Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    Experienced developers can't solve this problem

    In 8 or less characters of JavaScript write an expression that evaluates to -265. You are not allowed to use "-265" as the solution or use the * character.

    The other day someone asked this on IRC.

    Everyone pounced on the problem and after a lot of discussion about how strange the 265 number is and whether he didn't mean 256 we decided it was impossible to solve in just eight characters.

    The shortest solution I could come up with was this:

    ~(1 << 8) - 8;

    Shifting left for eight places gives you 257, negating gives -257, then you just subtract 8 and voila, you have -265.

    Except it's 9 characters long ... not a solution.

    But I did learn about javascript bitwise operations, so this exercise in futility was not a total waste. Not sure what I'm going to use them for, but it can't hurt :)

    So, come up with the answer yet?

    Trollface

    Here's some solutions:

    • -1060/4 is just 7 characters
    • -256-9 is just 6 characters
    • _-530/2 _is only 6 characters as well
    • ~264 is just 4 characters (by @zidarsk8)

    And so on, you get the picture. Shameful as it is, I couldn't come up with an answer at all. Never even occurred to me. I think this happens to a lot of developers who have been in the game for too long, we immediately try creating elegant solutions where simple ones will do.

    If you solved this on your own, congratulations. You are better than me.

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on November 2nd, 2012 in Bitwise operation, Integers, JavaScript, jQuery, Languages, Programming, Uncategorized,

    Learned something new?
    Read more Software Engineering Lessons from Production

    I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.

    Subscribe below 👇

    Software Engineering Lessons from Production

    Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.

    "Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

    ~ Ashish Kumar

    Join 15,883+ engineers learning lessons from my "raw and honest from the heart" emails.

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
    4.5 stars average rating

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.

    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

    Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev

    Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Want to get my best emails on JavaScript, React, Serverless, Fullstack Web, or Indie Hacking? Check out swizec.com/collections

    Want to brush up on modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created by Swizec with ❤️