Elance PHP5 code test (with answers)

Here is the list of problems with correct answers for Elance PHP5 Code Test:

1. recursive xml traversal:

2. (sql) select the second highest id from user table:

3. get checkbox values from POST:

4. get unique array elements:

5. generate random password:

6. split email addresses:

7. the most challenging task (for me). Phone regexps:

8. get longest string in arguments:

9. find maximum in nested array:

10. output all numbers divisable by 8 from 200 to 600 inclusive:

Note, that all answers are correct, but some of them are not optimized, so you may be in top 20% with this, but not higher. If someone would like to post any improvements to the code snippets above – they are welcome:)

  • Ryan

    function MaxArray($arr) {
    $max = 0;
    foreach($arr as $a) {
    $tmp = (is_array($a) ? MaxArray($a) : $a;
    $max = ($tmp > $max) ? $tmp : $max;
    return $max;

  • Dorothy

    Very nice, i suggest webmaster can set up a forum, so that we can talk and communicate.

  • Andrew

    function GeneratePassword($length, $chars)
    return substr(str_shuffle($chars), 0, $length);

    function GetLongestString()
    return max(array_map(strlen, func_get_args()));

  • mohit

    echo $i;
    echo ",";

  • neo(nickname)

    hey thank you very much …….
    appreciate all of your efforts πŸ™‚

  • pride

    function GeneratePassword($length, $chars)
    return substr(str_shuffle($chars), 0, $length);

    pretty good idea,but what if $length’s value is greater than strlen($chars) ?
    you won’t get a 10 chars password while $chars=’abc’

  • admin

    nice catch, pride. But then I think Andrew’s solution may be improved by

    return substr(str_shuffle(str_repeat($chars,$length)), 0, $length);


  • kievan

    Not sure about the GeneratePassword() problem, but I do have a version of the ReadXml(), that I tested to be way more efficient that one in this post. Obviously it is much uglier, and much more rigid, but it runs at least 5 times as fast. Here is the screenshot from KCacheGrind analyzing xDebug profiling output: http://tinypic.com/r/b8k704/5

    Here is the code:

    function ReadXml($xmlstr)
    $p = xml_parser_create();
    xml_parser_set_option ($p, XML_OPTION_CASE_FOLDING, 0);
    xml_parse_into_struct($p, $xmlstr, $vals);
    $vals[1][‘tag’].’: ‘.$vals[1][‘value’].PHP_EOL.
    $vals[2][‘tag’].’: ‘.$vals[2][‘value’].PHP_EOL.
    $vals[3][‘tag’].’: ‘.$vals[3][‘value’].PHP_EOL.
    $vals[4][‘tag’].’: ‘.$vals[4][‘value’].PHP_EOL);

  • admin

    Hi kievan,
    thanks for your solution, hope it helps others!

  • kievan

    I hope so too.

    And thanx for this great post πŸ™‚
    I was able to score 85 for this same test on vWorker.

    Used your examples while preparing for the test, saved me a good deal of time for sure πŸ™‚

  • dali

    Hi mate, you may loose your account for posting this to public πŸ™‚

  • Tester1

    Sorry for that ugly name, also results worked fine, bud kievan reply about XML DONT works. Thanks dudes πŸ™‚

  • enrique barchiesi

    The second response is wrong you need to do a double query there.
    SELECT MAX(id) FROM user WHERE id NOT IN (SELECT MAX(id) FROM user )
    Something similar i dinΒ΄t tested it but it must work.

  • Shehan

    I passed this test on elance and I was top 10%

  • Faisal

    if(($i % 8) === 0){
    echo $i;
    if($i != 600){echo ",";}


  • Faisal

    function GetLongestString(){
    global $maxlength;
    $numofargs = func_num_args();
    $string = func_get_arg($i);
    $length = strlen($string);
    if($maxlength < $length){
    $maxlength = $length;
    return $maxlength;

    What is the wrong with this code??

  • Faisal

    function MaxArray($arr){
    $length = count($arr);
    global $maxValue;
    //count maximum value
    if($maxValue < $arr[$i]){
    $maxValue = $arr[$i];
    //end counting
    return $maxValue;

    Additionally I don’t find any wrong but Elance won’t except my code. Do you tell me why?

  • Harsh

    Thanks friend really I appreciate your efforts ..

  • Sirajus Salayhin

    SELECT id, name
    FROM user
    WHERE id = (SELECT MAX(id) FROM user WHERE id < (SELECT MAX(id) FROM user));

  • Marc Donaldson

    Here is my result to convert the POST values ending with underscore to a sortable array.

    Based upon 10000 fields it performs 35% faster

    $res = array();
    foreach($_POST as $key => $value) {
    $res[] = intval(substr($key,strrpos($key,'_') + 1));
    $result1 = implode(' ',$res);

  • Marc Donaldson

    Sorry!! Please replace $result1 = with echo

  • admin

    thanks Marc

  • Sirajus Salayhin

    SELECT DISTINCT(id) FROM `user` WHERE `id`=(SELECT MAX(id) FROM user);

  • anonymous

    Thanks bro you rock πŸ™‚

  • Lokesh Tulsani

    Write a program that outputs the numbers that are divisible by 8 and are between 200 and 600 (inclusive), separated by commas (without spaces or line breaks).

    $Result = array();
    for($i = 200; $i

  • jewel

    super , duper, bumper.

  • Faisal

    Your SQL is not perfect:

    Right one is like this:
    table name: basic_information
    roll name total_marks
    45 Faisal 90
    46 Rasel 89
    47 Adit 91
    48 Sajib 91

    SELECT * FROM `basic_information` WHERE `total_marks` = (SELECT DISTINCT `total_marks` FROM `basic_information` ORDER BY `total_marks` DESC LIMIT 1,1);

  • Ramesh

    Really aewsome tutorial…..

  • GHanta

    you are awesome bro

  • iliyas pathan

    Awesome man….. πŸ™‚

  • Custom Icon Design

    for GeneratePassword ($length,$chars) function

    $char_length = strlen($chars); should be char_length =strlen($chars) -1;

    Because rand(0, max) including max. but max element of array is chars[char_length -1], right?

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