LeetCode vs. HackerRank: Which Is Better For Coding Interviews?

LeetCode is a website that is often compared to another website called HackerRank because of its similar offerings in terms of providing a coding interview preparation platform for software engineering candidates. For instance, both of these platforms allow you to solve coding interview questions on their platforms, submit questions to evaluate for correctness and efficiency, and learn about common patterns that are asked within coding interviews.

LeetCode versus HackerRank

In this article, we’ll discuss what HackerRank is in detail, explaining the different features between HackerRank and LeetCode. We’ll also discuss whether LeetCode is better than HackerRank in terms of its costs, amount of questions, and quality of the questions.

What Is HackerRank?

HackerRank is an online software engineer interview platform founded by Vivek Ravisankar and Hari Karunanidhi in July 2009. It serves the two main purposes of providing a coding interview practice platform for software engineering candidates and providing a platform for employers like VMware, LinkedIn, and Twitter to screen and hire software engineers. 

The platform supports multiple programming languages such as Python, C++, Java, and JavaScript to solve its coding interview problems. It is known for its 1-week and 1-month coding interview preparation kits, which are a curated list of problems to solve within a time window.

HackerRank website with 2 preparation kits for interviews

HackerRank is often compared with LeetCode, another coding interview preparation platform, for the purposes of interview preparation because they both provide a way for candidates to practice numerous technical interview questions on their sites.

What Features Are Different Between HackerRank and LeetCode?

Features that are different between HackerRank and LeetCode include the presentation of the problems, the quality of explanations for solutions to the coding problems, and the number of tests for a problem.

The presentation of the problems in HackerRank is relatively more complex and hard to understand compared to LeetCode. Descriptions of the problems tend to be long, often mathematical, more non-intuitive, and non-visual when compared to LeetCode problems. While it’s more complex, this is often how a company’s software engineering online assessments are because they use HackerRank to facilitate assessments.

The quality of explanations for solutions to coding problems is also lower than LeetCode. This is likely attributed to the fact that there are many more users on LeetCode than on HackerRank, so the admins and users are more likely to write detailed and informative explanations of problem solutions.

The number of tests, in general, for each coding problem is lower on HackerRank than it is on LeetCode. As a result, there’s a likely chance that HackerRank misses test cases that could be tested for on real interviews.

What Are Other Alternatives To HackerRank and LeetCode?

Alternatives to HackerRank and LeetCode include platforms like Codecademy, AlgoExpert, CodeForces, KhanAcademy, Codewars, and Project Euler. These alternatives each have their specific advantages in terms of what they provide. For instance, CodeForces provides rigorous problems for the hardest coding interviews and Khan Academy provides a platform that can be used for learning about the fundamentals of computer science and programming.

It’s important to leverage the 7 best alternatives to LeetCode to help you strengthen your weaknesses in interview preparation.

Is LeetCode Better Than HackerRank?

LeetCode is better than HackerRank overall if your goal is to learn and practice as many relevant coding interview questions as possible. The LeetCode platform is tailored specifically for this purpose while the HackerRank platform has other focuses that aren’t strictly related to candidates practicing for technical interviews.

However, whether LeetCode is better than HackerRank depends on your own personal goals. Some of the other criteria to consider are whether LeetCode is more expensive than HackerRank, whether LeetCode has more interview questions than HackerRank, and whether LeetCode has higher quality questions than HackerRank.

Is LeetCode More Expensive Than HackerRank?

No. LeetCode and HackerRank are both free platforms to use to practice interview questions, meaning they’re not more expensive than each other in their free tier. However, LeetCode premium (the LeetCode paid tier) costs $35 per month or $159 per year which gives you additional benefits such as detailed solution explanations, the ability to filter coding interview questions by companies, and faster interview question scoring. 

HackerRank does not have a paid-tier program for candidates who are practicing for coding interviews.

Does LeetCode Have More Questions Than HackerRank?

Yes. LeetCode has substantially more questions than HackerRank. It has over 1,800 coding interview questions which is significantly more than HackerRank’s less than 300 coding interview questions. 

Does LeetCode Have Higher Quality Questions Than HackerRank?

Yes. LeetCode has higher quality questions than HackerRank in terms of what would be asked during real phone and onsite interviews, the most important coding interviews for deciding whether or not to hire a candidate. However, HackerRank’s questions are structurally more similar to what you’ll receive in an online assessment-type interview as a screening interview for software engineering roles.

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