Number of questions
(50, highly relevant)
Quality of instruction
(high-quality explanations & progressive hints)
(3-month or yearly plan)
(Reasonable monthly subscription)
Let’s review both Interview Cake and Leetcode and see which one fits you best.
If you’re looking to maximize your Data structures & Algorithms knowledge, level up your skills in solving coding problems, and get ready for coding interviews, you have a number of platforms to choose from.
Leetcode and IC are two of these options. Here’s
- what they offer..
- where they’re falling short..
- who comes out on top:
How Interview Cake and LeetCode are similar
The concept behind IC and LC is similar – so it makes sense that some of their features overlap.
For some of them, one comes out slightly ahead of the other. For others, they’re all but equal.
Both require a coding and data structures & algorithm background
You don’t need to have a computer science degree or even a bootcamp education to benefit from LeetCode or Interview Cake.
But enrolling in one of these programs only makes sense if you’re proficient in at least one programming language and know the basics of Data Structures & Algorithms.
IC is a bit more beginner-friendly because you get more structure and step-by-step guidance, while LeetCode is well-suited for someone who wants to master the widest possible variety of coding questions – and isn’t afraid to brute-force his way through hundreds of problems to get there.
Unlike some other coding interview prep platforms, Interview Cake doesn’t have instructional videos. LC has some user-generated videos, but most of them aren’t as polished and of professional quality.
It’s still mostly text-based, so they’re similar in that regard.
The lack of videos doesn’t have to be a negative: With written instructions, you’re going to be more proactive and focused on your next steps, as opposed to sitting back and absorbing a lecture.
Neither of these courses requires you to learn a new programming language if you don’t want to.
You can pick one of 11 languages in Interview Cake – it’ll then automatically switch all explanations and examples to the one you’ve chosen. Leetcode even offers you 18.
As Parker Phinney states: Questions asked at Google aren’t unique to Google. But there’s still some quirks to each company and a pool of likely questions they’ve chosen from in the past.
Based on this historical data, both LC and IC give you lists of specific questions you can use to prepare if you’re interviewing for FAANG or similar top-tier companies.
Paid & free content
LeetCode’s free tier gives you access to hundreds of coding problems and solutions – it’s superior in this regard.
At IC, you do get to see the whole table of contents without having to pay for Interview Cake. You can also read some of their articles and interview tips, and even access full solutions for select problems.
But LC’s free offer is more complete, and you could argue against the need to even pay for the premium tier.
Ability to filter questions
While IC’s program is more tightly focused, both candidates give you the option to filter questions and work only on what you like.
You can filter by category & company in Interview Cake and by difficulty, frequency & company in LeetCode.
Let’s now explore the differences of Interview Cake vs Leetcode, of which there are a few as well.
What’s better with Interview Cake
Seeing as IC is one of the highest-quality interview prep programs available today, it manages to beat LC in several areas.
In-depth detailed explanations
This is where Parker’s program shines:
The solutions and explanations thereof are top-notch. After you’ve worked through one of IC’s problems and taken in every detail of the instruction, there’s no guesswork left.
No need to go off into a forum to figure out the how & why.
It’s all right there – each question has on average a whole page of instructions to go along with it. That’s superior to LeetCode’s user-generated solutions and assistance.
Similar to a real coding interview, if you can’t get further on your own, you can get hints to help you get to a functional solution.
This makes you learn more effectively than with Leetcode, where you either have to keep struggling on your own, seek help in the forums, or reveal the whole solution at once.
The 100% money-back guarantee
Unlike with LeetCode, you can get your course fees back if you feel the program isn’t for you after all, or it didn’t help you get the results you wanted. Simply email the founder and he’ll refund you everything.
Apparently though most students are happy with Interview Cake: They’re boasting a low refund rate of only 2%.
Where LeetCode wins
On the other hand, LC does some things better than IC:
The sheer volume of questions
Yes, this feature of LeetCode could be seen as a negative: It’s easy to get overwhelmed by its wealth of questions.
But if you’re one of the most dedicated learners – someone ready and willing to invest more time and energy into your interview prep than everyone else – it’s a plus.
You’ll never run out of practice problems, you’ll be able to cover each topic from all angles, and after mastering hundreds of LeetCode questions, no interviewer will be able to catch you off-guard.
A form of mock interviews
Leetcode offers mock interviews not with a hiring manager or even one of your peers – but a simulator that gives you timed questions specific to a company you choose (e.g., Netflix.)
This isn't the same as talking to a human being, but it's still useful for practicing your skill in solving coding problems under some form of pressure.
The possibility to get discovered and hired by recruiters
If you're active on Leetcode and set your profile to public, you have a chance of being contacted by recruiters who are often browsing the platform looking for a suitable hire.
There's also frequent contests on the website, where if you place at the top, companies are likely to reach out to you with interview offers.
Comparing pricing structure
When we look at what both prep platforms cost, Leetcode is ahead.
A premium subscription to LC is $13.25 per month right now – a competitive price.
Access to Interview Cake is more pricey for their 3-month or 12-month plan. This investment makes sense if you're committed to going through their whole program and optimally prepare for interviews within those timeframes.
If you're just dipping your toes is, going with Leetcode's cheap monthly plan could make more sense.
Final Verdict - IC for deep learning, LC for volume
Interview Cake's way of teaching is the best in the business. The page-long explanations, progressive hints and summary of takeaways & common mistakes guide you to understand each problem.
Doing Leetcode feels a bit more scattered with its thousands of questions and mostly user-generated solutions – but if you're going for working on as many problems as you can, it's a good choice as well.
Using both might be the best approach
If I was preparing for a coding interview right now, I'd go through Interview Cake's focused curriculum to master the essentials. This puts you in a strong position to handle the questions you'll face most frequently.
You'll also learn common patterns to problems, so you'll be able to deal even with questions you haven't explicitly practiced before.
After that use Leetcode if you want to take the next step and drill your new skills on close to unlimited challenges.
It could be argued that you don’t even need to buy LeetCode’s premium plan to do this, and still be 100% ready for your next interview.
Alternatives to Interview Cake and Leetcode
In my article on Interview Cake alternatives, I review six more platforms like IC you could consider for your coding interview preparation.
Whichever course you end up choosing – the greatest ingredient to your success will be the diligent work you put in. Good luck in your interview preparation, may you crush it and get that Software Engineering position you're looking for!