Hey there! It's been a while! I'll keep trying to make blog updates a 'regular thing', and every time I fall off the wagon, I'll just keep getting back on.
Between my last post and today, I've been occupied with a lot of different tasks both at work (at Ibotta, doing data engineering) and away from work (personal development goals and training). At work, I've been diving deeper into Hive and Presto optimization, management, and consulting (mostly within our data lake but also a bit with our data warehouse).
Outside of work, I've been proceeding along several different learning tracks:
The latter pursuit has been both humbling and incredibly rewarding - I really enjoy coding puzzles/challenges, and the Contest environment keeps me on my toes, improves my problem solving ability under pressure, and helps cultivate and retain a genuine empathy for tech interviewees who are seeing a coding problem for the first time.
I'll keep plugging away at these contests, but I'll likely have to think critically about my approach if I want to start breaking into and beyond the 90th percentile of contest participants. Nowadays I'm typically pretty fast at successfully and cleanly solving 2-3 out of 4 of the contest problems. To break through, I'm likely going to have to make a concentrated effort at learning and building facility at the common algorithms that come up in the 4th and last problem of each contest (usually designated 'hard'). I can sometimes solve these, but many of them have approaches that are really tough to figure out quickly and effectively.
Below is a chart of where I've been at (percentile-wise) in the recent Weekly and Biweekly LeetCode Contests. Wish me luck in continuing to strive for better performances (and having fun while doing so)!
Figure 1. Weekly and Biweekly LeetCode percentiles during Spring 2020. I've gotten a lot better at quickly solving most Contests' first through third problems ('easy' through 'medium' difficulty), but I'm going to have to focus and work hard to break through my '4th problem plateau' if I want to start consistently getting into the 90th percentile and above!