In this lesson we will introduce you to how challenges work and how to make the most out of them. Let's check your first coding challenge:

**Sum of Two Numbers**

You are given two numbers `a`

and `b`

and you should **return their sum**.

**Examples:**

Input:a= 4,b= 9Output:13Explanation:The sum of a and b is 4 + 9, which is 13.

This is the **challenge statement**. It explains what the challenge asks us to do and provides some examples to make sure we understand the statement.

Each challenge gives us some **input** and asks us to write some code that successfully takes that input and uses it to produce some desired **output**.

In this case, the input is **two numbers** `a`

and `b`

and the output is **their sum**.

**The class:**

If you look at the code editor, you will see that everything is wrapped up inside a **class**:

```
class Solution {
}
```

You don't need to know anything about classes at this point, we will study them in future lessons. Just leave that code untouched.

**The method:**

Inside this class, we will always be provided with a **method**. Inside this method is where we should write our solution.

In our case the method is:

```
public int sum(int a, int b) {
// Your solution goes here!
}
```

A **method** is just a function inside a class. When defining methods, we use visibility keywords like `public`

in the method's header. Don't dwell on this, we will study methods in future lessons.

**Parameters and return:**

This method's **parameters** will always match the **input** described in the challenge's statement. In our case, the parameters are `a`

and `b`

, the two numbers we are given.

The method should **return a value** which represents the desired **output** described in the challenge's statement. In our case, it should `return a + b`

.

**Assignment:**

Follow the Coding Tutorial and let's solve our first coding challenge: **Sum of Two Numbers**

The core challenge of this problem is to correctly implement a function that takes two integers as input and returns their sum. This is a fundamental problem that helps in understanding how to work with basic arithmetic operations and functions in Java.

Significance and common applications include basic arithmetic operations in calculators, financial applications, and any system that requires simple mathematical computations.

Potential pitfalls and misconceptions might include misunderstanding the data types or incorrectly implementing the return statement.

To solve this problem, we need to think about the following steps:

- Read the input values.
- Compute the sum of the two numbers.
- Return the computed sum.

The naive solution is straightforward: simply add the two numbers and return the result. This is optimal for this problem as the operation is O(1) in time complexity.

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the algorithm:

- Define a method named
`sum`

that takes two integer parameters`a`

and`b`

. - Inside the method, compute the sum of
`a`

and`b`

. - Return the computed sum.

```
public class Solution {
// Method to compute the sum of two numbers
public int sum(int a, int b) {
// Return the sum of a and b
return a + b;
}
}
```

Explanation of the code:

- The class
`Solution`

contains a method`sum`

. - The method
`sum`

takes two integer parameters`a`

and`b`

. - It returns the sum of
`a`

and`b`

.

The time complexity of this solution is O(1) because the addition operation takes constant time.

The space complexity is also O(1) as we are not using any additional space that grows with the input size.

Potential edge cases include:

- Both numbers are zero:
`sum(0, 0)`

should return 0. - One number is negative:
`sum(-5, 10)`

should return 5. - Both numbers are negative:
`sum(-3, -7)`

should return -10.

These edge cases can be tested to ensure the robustness of the solution.

To test the solution comprehensively, consider the following test cases:

- Simple case:
`sum(4, 9)`

should return 13. - Edge case with zero:
`sum(0, 0)`

should return 0. - Negative and positive number:
`sum(-5, 10)`

should return 5. - Both negative numbers:
`sum(-3, -7)`

should return -10.

Testing frameworks like JUnit can be used to automate these tests.

When approaching such problems, it is important to:

- Understand the problem statement clearly.
- Break down the problem into smaller steps.
- Think about edge cases and how to handle them.
- Write clean and readable code.

Practicing similar problems and studying algorithms can help improve problem-solving skills.

In this blog post, we discussed how to solve the problem of finding the sum of two numbers in Java. We covered the problem definition, approach, algorithm, code implementation, complexity analysis, edge cases, and testing. Understanding and solving such problems is crucial for developing strong programming skills.

We encourage you to practice and explore further to enhance your understanding and proficiency.

For further reading and practice problems, consider the following resources:

- Java Operators Documentation
- LeetCode - Practice coding challenges
- HackerRank - Coding practice platform