Question:

What is the output of the following code:

#include <iostream>

int main(int argc, const char * argv[]) {
    int a[] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6};
    std::cout << (1 + 3)[a] - a[0] + (a + 1)[2];
}

Answer:

The above will output 8, since:

(1+3)[a] is the same as a[1+3] == 5

a[0] == 1

(a + 1)[2] is the same as a[3] == 4

This question is testing pointer arithmetic knowledge, and the magic behind square brackets with pointers.

While some might argue that this isn’t a valuable question as it appears to only test the capability of reading C constructs, it’s still important for a candidate to be able to work through it mentally; it’s not an answer they’re expected to know off the top of their head, but one where they talk about what conclusion they reach and how.


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