systems validation engineer interview questions shared by candidates
You have 8 pennies, 7 weight the same, one weighs less. you also have a judges scale. Find the one that weighs less in less than 3 steps.
Set two pennies aside, put 3 on each scale and if they weight the same the lighter one is one of the other two, if not it is one of the three on the scale, repeat for the two or three remaining.
A better answer: Split the 8 pennies into 3 groups of 3,3,2 pennies. Weight the first two groups of 3 pennies each. Case 1) - They weight the same. Therefore, take third group of 2 pennies and find the lighter coin. Case 2) Group 1 weights more than Group 2. Take group 2 (3 pennies) and pick any 2 out of 3. If they weight the same, then the third penny is lighter. Answer is trivial if they don't weight the same. It works for any scenario. Always split the groups in 3.
It's a lot simpler than you'd think Divide the current number of coins by two and put them on both sides of the scale, remove the side that weighs more, and divide the lighter side in half, repeat so you start with 8: |||| |||| (4/4) || || (2/2) | | (1/1) Three steps, simple, logical, and and can get the right answer each time.
I was asked how to tell if a number was even or odd based on binary. This was by no means a hard question. I simply said check the LSB, least significant bit, for being a 1 or 0. This must have been enough, or maybe i answered with enough confidence, because the next question was what languages do you know.
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