You’re struggling to understand algorithms because you can't visualize them.

 


✔️ You've read the 300-page Computer Science textbook.
✔️ You've watched YouTube videos about each data structure.
✔️ You've even taken notes on the big O costs of every algorithm.
✖️ But you still have a hard time keeping it all in your head.

Why is it not sticking?

The truth is that reading about a complex topic doesn't help you recall it. The same goes for watching videos. You can't learn to swim by watching someone else do it. And like swimming, visualizing algorithms takes hands-on practice.

This is called active recall learning. Its more effective than passive review (reading) so you don’t have to grind through tons of material. Because studying for a programming interview shouldn't be a grind. It should be methodical. Effective. Even enjoyable.

The Coder’s Coloring Book is a hands-on approach to studying data structures and algorithms. It’s a physical workbook for you to slowly and purposefully commit the fundamentals to memory—by coloring them.

Join me and thousands of coders who are learning algorithms and actually getting it.

 
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This kind of visual/tactile learning is so incredibly cool and terrifically helpful for people like myself who struggle sometimes with the details and particulars of CS concepts.
— Nico V., CCB beta tester

Why a coloring book?

✍️

Coloring requires your undivided attention and physical interaction. This is called active recall. Which is more than twice as effective as passive learning like reading a textbook or watching a YouTube video.

👁️

Coloring is visual, which is a time-tested learning technique. In a whiteboard interview communicating visually is half the battle.

💆🏻‍♀️

Coloring is fun and relaxing even if you’re not “artistic”. Preparing for coding interviews is stressful and you deserve a break from staring at code all day.

The Coder’s Coloring Book helps me visualize algorithms so that they make more intuitive sense to me. Plus the hands on experience of coloring in will solidify my understanding.
— Adriana D., CCB beta tester

 What’s inside?

The 20 data structures and algorithms you should learn by hand:

 

✍️ Data Structures

  1. Arrays

  2. Linked Lists

  3. Stacks

  4. Queues

  5. Maps / Dictionaries / Hash Tables

  6. Matrices

  7. Binary Search Trees (BST)

  8. Tries

  9. Heaps

  10. Graphs

 

✍️ Algorithms

  1. Selection Sort

  2. Insertion Sort

  3. Merge Sort

  4. Quick Sort

  5. Heap Sort

  6. Bucket Sort

  7. Binary Search

  8. Breadth-First Search (BFS)

  9. Depth-First Search (DFS)

  10. Dijkstra’s

 
 

✔️ Each coloring page is proofread by friends of mine at Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Google, Microsoft and more.

Want to be a proofreader and get a free copy of The Coder’s Coloring Book? Email me.

 
The Coder’s Coloring Book is excellent. I think something like this is critical for persons learning how to code that don’t have a strong math background... This is the hardest part, I think, of making the leap into programming, grasping the abstract concepts behind algorithms and data structures.
— Josh C., CCB beta tester
 

Frequently Asked Questions

What about Leetcode?

Leetcode is a great tool for practicing coding questions. But here’s the thing: if it takes you 250 Leetcode "mediums" (a.k.a. grinding Leetcode) to prepare yourself, you're doing it wrong. That's like having to retake Calculus ten times because you didn't pay attention in Algebra. 🤦‍♂️

Nail the basics first. Then build on that foundation and you won’t have to struggle through the hard stuff.

Does this book teach me how to code / how to speak / how to write a resume?

Nope. This book will help you master data structures and algorithms. The book alone does not teach any programming language or framework. It's a complement to other educational tools and “is part of this complete breakfast”:

 
 

Isn't there more to coding than algorithms and aren't whiteboarding interviews bad?

Just as you shouldn’t rely on only one study technique, companies shouldn’t rely on only whiteboarding in an interview. It serves everyone best when combined with a variety of approaches. Lynne Tye (founder of Key Values) gathered thoughts on this topic from hiring managers at several prominent tech companies.

What skill level is this book for?

✔️ If you're somewhat familiar with data structures and have written a little code, you need this book. It will make things click.

✔️ If you're a C.S. grad or full-time programmer looking to brush up, you'll want this book too. No need to hunt down your old textbooks.

✔️ If you just want to color some nerdy diagrams… go right ahead.

✖️ If you've never seen code or don't know what a data structure is, you're not quite ready for this book.

I suck at coloring. Can I use this book even if I’m not an artist?

Yes. You will be surprised at your coloring skills if you give it shot. Check out these beta testers’ work.

Who are you?

👋 I'm Levi. Ten years ago I was an art student. Then I had a change of heart and went for a degree in Computer Science… and like many others making the jump into tech I developed imposter syndrome. I was the artist sitting among actual tech people and I wasn’t particularly happy. But I pressed on. I learned to embrace my background—because sometimes complex stuff just needs to be drawn out to make sense. ✍️

Today I'm a CS graduate, software developer and full-time happy camper. Most recently I've worked for Amazon on the Alexa team and I'm currently an SDE for Zillow.

The Coder’s Coloring Book is the tool I wish someone gave me when I was learning Computer Science.

 
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Learn in the way you enjoy and the way that works for you :). I've seen that for me, I learn better through handwriting than typing... if coloring works for you, go for it :).

- Gayle Laakmann McDowell, Author of Cracking the Coding Interview (CTCI), Founder & CEO of CareerCup

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Cool idea, good execution. Excited to see how it develops!

- Parker Phinney, Founder & CEO of Interview Cake

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This is a neat idea...It's obviously useful.

- Vincent Woo, Founder & CEO of CoderPad

 

Sign up to try the book for free 🖍️

I’ll send you a link to download a few pages of the book and occasional updates about the release.

 
 
 

Companies who value a strong grasp of data structures and algorithms:

More beta tester feedback

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I really like how it is such a different approach to any textbook or class I’ve had before.
— Conor Spilsbury, beta tester
I think these are great, and I think it would even be a great thing for people cramming for coding interviews, as it seems like everyone expects you to go brush up on 2nd year fundamentals.
— Israel Torres, beta tester
I loved the coloring pages and thought they were very helpful. It very much helps for a step-by-step visualization of the process.
— Hunter Ogg, beta tester
Reading page after page on wikipedia or sitting through a youtube video that takes an hour to explain the basic stuff is hard. I’ve always found it easier to draw things out.
— Donal Johny, beta tester
Really liked the way that you’ve stuck to large simple design rather than the traditional ‘adult’ coloring book style which truthfully just seems to make me feel more stressed. I also like that you put the runtime and space restraints.
— Michelle Gallant, beta tester
I really like the idea of being able to share this with people just getting started who find algorithms intimidating (we’re not all math double majors :P).
— cbzehner, Hacker News
Your sample page on Selection Sort was simple and immediately understandable. More please!
— heycholly, Hacker News
I love it! I like how I’m able to visually see it and “show my work” as I colour it in.
— Andy Chow, beta tester
I feel that illustrations really make sorting and searching algorithms easily understandable.
— Charles Isichei, beta tester
Your specific coloring actually highlights the algorithm in an effective way, making it more clear - and I can see that a teacher might be able to quickly glance at a student coloring and see that they did not grasp the concept.
— zanni, Hacker News
I really liked this idea as an approach to learning algorithms, and i think it would really enhance people’s understanding of an algorithm, because it’s easier when they visualize it like that.
— kd1, Hacker News
 
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