Excited to restart career in software developement as a returnee through returnship programs

I have 5+ years of prior software development experience and a career break of 10 years.
I’m actively looking to restart my career in software development and applied for few returnship programs.
Appreciate any advise on how to approach live coding interviews for returnship programs.

I don’t know about returnship programs.

As to live coding…

First of all, practice algorithms - a lot of coding interviews are just algorithms. Cracking the Coding Interview is a good book. There are great sites to practice like leet code. Look for meetups near you - I used to go to some where we would do algorithms. At one we would occasionally do mock interviews. I met a guy there and we would sometimes together give each other a challenge and do a coding interview.

Also, learn big O notation. And learn (practice) pseudo code.

Actually in a coding interview?

Talk. Explain what you are thinking - that is a big part of what they are looking for - how do you think. You might even not solve a challenge, but they may like how you are thinking. Plus, talking (communicating) is a very, very important part of the job.

Don’t be afraid to try a less-than-perfect solution. If I have an algorithm challenge, I may say, “OK, I think I could come up with at a really slick hash table solution, but I have limited time, so let me try a more obvious approach first to make sure I get something that works.”

The first job that I got, had 3 coding challenges - I actually didn’t finish the last one, I ran out of time. But I took the last minute and explained what I was thinking and how I would have solved it. They liked how I thought about it and how I communicated.

Read the instructions closely.

If something isn’t clear, ask. Sometimes they will deliberately make something vague to see if you ask for clarification, as a good coder should. You shouldn’t start anything until you understand the problem and what is wanted. Sometimes your question will make the task easier - on purpose.

Listen. I once had a coding interview where I was really struggling. My approach was just wrong. The next day I was thinking back over the interview and I realized that the interviewer was trying to hint me in the right direction, I was just too pig headed to notice. Do you think I got that job? Sometimes they are trying to help you, to see how well you work with other people.

Try to seem like a fun guy/gal. You want to seem like someone that would be fun and easy to work with. Be communicative, animated. Laugh, have a sense of humor about yourself.

But every coding interview is different. You just have to roll with it.

You can find some taped coding interviews on YouTube - take a look.

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