Question: In a country where everyone wants a boy, each family continues having babies till they have a boy. After some time, what is the proportion of boys to girls in the country? (Assuming probability of having a boy or a girl is the same)
Answer: This is a very simple probability question in a software interview. This question might be a little old to be ever asked again but it is a good warm up.
Assume there are C number of couples so there would be C boys. The number of girls can be calculated by the following method.
Number of girls = 0*(Probability of 0 girls) + 1*(Probability of 1 girl) + 2*(Probability of 2 girls) + …
Number of girls = 0*(C*1/2) + 1*(C*1/2*1/2) + 2*(C*1/2*1/2*1/2) + …
Number of girls = 0 + C/4 + 2*C/8 + 3*C/16 + …
Number of girls = C
(using mathematical formulas; it becomes apparent if you just sum up the first 4-5 terms)
The proportion of boys to girls is 1 : 1.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any interview questions which you feel would benefit others, I would love to hear about it.If you're looking for some serious preparation for your interviews, I'd recommend this book written by a lead Google interviewer. It has 189 programming questions and solutions: