HackerRank Vs. LeetCode: Which Is Better?

This is about HakerRank vs. LeetCode.

HackerRank and LeetCode are places where programmers are solving problems, and companies want to hire.

Learn the differences bettween HackerRank and LeetCode and which one is better.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

HackerRank Vs. LeetCode: Which Is Better?

HackerRank and LeetCode are popular online competitive programming platforms for software engineers who are looking to practice for their technical interviews.

Lately, these platforms have been gaining popularity among recruiters and developers alike. 

Both platforms are great ways to provide an easy way to practice common algorithmic and data structure problems in preparation for an interview (or anything else).

Here, we’ll touch on the basics behind both platforms, compare and contrast them, and narrow down which one is better for you and your company.

So without further ado, let’s do this:

What Is LeetCode?

Leetcode is an online platform where people—particularly software engineers—exercise their coding skills. There are over 800 questions (and it’s still growing), each with various solutions.

Each question is ranked by level of difficulty, ranging from easy, medium, and hard. Some of the most popular alternative websites to LeetCode include HackerRank, InterviewBit, and Topcoder.

LeetCode’s questions support more than just one programming language, so you can do them in the languages you know best and avoid unnecessary and laborious learning. Correctly, LeetCode supports:

  • Bash
  • C
  • C#
  • C++
  • Go
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Kotlin
  • MySQL
  • MS SQL
  • Oracle
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Rust
  • Scala
  • Swift

Aside from coding, LeetCode allows community discussions, serving as one of its most valuable assets.

The community is the number one feature users talk about, and it works as a great resource for gaining insight into how others solve problems while learning from others’ mistakes.

LeetCode offers a premium paid subscription, called LeetCode Premium, which costs $35 per month, or $159 per year. It provides users access to interview simulations, a built-in debugger, and premium solutions and problems. 

With LeetCode Premium, users have access to over 300 unique questions like:

  • Find the Start and End Number of Continuous Ranges
  • Print Immutable Linked List in Reverse
  • Customers Who Bought Products A and B but Not C
  • Palindrome Removal
  • Minimum Time to Build Blocks
  • Missing Number In Arithmetic Progression
  • Check If a String Is a Valid Sequence from Root to Leaves Path in a Binary Tree

What Does LeetCode Do?

LeetCode’s mission is to assist software engineers in strengthening their skills, learning how to use them, prepare for technical interviews, and expand their knowledge. They offer more than 1,800 questions which are divided into three skill levels:

  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard

Premium members also have access to problem sets that are based on company questions.

Today, LeetCode remains one of the largest communities for developers. They continue to have thousands of active users and a robust discussion board.

To challenge themselves and earn rewards, users can participate in contests. Some contests are sponsored by big companies searching for potential hiring candidates. 

LeetCode includes 14 coding languages mentioned above, and users can write, debug, and test their projects online through their playground.

Who Uses LeetCode?

LeetCode is primarily for software engineers looking to advance their skills and practice technical questions.

Users can prepare for technical interviews and keep their skills sharp by mastering the questions at each level.

LeetCode also offers a large number of solutions with the reasoning behind each step, so software engineers that aren’t as skilled can still benefit from LeetCode.

What Is HackerRank?

Similar to LeetCode, HackerRank is a website where programmers located all over the world gather together to practice different programming paradigms like functional programming, as well as solve problems in a wide range of Computer Science domains like machine learning, artificial intelligence, or algorithms.

Designed to help businesses of all kinds, HackerRank is a pre-employment testing solution that plans, sources, screens, interviews, and ultimately hires qualified applicants using a centralized dashboard. 

HackerRank provides virtual whiteboards and customizable IDE environments to evaluate and grade various candidates based on their designing skills and strengths to create remote hiring operations. 

The platform also allows managers to establish test cutoff scores and create a list of selected students from career sites to make on-campus visits easier.

Overall, most users have a good experience with HackerRank.

The platform can also be used for hiring programmers who excel in online challenges and have acceptable grades in HackerRank.

HackerRank is great for nearly all kinds of programmers while offering multiple challenges and problems for users to practice.

Each question is categorized in such a way that any level of student can participate and improve their skills.

What Does HackerRank Do?

HackerRank was the first programming platform from India to receive sponsorship from the American seed money startup accelerator, Y Combinator.

The company has now grown to become the leading technical skill assessment program for developers. 

Most of the high-ranking tech companies use HackerRank to provide coding tests and technical interviews to their candidates.

HackerRank also offers practice questions for software engineers who want to train for technical interviews in similar environments they’ll be tested in.

The program can also assist people looking to learn new skills and languages. 

Each question is classified by skill level in algorithms, data structures, various languages, and general math.

HackerRank also features contests users can participate in, and a job board aspiring software engineers can use.

Their programming challenges have solutions in multiple programming languages (including SQL, JavaScript, C++, PHP, Java, Python) and go through various computer science domains.

Regarding the consumer side, when a programmer presents a solution to a challenge, their submission is scored by the precision and exactness of their resulting product. 

Programmers from all over the world are then scored and ranked on the HackerRank leaderboard. From there, they can earn badges based on their achievements to push more competition among the programmers. 

HackerRank hosts contests and individual coding challenges, also called CodeSprints, where users gather together to compete on programming challenges during a set period; then, after the event, they’re ranked.

Who Uses HackerRank?

HackerRank caters to two main audiences:

The first is software engineers who are searching for ways to practice for technical interviews and advance their skills.

All levels—beginners, intermediate, and advanced—of software engineers can benefit in one way or another from the platform.

The second audience is companies who want to hire developers. They use the platform to find, interview and test their candidates on technical questions. 

Similarities and Differences Between LeetCode and HackerRank

As with any online programming platform, there are bound to be some similarities to LeetCode and HackerRank. In this section, we compare and contrast the two.

Similarities

Users of both LeetCode and Hackerrank can filter by skill level and available topics. Users can filter by topic and skill level.

The two services also offer an in-browser coding window so users can solve problems directly on the site. 

Companies use both LeetCode and HackerRank to locate skilled developers through discussion sections, sponsored challenges, and leaderboards. 

Both programs have additional support—like articles through LeetCode, and tutorials through HackerRank—for users who require assistance on specific topics.

Differences

Many companies use HackerRank as their primary evaluation program for remote interviews and technical screenings.

HackerRank offers certification challenges, which allows users to verify their expertise in certain skills. 

Some of those challenges include Javascript, Java, React, and Python.

LeetCode has interview simulations that users can participate in to get a better sense of the testing environment and technical screening with a potential company.

Users who are actively searching for a job can use the job board offered by HackerRank.

LeetCode’s discussion board is a great space for experts and users to examine varying approaches, anything related to software engineering and optimal solutions.

Topics Available on HackerRank Vs. LeetCode

Both HackerRank and LeetCode gives users access to multiple different topics for software engineers to practice, including the following:

  • Binary search
  • Hash tables
  • Arrays
  • String
  • Math
  • Breadth-first search
  • Linked lists

Cost for HackerRank Vs. LeetCode

Certain questions and solutions are free on LeetCode, but most of them require a subscription to make full use of the service.

Users can subscribe to a monthly package for $35 each month. 

On the other hand, they can select the annual package for $159 per year, which saves you over $200 paying month-to-month.

Premium users have access to more accurate company problem sets, question sorting by prevalence, and more solutions and questions.

HackerRank for users is free.

The program makes money from the companies that use their platform to find and evaluate candidates.

To access the questions, users need to sign up for a profile.

HackerRank Vs. LeetCode: Ratings and Reviews

For candidates looking to practice software engineering interview questions, LeetCode is the most common programming platform to gather.

Most reviews regarding LeetCode are positive, and users offer their compliments to LeetCode specifically for the tagging and organization of their questions. 

While many HackerRank users enjoy practicing the platform’s problems, other users think the problems are not like real work that a software engineer does, but rather they’re too much like puzzles. 

Some users feel that their solutions are too limited, which doesn’t leave them with enough room for other kinds of answers. This can frustrate people who want to learn and practice new ways to create solutions to problems.

LeetCode Reviews

The overwhelming majority of reviews on LeetCode are positive. Users find the tagging and classification far more organized compared to similar online sources for software engineering questions. 

Many users suggest using the easy and medium questions since they’re most likely to come up in interviews.

Solution articles also receive a lot of praise. The solution articles are especially helpful if you are stuck on a problem for over an hour. 

Candidates who see similar problems in their technical interviews find reviewing these solutions helpful, as it can assist them in understanding the reasoning behind each step of the process.

HackerRank Reviews

Most software engineers looking for ways to prepare for technical interviews particularly enjoy HackerRank. 

But many comments from users mention that the questions aren’t geared towards real-life scenarios or problems that one might encounter when coding at a job. Instead, the questions closely resemble puzzles. 

Programmers also say that they occasionally have a smaller prospect of companies who ask them to conduct HackerRank tests as their technical evaluations.

Many feel this way because some of the questions are out of the realm of the work they would be doing in the field.

And regarding how HackerRank judges the responses to certain questions, there are some negative reviews, as well.

Users explain that what HackerRank deems “correct” is an extremely narrow and limited selection of responses.

This, unfortunately, results in candidates spending more time trying to figure out the “correct” way to answer the question rather than the right way to solve the actual problem. 

Some users state that the questions in the graph theory section are somewhat vague and difficult to understand.

Additionally, a few of the challenges are not perfect, and test cases are not always very well ordered.

Occasionally, users experience inaccurate coding exercises, or code does not compile properly in IDE. There also may be loss of during interviews.

And while the content and overall layout are well selected, organized, and presented, the execution of the technology could use some work. 

HackerRank Vs. LeetCode: Which Is Better?

Both HackerRank and LeetCode have the same standard work sequence:

Identify the problem, go through the description, attempt to code a solution, submit your solution, fix any bugs along the way, perform again until your solution is accepted, and study how other people have solved the same problem. 

And while both sites have editorials, discussions, and a wide range of problems to solve, LeetCode seems to be the popular choice.

Many deem LeetCode as the default choice for coding interview preparation.

If you say you spent a few weeks or months on LeetCode before your interview, the majority of software engineers will know exactly what you mean.

However, HackerRank doesn’t boast the same recognition.

After comparing both sites, LeetCode has more frequent content, more features, and a more active, robust community.

Below are a few key items that distinguish LeetCode:

  • Earning/spending “Hackos” isn’t required to view test cases that your solution failed on. LeetCode automatically shows you the test data for the first failed test. While that might encourage bad habits, it’s still an example of their no-nonsense approach to practices.
  • There are certain premium features that you must pay for, but you can still solve hundreds of problems for free.
  • Problem statements are often easy to understand and likely resemble realistic interview problems rather than competitive programming problems.
  • LeetCode includes a “sessions” feature where you can start fresh and solve problems that you may have already solved before without getting distracted by your previous answers or data.

Since both sites are currently evolving, certain features are still being developed and may appear in their counterpart. Both offer free problems, so you can easily practice on either one. But if you’re looking to just pick one, LeetCode is the way to go.

Why Choose LeetCode?

The three main reasons why users choose LeetCode: 

  • To increase their total compensation. 
  • To train for technical interviews
  • To acquire a position in FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google)

But for many engineers, their goal is to achieve all three.

Over the last decade, the technical portion of the interview process contains verbal formula based and even what some report as “unnatural” for engineers. 

Whether it’s solving word or code-based teasers, being asked to make clean, optimized solutions in a short period, or coding on a whiteboard, what people are asked to perform in an interview is not what they would experience in a daily work environment.

But LeetCode has risen in popularity due to the way interviews have changed. Engineers believe that these tools help prepare them for real-life scenarios and whatever they might face in today’s technical skill screenings.

For many, the purpose of using LeetCode isn’t just about passing tests or the technical interview. It’s also about passing technical interviews at high-end tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Netflix. 

Questions directly from LeetCode are often asked during these interviews at such companies. 

Many users spend about three months gearing up for technical interviews for these big tech companies, and a sizable chunk of them use LeetCode’s premium feature that allows members to go through simulated interviews from specific companies. 

Regarding the problems people solve in preparation for interviews, the number varies widely, ranging anywhere from 20 to a few hundred. However, some people don’t use LeetCode and still receive job offers. 

Interviews based on LeetCode are becoming more widespread at famous tech companies in places like Seattle and Silicon Valley. But internationally and outside these areas, recruiters are less likely to ask candidates a LeetCode-based question during the interview process. 

Some users occasionally mention that a higher quality interview performance—like making the best coding solutions in a short time frame—can result in better offers or even provide candidates with room for discussion. 

Because of this, some users spend more time on LeetCode, which leads many engineers and coders to believe that LeetCoding is a much better option when compared to HackerRank.