JavaScript Puzzles: How Well do you Know Javascript?

July 5, 2018 - Javascript puzzles to test your understanding of Javascript.

Here are a couple of fun Javascript puzzles I’ve created/found to demonstrate important Javascript gotchas. There are answers/explanations near the bottom of the page.

Puzzles

Variable Scoping

As I’m learning Typescript, I was reading through the docs and ran across a fascinating little code snippet demonstrating variable scoping gotchas in javascript. The question was:

What is the output of the code below?

for (var i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    setTimeout(function() { console.log(i); }, 100 * i);
}

Think about it and check your answer below.

Indexing an Object’s Properties

I came up with this puzzle to demonstrate the difference between accessing the value of an Object using a dot versus using brackets (e.g. data["test"] vs. data.test).

What is the output of the code block below?

var data = {
    0: "zero",
    i: "eye"
};

for (var i = 0; i < 1; i++) {
    console.log(data[i]);
    console.log(data.i);
}

Think about it and check your answer below.


Answers

Variable Scoping Answer

Most people expect, as did I, that this code would output:

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

when in fact, the output is:

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

This occurs because the setTimeout function will not run until the for loop has finished. By the time the for loop has finished, the value of variable i is 10. Each of the functions called by the setTimeout function is looking at the same i from the same scope, so they all log 10.

Indexing an Object’s Properties Answer

The output of this code puzzle is:

zero
eye

This occurs because the first, and only, time through the for loop the value of i is 0 (zero). When I call console.log(data[i]);, javascript starts inside the brackets by getting the value of i (which is 0). Thus, the first logging is equivalent to saying console.log(data.0); and outputs ‘zero’.

In the second logging (console.log(data.i);), javascript does not get the value of i, but instead treats “i” as a literal key. Thus, this is equivalent to saying console.log(data["i"]); which outputs ‘eye’.

Give these puzzles to your friends and enjoy as they over-think them and second-guess themselves!


  • Javascript
  • Programming
  • Puzzles