*Not to mention that this approach prevents you from actually being able to connect the dots.Imagine learning a new language (let’s say French). Here’s one sample set of words: “suis”, “es”, “est”, “sommes”, “êtez”, “sont” What is the connection between these words (if you already know French, pretend you don’t for a sec)? So if you were just memorizing, you would be memorizing 6 discrete words.*

First off, we should be sure to determine what the actual time complexity of our code is currently.

One mistake that I see fairly often is attempting to optimize something that doesn’t need to be optimized.

So what if we could do the same thing with dynamic programming?

Well, it’s never going to happen if we just try to memorize solutions to different problems.

This means that if you’re interviewing for any top tech company, dynamic programming should be at the top of your list of topics to prepare. The real challenge with dynamic programming is that it is counterintuitive.

When you’re trying to solve dynamic programming problems, all the obvious steps that you would normally take actually pull you further away from the correct solution: So if dynamic programming is so counterintuitive, how are we ever supposed to solve these problems effectively?For the rest of this post, I’m going to show you the exact strategy that you can use to solve any dynamic programming problem, even if you’ve never seen the problem before. It’s a repeatable strategy for solving any dynamic programming problem, whether you’ve seen the problem before or not.What is the most important characteristic of any successful interviewee? The FAST Method is an acronym for the 4 steps you need to solve any dynamic programming problem: The first step for any dynamic programming problem (and the step that the most people skip) is to find an initial brute-force solution to the problem.In today’s special guest post, Sam Gavis-Hughson guides us through his formula for solving any dynamic programming problem. But then there are some topics where even the easiest variations strike fear into the hearts of interviewees everywhere.One such topic is dynamic programming—an optimization technique programmers can use to speed up our code when we are repeatedly solving the same problem.When you focus on memorizing, your interview prep strategy becomes very simple: just go through as many problems as you can.When you go into an interview, you hope that you see a problem that you’ve studied before.Interviewers sometimes ask simpler programming questions to make sure you have basic coding skills and competency.Below are links to challenges from Programming Practice that you should be able to find optimal solutions for.We simply look at the branching factor of our recursive function raised to the depth.For example, if we were finding all combinations of an input, that would give us a time complexity of `O(2n)`. Next up, if our solution is in fact inefficient (we’re most likely looking for something that is exponential time or worse as being inefficient), we want to see if we can optimize it using dynamic programming.

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