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Technical Interview Problems in Python: Lists
Pair Sum: Naive

We’ll end with a classic interview question: given a list of integers and a “target” integer, return a pair of indices whose values sum to the target.

nums = [4, 2, 8, 9, 6] target = 8 pair_sum(nums, target) # nums[1] + nums[4] == 8 # [1, 4] pair_sum(nums, 17) # nums[2] + nums[3] == 17 # [2, 3] pair_sum(nums, 99) # no pair sum exists... # None

Clarifying Questions:

  • Are there constraints on time or space efficiency?
    • No! Any solution will do.
  • Can the numbers be negative or 0?
    • Yes! Your solution should handle those inputs.
  • Does the order of indices matter?
    • The earlier index comes first in the return list.
  • Do we return all pairs that match a solution?
    • No! The first one that your solution finds will do!



Write a function pair_sum(), which has two parameters: nums and target.

pair_sum() should return a list containing a pair of indices whose values sum to target.

If no such pair of indices exists, return None.

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