Interview Questions at eClerx


Interviews for software development positions often feature coding challenges that test candidates on various aspects of programming, from basic syntax to complex problem-solving skills. In this post, we explore two intriguing Java programming challenges centred around the use of HashMaps. These challenges were reportedly part of an interview process at eClerx, a global IT services company known for its rigorous selection criteria. Through this exploration, we aim to not only provide solutions but also to dissect the thought processes that lead to these solutions, offering a valuable resource for Java developers preparing for interviews.

Challenge 1: Identifying Extremes in a List

Problem Statement

Given a list of integers, the task is to determine the maximum and minimum values and store these extremes in a HashMap with keys “MAX” and “MIN”.

Conceptual Approach

The approach to this challenge involves iterating through the list of integers and comparing each value to the currently identified max and min values, updating these as necessary. Finally, these values are stored in a HashMap for easy access.

Implementation Insights

List<Integer> intList = Arrays.asList(25, 15, 10, 100);
HashMap<String, Integer> hashMap = new HashMap<>();
hashMap.put("MAX", Collections.max(intList));
hashMap.put("MIN", Collections.min(intList));

hashMap.forEach((key, value) -> System.out.println(key + ": " + value));

Key Takeaways:

  • Utilizing Collections.max() and Collections.min() provides a clean and efficient way to find extremes.
  • Leveraging HashMap to store and access these values by key enhances the readability and usability of the data.

Challenge 2: SalesPerson City Count

Problem Statement

Given a list of SalesPerson objects, each with properties including city name, the goal is to count how many salespersons are in each city and represent this data in a HashMap.

Conceptual Approach

The solution involves traversing the list of SalesPerson objects, using a HashMap to keep track of the count of salespersons in each city.

Implementation Insights

List<SalesPerson> allPersons = // Assume this is initialized with SalesPerson objects
HashMap<String, Integer> cityCounts = new HashMap<>();

allPersons.forEach(person -> cityCounts.merge(person.getCityName(), 1, Integer::sum));

cityCounts.forEach((city, count) -> System.out.println(city + ": " + count));

Key Takeaways:

  • The merge method in HashMap simplifies the process of updating the count for each city, effectively handling both the addition of new cities to the map and the updating of existing counts.
  • This approach underscores the power of Java’s functional programming capabilities for streamlining collection manipulation.

Wrapping Up

The challenges presented in the eClerx interview process highlight the importance of a solid understanding of Java’s core libraries, particularly HashMap. Whether it’s managing complex data structures or performing operations on collections, the ability to think through problems and apply Java’s built-in methods effectively is crucial. By dissecting these interview questions, we’ve showcased not just solutions, but the thought processes and Java features that facilitate elegant and efficient problem-solving. For aspiring Java developers, mastering these concepts is key to navigating interviews and excelling in software development roles.

This template outlines how to address interview challenges using a structured and educational approach. The aim is to not only solve the problems but to also enrich the reader’s understanding of Java programming concepts, specifically the use of HashMaps.



About Author

As Neelabh Singh, I am a Senior Software Engineer with 6.6 years of experience, specializing in Java technologies, Microservices, AWS, Algorithms, and Data Structures. I am also a technology blogger and an active participant in several online coding communities.

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