## DEV Community

Halil Can Ozcelik

Posted on • Updated on

# JavaScript Interview Coding Questions - 3

I am trying to explain some possible coding questions in software developer interviews. I will mention recursion and array mutation in this third article. These two topics are important in functional programming paradigm. Also, the last example is about prototypal inheritance which is crucial to understand inheritance in JavaScript.

1. Write a recursive function to calculate the total of numbers between 1 to n?
`n` will be the parameter of our function. So we should call this calculator function until reaching to `1` which is our end point. So, one of the possible effective solutions will be below code:

``````function calculateTotal(number, total = 1) {
return number > 1 ?
calculateTotal(number - 1, total + number) :
total;
}

console.log(calculateTotal(10));
``````

You can examine the code in below:

2. Write a recursive factorial calculator function.
We can easily adapt same logic to factorial calculation as below:

``````function factorial(number, product = 1) {
return number > 0 ?
factorial(number - 1, product * number) :
product;
}

console.log(factorial(5));
``````

!! The recursive functions above will cause stack overflow error for large inputs. In order to prevent it, Trampoline Pattern can be used as below:

``````// recursive optimization to prevent stack overflow error
function trampoline(fn) {
return (...args) => {
let result = fn(...args);
while (typeof result === 'function') {
result = result();
}
return result;
};
}

// Write a recursive function to calculate the total of numbers between 1 to n?
function calculateTotal(number, total = 1) {
return number > 1 ?
() => calculateTotal(number - 1, total + number) :
total;
}

const totalCalculator = trampoline(calculateTotal);
console.log(totalCalculator(100000));

// Write a recursive factorial calculator function
function factorial(number, product = 1) {
return number > 0 ?
() => factorial(number - 1, product * number) :
product;
}

const factorialCalculator = trampoline(factorial);
console.log(factorialCalculator(100));
``````

You can examine the code in below:

3. This one is about mutator methods in JavaScript arrays. Immutability of variables is an important topic in functional programming.

``````var arr = [1, 2, 3, 7, 4];
// Which of the followings will mutate variables?
// Find a functional alternative for mutator ones.
arr.push(5);          => mutator
arr.shift();          => mutator
arr.concat(6, 7);     => non-mutator
arr.map(a => a * a);  => non-mutator
arr.sort();           => mutator
``````

And these can be alternative solutions for mutator ones.

``````var arr = [1, 2, 3, 7, 4];
// Which of the followings will mutate variables?
// Find a functional alternative for mutator ones.
arr.push(5);          => arr.concat(5);
arr.shift();          => arr.slice(1);
arr.concat(6, 7);     => non-mutator
arr.map(a => a * a);  => non-mutator
arr.sort();           => arr.concat().sort()
``````

You can examine the code in below:

``````function Person() {}

// 1st definition for 'sayHi' method
Person.prototype.sayHi = function () {
console.log('Hi!');
};

var person = new Person();

// What will be the printed message?
person.sayHi();

// 2nd definition for 'sayHi' method
Person.prototype.sayHi = function () {
console.log('Hello!');
};

// What will be the printed message?
person.sayHi();

// What will be returned?
person.hasOwnProperty('sayHi');
``````

The output will be below:

``````Hi!
Hello!
false
``````

`person` object doesn't have own `sayHi()` method because `Person` function doesn't have any method. When we instantiate an object with `new` keyword, it inherits all `prototype` methods of the function as its `__proto__` property. So, in first execution of `sayHi()` the defined one is logging `Hi!` so it is executed. But after second definition of `sayHi()` the newer one will be called. Because, `person.sayHi()` points to the same function due to prototypal inheritance. Finally, `person.hasOwnProperty('sayHi')` returns `false` because this is not a property of `person` object, it is inherited by prototype chain.

You can examine the code in below:

My some other articles: