I paid for the Neetcode Pro lifetime version, and it is one of the best interview prep resources I have ever reviewed.
Compared to expensive boot camps and courses, it is more valuable and affordable at the same time.
Neetcode provides solutions to popular coding interview questions and some of the LeetCode problems.
The solutions are easy-to-understand and there is a roadmap to guide you.
Neetcode has become a popular tech interview prep platform, but what does it bring to the table?
I have prepared a thorough review of the platform, where I document my findings while testing the platform.
What free resources does it contain, its pros and cons, what are users saying about it, and finally, is it worth it?
So grab a cup of coffee, and let’s proceed.
Overview of Neetcode
Neetcode is an online video tutorial platform created by a software engineer to equip tech interview candidates with all the skills relevant to coding interviews.
In other words, Former Neet, the maker (his real name is obscure), presents the course as a solid alternative to using coding textbooks and expensive courses to prepare for coding interviews.
The course platform has a free version and a premium version, but they were merged into one when the latter launched.
Neetcode promises to deliver excellent results. As part of its package, the platform juggles data structure, algorithms, and systems design—must-have skills for any programmer.
Beyond that, many of the questions solved on Neetcode are problems which have been featured in past interviews by tech titans like Google, Microsoft, et cetera.
Neetcode is a better version of Leetcode.
Neetcode provides solutions to Leetcode problems in an easy-to-understand manner, which is why it’s increasing in popularity.
Given that background, it’s all clear for a deep dive into what Neetcode offers.
How Does It Help You As A Software Engineer?
Neetcode was created by a software engineer at Google, and it helps a lot that the creator learned from scratch many of the things he teaches in his courses.
Besides, Neetcode’s creator didn’t get his job at Google on the platter of gold. He failed at least one interview before finally cracking the Google interview that got him a job in 2022.
That goes to show that enrolling on Neetcode might actually be much better than asking Google, “Hey, what’s the best course to learn data structure (or any other coding domain).”
You won’t have to deal with the stress of putting together your study materials on your own, and you won’t have to struggle with confusing explanations of coding ideas from some random website on the internet.
Aspiring developers can also learn from Neetcode’s failures and successes, and then apply them to land a job in a top tech company.
Neetcode has also embedded many features into its learning platform that help streamline your learning process and even save costs if you are on a tight budget.
Let’s go through them one at a time:
The YouTube channel was a predecessor to the course platform and provides a lot of videos on coding topics for free.
Aside from coding topics, you also get up to speed on the latest trends in the technological arena, like the recent layoffs by major tech companies and the super smart but controversial ChatGPT-4.
The channel is waxing strong and has over 370k subscribers and more than 300 videos.
But the real value comes from the channel playlists.
The playlists contain over 200 videos in about 15 categories covering data structure, algorithm, and system design concepts.
These playlists, such as the Blind75, contain explicit explanations of even hard-to-understand concepts in their respective domains.
Free Resources on Neetcode.io
YouTube channel aside, there are many other free resources on Neetcode.io.
You will hardly find another online code tutorial platform that gives a recommended order of topics for free.
The practice questions are spread across all topics in the roadmap.
The practice questions are in three categories, namely: Blind75, Neetcode150, and Neetcode All.
The Blind75 lists popular algorithm practice problems, while the Neetcode150 adds 75 questions.
And as the name suggests, Neetcode All contains all 330 questions that Neetcode has solved on his YouTube channel.
The course creator has solved all of these problems on his YouTube channel, and you will find a link to that next to each problem.
For progress tracking, you can check off all the problems you’ve completed, which is a nice usability feature.
You can also sort challenges by difficulty levels—easy, medium, and hard.
At this point, I should add that in the Neetcode All category; you’ll find about four or five locked questions. Clicking on them will take you to LeetCode, where you need a premium subscription.
That’s unsurprising, given that some of Neetcode’s challenges are sourced from LeetCode.
Last but by no means least, there is a Discord channel that’s accessible to all Neetcoders without cost.
There, users can interact with each other in a variety of ways, such as by sharing their progress and their coding projects.
Features of Neetcode Pro – What Is Inside?
An online course platform gunning for the top spot needs the right feature set to stand apart from the crowd.
Does Neetcode have features that really make a significant difference between it and some random coding tutorial site?
That’s the next destination in this review:
Neetcode has dozens of hours of pre-recorded video courses aside from the ones it provides for free via its YouTube channel.
These courses are part of the pro version of Neetcode and cover five essential domains:
Algorithms & Data Structure For Beginners (8.5 Hours Videos)
This course treats beginner topics in data structure and algorithms. It is also geared toward those needing a refresher or switching careers.
They will learn about all the topics asked in a typical coding interview, such as Arrays, Linked Lists, Recursion, Sorting to Binary Search, Trees, Backtracking, and more.
The modules contain an in-depth article, a few free videos, the solution source code, some coding challenges, and a solution-walk-through video explainer.
Advanced Algorithms (8 Hours of Videos)
This course has a free article (usually a premium perk) on Kaden’s algorithm for solving time complexity challenges. Then it moves to other advanced topics like Knapsack, Topological Sort, Iterative DFS, Segment Tree, Krusal’s, Palindromes, etc.
System Design For Beginners (5 Hours Videos)
This course details what goes into building large scalable systems by using large networks of computers.
There are 21 modules in total, including two free videos on Computer Architecture and Application Architecture.
From there, you move on to KPIs, networking, APIs, caching, proxies, storage, and Big Data.
System Design Interviews (4.5 Hours)
The System Design Interview section begins with a free introductory video on approaching a system design interview.
The course then moves on to the practical aspect of designing such popular platforms as TinyURL, Discord, YouTube, Google Drive, et cetera.
This course helps you develop a programmer’s mindset and will enable you to be able to apply some expert intuition to various system design projects.
Object-Oriented Design Interview (2 Hours)
The OOD Interview Course exposes you to a simulated interview process that mimics a game-building process.
You must apply all the information and practical experience you’ve gleaned from previous modules to build working systems.
Design Connect Four is a free design interview project that you’ll start with.
Then you’ll move on to Blackjack and real-life use applications like a parking lot, a bank, and a movie recommendation system.
Good User Experience
One thing you will immediately notice about Neetcode.io is how simple the website is.
You can easily find your way around the website because the icons are well-arranged and easy to spot.
Features like dark mode also add to the usability of the website.
Loading times are also okay if you have a reliable internet connection.
The Discord channel is accessible to paid members. The community has a large number of subscribers of all skill levels and can be a big boost to newbies in coding.
At first, Neetcode was solely video courses, and while the videos are okay, not everybody likes learning through video.
So after some time, Neetcode started adding text-based courses with rich text and visuals. Most of them are reserved for paid subscribers, however.
Lifetime Access for Paid Subscription
You can opt for a yearly Neetcode pro subscription, but if you add a bit more money, you can pay for lifetime access.
How Much Does It Cost?
As of the time of this writing, Neetcode Pro has a yearly subscription plan and a one-off plan as well.
The former is billed at $99 yearly, while the lifetime plan will set you back by $129.
Both plans give you access to the same advanced features, including new additions, and the only difference is in the duration of access.
I purchased the lifetime plan, which is the best offer yet.
While my testing of the resources in Neetcode left me with mostly positive feelings, I decided to check out what other users were saying about the platform, and here are some of the comments:
From Neetcode’s Discord channel:
Most Neetcode’s users (even on Reddit) are happy with the platform’s content.
Cons of Neetcode (Complaints)
Neetcode has all the earmarks of an excellent coding interview prep platform, especially considering the abundance of free resources and the low entry fee for lifetime access.
Nevertheless, not everything is perfect here, as the platform lacks some basic functionalities that the average tech interview prep platform should have.
I will go ahead to highlight them below.
If an IDE is high on your list of must-haves for a coding practice platform, Neetcode might not be for you.
The platform has no in-house coding editor, so you can’t get real-time feedback on your code solutions.
The absence of an IDE also makes setup a bit more stressful, as you must get a platform that supports it before you start learning.
No Behavioral Interview Prep
Behavioral prep teaches you such qualities as teamwork, communication, leadership, et cetera—qualities that are much sought after by interviewers.
Your technical skills can only take you so far because rather than working solo, you will work with other programmers to advance the company’s interest.
Is It Worth It?
While Neetcode falls short in a few crucial areas, expecting perfection from any human production is a tall order.
Based on my experience with Neetcode, I can assure you that it punches above its weight.
None of Neetcode’s competitors in any price category can come close to the number of free resources it provides. The course structure is also stellar, especially when you consider the algorithm roadmap that outlines your learning process for you.
It doesn’t end there. For less than $200, you get access to all current content on the platform and future updates for as long as Neetcode exists. It’s almost impossible to find that kind of guarantee elsewhere.
Although cons like lack of IDE and behavioral prep might be legitimate turn-offs, there’s always the possibility that the missing features will debut in future platform versions.
Until that happens, there will always be workarounds to offset the absence of those key features.
In the meantime, Neetcode has far more good than bad, and I recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive way to practice their coding skills without compromising on quality.
Neetcode vs. Leetcode
Here’s fulfilling my earlier promise to explain how NC and LC differ.
At first glance, Neetcode can look like it was spun out of LeetCode, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Both coding platforms contain many examples of real interview questions at FAANG companies and others, but one is more beginner-friendly.
And that’s Neetcode. The reason is that it focuses on explaining how to solve the problems you will encounter on LeetCode.
LeetCode itself is a vast library of coding questions—over 2,700—of all skill levels, and you can filter these questions based on several parameters. I especially like the company-specific search and the sort by frequency.
Aside from that, there are sparse video explanations and little guidance for your learning process.
The following is an analysis of LeetCode’s pros and cons compared to Neetcode:
Plenty of Interview Questions
If numbers were everything, LeetCode would be the winner. The few thousands of questions on the platform make it highly likely that when you go for your interview (s), you might be presented with a question you have solved before on LeetCode.
The killer feature here is the company-specific search. You can choose to focus on questions from a particular tech company.
Then there is the filter by frequency. You can select questions based on how often they appear in interview sessions. Only LeetCode has it among all the coding interview prep platforms available.
Mock assessment is available to premium users. The evaluation is grouped according to companies, giving you an experience of what to expect.
LeetCode’s free version is a highly sought-after feature that allows you access to many practice challenges. However, it’s constrained and can only go so far in helping your preparation.
Interview Opportunities on the Platform
LeetCode wasn’t built only for aspiring programmers. It’s also a talent scout platform where companies roam to find potential employees.
By signing up for the premium plans, you can add yourself to the leaderboards as you successfully solve more problems. Your score increases in relation to other users on the platform, and you can get a chance to stand out.
Here are some of the downsides of LeetCode.
Difficult for Beginners
LeetCode has many coding questions that are more complex than what even a company like Google will ask.
Ultimately, those questions don’t boost your chances of passing the coding interview, as no one will ask them.
Poorly Structured Courses
Apart from the interview crash course for data structure and algorithms, other topics have sparse organization.
LeetCode is a heap of questions on random specific topics that should have been categorized into broader domains.
Questions are Needlessly Complicated
Behind LeetCode’s questions is the assumption that you are already skilled enough to attempt the questions.
Thus, if you are a stranger to programming and want to switch careers, there are other options than LeetCode.
Neetcode is easier on beginners because of the multitude of explanations provided in the course.
Inadequate Video Explanations
Not all questions get enough explanation in the videos.
And overall, the videos take the topics to an advanced level. So you must have a core programming background to understand them.
I recommend using the free LeetCode alongside with Neetcode Pro to enjoy the best of the two platforms.
LeetCode will equip you with questions and NeetCode will arm you with easy-to-understand solutions to LeetCode problems and other coding interview problems.