools but with the same mission of training software engineers to pass the interviews that stand between them and their dream jobs.
These days, interviews are among the most dreaded part of the hiring process, especially in big companies like the FAANG group.
You either prepare for them using the free resources on the internet, or you sign up with a platform that brings all that information in one place.
But when you have two platforms with such heavy titles as “monster” and “expert” to choose from, you know some serious competition is going on.
There must be a better one, though, and that’s why I came up with this review to give an unbiased analysis of each one to see which one lives up to its claim.
AlgoMonster is a prep platform that helps aspiring software engineers prepare for their tech interviews.
It provides an online environment where students learn the patterns that tech interview questions follow.
It even lists common patterns in tech interview problems and organizes them in their order of difficulty.
Then out of that list as well, it highlights the ones that you should highly anticipate from the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Expedia, and Airbnb.
The course puts a high emphasis not just on learning but also on self-practice.
For every pattern, there is a notebook style article teeming with explanations of the concept and visual illustrations such as diagrams for an interactive learning experience.
After that, there are a lot of questions that follow under that specific pattern that you can use for self-practice.
The questions are solved in the interactive workspace, which has a code editor to work with. You can also view code solutions in your preferred programming language in real time.
But note that there is a free section while most explanations and questions are reserved for premium subscribers.
Other exciting features make the course a good choice for tech interview prep.
For instance, there is an in-house evaluator. Before you start learning any topic, you can take the quiz in the evaluator section, get your score and then see your weak area(s) and where you should probably start learning.
There is also a progress tracker that shows you your current level and contains a detailed skills analysis.
AlgoMonster has about 151 courses. After completing its curriculum, you will have mastered up to 48 patterns and solved about 161 problems.
That lends credence to their claim that you will get at least one offer from a tech company after finishing their curriculum.
Unlike other training programs, AlgoMonster is entirely text-based. That’s right, no video, no live classes.
We will summarise more of its features in the comparison overview section of this article.
Up next: Algoexpert overview.
Algoexpert is also a tech interview prep platform for expectant software engineers.
It also claims to be the ultimate resource for coding interviews.
Algoexpert shares the same ideology with AlgoMonster. It trains students on the patterns to learn to tackle interview questions easily.
How it (Algoexpert) delivers that training is significantly different.
Training is online but consists of explainer videos rather than notes. But the interactive workspace where you can solve the problems in the code editor and get real-time answers is very much around.
The problems are organized into four categories; easy, medium, hard, and very hard.
After completing the curriculum, you will get the Algoexpert certificate that you can add to your resume to boost your profile.
You don’t get that with AlgoMonster.
Algoexpert’s training also includes mock interviews, absent in AlgoMonster, as well as curated assessments
Algoexpert’s mode of training is also online, but it uses explainer videos to teach
The training on Algoexpert revolves around coding and topics in data structures along with space-time complexity analyses.
Like in AlgoMonster, the training is self-paced, which is one advantage that comes along with the use of pre-recorded videos or explanatory notes.
AlgoMonster Vs. Algoexpert —Comparison Overview
AlgoMonster isn’t a one-person production but a joint effort by several Google engineers. They had used Leetcode for their interview prep but were frustrated by the grind and decided that others didn’t need that.
Algoexpert, on the other hand, is the brainchild of Clement Mihailescu, an ex-Facebook engineer.
More comparisons are drawn in the table below.
|Supported Programming Languages||7||9|
|Number of Questions||161||231|
|Object-oriented programming design||Yes||No|
|Mock interviews and curated assessments||No||Yes|
AlgoMonster Course Outline & Features
AlgoMonster’s course outline spans basic coding to advanced programming and object-oriented design.
The course outline, though not very comprehensive, covers many of the technical aspects every software engineer should be armed with and some more.
I say it’s not very comprehensive because it lacks training in communication skills which are just as important as the technical skills themselves.
The entire 48 patterns cover more than 20 different topics. These topics are arranged in the hierarchy of complexity.
The order goes this way: core patterns, advanced patterns, OOP design, and system design.
1. Core Patterns
As usual, you must start from somewhere. This section covers the basics before moving into more complex topics.
If it has been long since you left college, you will find that you have become rusty in some of the basics of coding.
Besides, many people fall into the trap of disregarding the more fundamental aspects because they expect the interview to be so tough as to bring out only the advanced topics.
However, interviewers also need you to know the basics very well because they know you will learn on the job, but that won’t be possible if you can solve fundamental coding problems.
Let’s now see the topics you should be expecting in this section:
1.1 Binary search
1.2 Depth-first search
1.4 Depth-first search
1.5 Graph Intro
1.6 Topological sort
1.7 Two pointers
1.8 Priority queue/heap
2. Advanced Patterns
This section goes deeper into the more advanced topics.
And as you’ll expect, many of these topics come out in the interview questions too.
2.1. Dynamic Program
2.2. Dynamic Programming Patterns
2.3. Disjoint Set Union/Union Find
2.5. Segment Tree
2.6. Divide and Conquer
2.7. Monotonic Stack
2.9. Composite Patterns
3. OOP Design
In this section, things get practical. You will be solving questions (some free, majority premium) that require you to create programs for specific tasks such as games and public digital facilities.
The topics here are,
3.1. Playing Cards
3.2. Parking Spots
3.3 Public Library
3.4. Call Centre
3.5. Vending Machine
4. System Design
System design gets plenty of attention in AlgoMonster.
The scheme of work here covers basic and advanced system design concepts.
There is just enough for every software engineer to have more than just a basic understanding of the systems in many gadgets and other devices.
The following is a list of the topics under the system design category:
4.1. Load Balancing
4.2. Partitioning and Sharding
4.4. Web Crawler
4.5. Tiny URL
Algoexpert Course Outline & Features
Now let’s talk about Algoexpert’s course outline.
The first thing you’ll start with is the video crash course on data structures.
Algoexpert’s course outline is then structured into about 160 questions spanning 15 categories.
Each question has a video explanation of the concept involved, and then you can go ahead with the workings.
But we find a limited menu on the table here. The course outline only treats basic coding and data structure topics.
There is no system design training included in the package unless you pay more.
Let’s go over the topics as they are listed:
4. Linked Lists
5. Binary Strings
7. Dynamic programming
10. Greedy Algorithms
12. Famous Algorithms
14. Binary Search trees
AlgoMonster Vs. Algoexpert —Pricing
We are eager to see how these competitors tip the scales about pricing.
The reason is that pricing is probably the primary factor that can make or break your choice.
At least, some people can squeeze out their cash to enjoy every bit of technological wonder from an expensive platform or software.
And on the flip side, some would trim their expectations and settle for less to conserve funds.
No doubt, you fall into one of these two categories. Read on for the pricing details.
Algoexpert—$39 one-time payment for one year of access.
AlgoMonster—$99 one-time payment for lifetime access (limited time offer). Regular price—$320.
Which Tech Interview Prep Platform is Better?
The preceding sections of this review have shown us what these two prep platforms are.
And now, it’s time to see whose side of the contest we should flock to based on all we’ve learned.
Let’s now shift the chaff from the grains and see what we end up with.
Just so you know, we will base our judgment on the following parameters: depth of training, mode of training, track record, supported languages, support period, pricing, community, and extras.
1. Depth of Training
AlgoMonster and Algoexpert both claim to give intensive training on coding and other software tech topics.
But one is the clear winner here.
The primary topics in tech interviews are usually coding, data structures and algorithms (DS&A), system design, and communication.
Neither gives training on communication skills, so they both lose out in that aspect.
However, Algoexpert trails behind AlgoMonster as the former lacks system design training.
2. Mode of Training
AlgoMonster and Algoexpert take very different paths as to methods of training.
They are both online, but the monster uses notebook-style interactive articles while the expert is wholly video explanations.
You’ll have to decide which suits your preference in this aspect, so there is no clear-cut winner here.
It’s a tie.
3. Track Record
AlgoMonster and Algoexpert have solid track records, helping thousands of people land jobs yearly in FAANG companies.
That’s in no small part because they are both owned by industry experts who once had to face tech interviews before.
Here as well, it’s a tie.
4. Supported Languages
No doubt, you want a tech interview platform that supports not just the programming language you are most familiar with but a wide variety of programming languages for more versatility.
5. Support Period
The best training platforms don’t just teach you and let you go. They allow you access them forever—as long as both of you exist.
And you know what that means, lifetime access to articles, videos, questions, and every other resource.
In Algoexpert, you only have one year to benefit from them after paying fully.
It’s a different ball game with AlgoMonster. Lifetime access is the deal.
We had a peek at the respective pricing of the two platforms in the pricing section of this review.
AlgoMonster is priced higher than Algoexpert. And once AlgoMonster’s limited-time offer expires, the difference in the regular prices only gets higher.
A community is part of the things we’ve come to love about the best platforms.
With them, we can connect with like minds and tap knowledge from the experts.
But this is a feature exclusive to only AlgoMonster, so it’s another minus for Algoexpert.
When we pick a particular software or platform, we are eager to see what additional perks it offers.
These extra features can make the platform in question better fitted to our needs.
Speaking of AlgoMonster and Algoexpert, which offers more, and not just more, but meaningful perks? Let’s see.
- Company-specific online assessment question bank.
- Progress tracker.
- Evaluator. (helps you know to identify your area of weakness)
- Mock interviews.
- Curated Assessments.
- Certificate for profile boost.
In this case, you will have to decide which extra features are more important to you.
So here again, it’s a tie.
As you can see, there is some stiff competition between these two platforms.
However, I’m inclined to give the nod to AlgoMonster for its more comprehensive curriculum with lifetime access.
Its company-specific online assessment question bank that gives a kind of AOC for different tech companies is also a hell of a bonus.
This AlgoMonster versus Algoexpert face-off has been a decisive one.
At least if you have some well-defined preferences for your tech interview platform.
AlgoMonster is for those who want a little bit of more advanced coaching that stays with you for life.
And Algoexpert is mainly targeted at those who are content with something closer to the basics, as you can see from its rather skinny curriculum.