Friday, June 27, 2008

Aptitude Questions Answers Vol - 1

Q. If 2x-y=4 then 6x-3y=?





Ans. (b)

Q. If x=y=2z and xyz=256 then what is the value of x?





Ans. (b)

Q. (1/10)18 - (1/10)20 = ?

(a) 99/1020

(b) 99/10

(c) 0.9

(d) none of these

Ans. (a)

Q. Pipe A can fill in 20 minutes and Pipe B in 30 mins and Pipe C can empty the same in 40 mins.If all of them work together, find the time taken to fill the tank

(a) 17 1/7 mins

(b) 20 mins

(c) 8 mins

(d) none of these

Ans. (a)

Q. Thirty men take 20 days to complete a job working 9 hours a day. How many hour a day should 40 men work to complete the job?

(a) 8 hrs

(b) 7 1/2 hrs

(c) 7 hrs

(d) 9 hrs

Ans. (b)

Q. Find the smallest number in a GP whose sum is 38 and product 1728

(a) 12

(b) 20

(c) 8

(d) none of these

Ans. (c)

Q. A boat travels 20 kms upstream in 6 hrs and 18 kms downstream in 4 hrs. Find the speed of the boat in still water and the speed of the water current?

(a) 1/2 kmph

(b) 7/12 kmph

(c) 5 kmph

(d) none of these

Ans. (b)

Q. A goat is tied to one corner of a square plot of side 12m by a rope 7m long. Find the area it can graze?

(a) 38.5 sq.m

(b) 155 sq.m

(c) 144 sq.m

(d) 19.25 sq.m

Ans. (a)

Q. Mr. Shah decided to walk down the escalator of a tube station. He found that if he walks down 26 steps, he requires 30 seconds to reach the bottom. However, if he steps down 34 stairs he would only require 18 seconds to get to the bottom. If the time is measured from the moment the top step begins to descend to the time he steps off the last step at the bottom, find out the height of the stair way in steps?

Ans.46 steps.

Q. The average age of 10 members of a committee is the same as it was 4 years ago, because an old member has been replaced by a young member. Find how much younger is the new member ?

Ans.40 years.

Communication Skills Vol - 3

The Interpersonal Communication Skills

Ability to ask the questions and listen are vital to the good interpersonal skills. In fact the empathetic listening is a number one skill which can help to build the relationships.
Ten Tips for Good Interpersonal Skills
Listen to the person first. Communication is the two-way process; getting all your message across depends on understanding a other person.
Be interested in people you will be communicating with. Remember that the people are more attracted towards those who have interest in them, and therefore will pay more attention to what they will say.
Relax. The bad body language like hunched shoulders, fidgeting, the toe-tapping or the hair-twiddling all give a game away.
Smile and use the eye contact. It is a most positive signal which you can give.
Ask the questions. It is great way to show the people that you really are interested in them.
If the other person has different point of view towards you find out why they have such point of view. More you understand reasons behind their thinking more you will be able to understand their point of view or can help them understand your point of view.
Be assertive. so that we can try to value their input as your own inputs. Do not be pushy and do not be a pushover. Try for a right balance.
When you will be speaking try to be enthusiastic in appropriate context. Use voice and the body language to show this.
Immediately don't try to latch to something which someone has just now said ... "oh yes it happened to me" and immediately go on and telling your own story. Make sure that you ask questions about them first and then be careful while telling your story so as not to sound like a competition.
Learn from the interactions. If you have a good conversation with someone try to think why it all went well and remember key points for the next time. If it did not go well - again try and learn something out of it.

Next >> Body Language

Communication Skills Vol - 2

Effective Communication Fundamentals

Communication is the complex two-way process, involving encoding, translation and the decoding of the messages. The effective communication requires a communicator to translate their messages in the way which is specifically designed for the intended audience.
Creating and delivering the effective presentation requires basic understanding of a communication process. Most of the business presentations require a clear and an unambiguous communication of the message in the way which can be clearly understood by a recipient.
Tps for Effective Communication
Be honest while communicating. Dishonesty will somewhere show up along a line.
Take interest in the people you are communicating with. Remember the people are more attracted towards those who have interest in them, and pays more attention to what they say.
Think before you speak or put pen to paper: what message you trying to convey? What outcome do you want to elicit?
Be direct and not aggressive. Lot of flannelling around can make the people lose interest and miss a vital point.
Don't use the jargon – and acronyms, and also the technical expressions, unless you are sure about that your listeners do understand
Write the way as you will speak. Do not fall into a trap of using the long words just because it is written down.
Take time. Whether in the speech or in paper, rushing will make you seem nervous, unconfident and like downright scared.

Next >> Interpersonal Skills

Communication Skills Vol - 1

The Crash Course in Communication

Talking is very easy, but communication, that means an exchange or communion with the other person, requires the greater skill. An exchange which is the communion demands on the way we listen and do speak skillfully, and just not talk mindlessly. Interacting with the fearful, angry, or the frustrated people will be even more difficult, because we are less skillful when we are caught up in such kind of emotions. Do not despair or resign yourself to the lifetime of miscommunication at the work or at home! Good communicators can honed as well as born.

Here are few of the tips to get you started.

This will remind us how difficult it is to communicate effectively in any of the organization. The problem is not that we have got the bad people, the problem is that we have got the poor systems. This guide will teach how to overcome the communication barriers and also hone the communication skills.

The Communication is the skill and like any other skills it also requires the practice. It is improved through practice which differentiates the skill from other forms of the knowledge. Understanding a theory of the communication and the effective presentation will not make you brilliant communicator or the presenter but should make you aware of how to maximize a impact of the presentations.

Most important thing to remember is a message which you intend to communicate is most likely to be misunderstood by the listeners. Therefore, in addition to the carefully preparing and presenting the message, stay alert for any of the signs which your audience are mis-interpreting it. It is up to you, a presenter, to continually check if your message have been received, understood, interpreted correctly and is filed in the receivers mind.

Next >> Effective Communication Skills

J2EE Interview Questions Answers Vol - 2

Q. What is "application client" ?
A. A first-tier J2EE client component that executes in its own Java virtual machine. Application clients have access to some J2EE platform APIs.

Q. What is "application client container" ?
A. A container that supports application client components.

Q. What is "application client module" ?
A. A software unit that consists of one or more classes and an application client deployment descriptor.

Q. What is "application component provider" ?
A. A vendor that provides the Java classes that implement components' methods, JSP page definitions, and any required deployment descriptors.

Q. What is "application configuration resource file" ?
A. An XML file used to configure resources for a Java Server Faces application, to define navigation rules for the application, and to register converters, Validator, listeners, renders, and components with the application.

Q. What is "archiving" ?
A. The process of saving the state of an object and restoring it.

Q. What is "asant" ?
A. A Java-based build tool that can be extended using Java classes. The configuration files are XML-based, calling out a target tree where various tasks get executed.

Q. What is "attribute"?
A. A qualifier on an XML tag that provides additional information.

Q. What is authentication ?
A. The process that verifies the identity of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system, usually as a prerequisite to allowing access to resources in a system. The Java servlet specification requires three types of authentication-basic, form-based, and mutual-and supports digest authentication.

Q. What is authorization ?
A. The process by which access to a method or resource is determined. Authorization depends on the determination of whether the principal associated with a request through authentication is in a given security role. A security role is a logical grouping of users defined by the person who assembles the application. A deployer maps security roles to security identities. Security identities may be principals or groups in the operational environment.

Q. What is authorization constraint ?
A. An authorization rule that determines who is permitted to access a Web resource collection.

Q. What is B2B ?
A. B2B stands for Business-to-business.

Q. What is backing bean ?
A. A JavaBeans component that corresponds to a JSP page that includes JavaServer Faces components. The backing bean defines properties for the components on the page and methods that perform processing for the component. This processing includes event handling, validation, and processing associated with navigation.

Q. What is basic authentication ?
A. An authentication mechanism in which a Web server authenticates an entity via a user name and password obtained using the Web application's built-in authentication mechanism.

Q. What is bean-managed persistence ?
A. The mechanism whereby data transfer between an entity bean's variables and a resource manager is managed by the entity bean.

Q. What is bean-managed transaction ?
A. A transaction whose boundaries are defined by an enterprise bean.

Q. What is binding (XML) ?
A. Generating the code needed to process a well-defined portion of XML data.

Dot Net Interview Questions - Answers Vol - 4

Q. What is RCW (Runtime Callable Wrappers)?

A. The common language runtime exposes COM objects through a proxy called the runtime callable wrapper (RCW). Although the RCW appears to be an ordinary object to .NET clients, its primary function is to marshal calls between a .NET client and a COM object.

Q. What is CCW (COM Callable Wrapper)

A. A proxy object generated by the common language runtime so that existing COM applications can use managed classes, including .NET Framework classes, transparently.

Q. How will you register com+ services?

A. The .NET Framework SDK provides the .NET Framework Services Installation Tool (Regsvcs.exe - a command-line tool) to manually register an assembly containing serviced components. You can also access these registration features programmatically with the System.EnterpriseServicesRegistrationHelper class by creating an instance of class RegistrationHelper and using the method InstallAssembly

Q. What is use of ContextUtil class?

A. ContextUtil is the preferred class to use for obtaining COM+ context information.

Q. What is Pinvoke?

A. Platform invoke is a service that enables managed code to call unmanaged functions implemented in dynamic-link libraries (DLLs), such as those in the Win32 API. It locates and invokes an exported function and marshals its arguments (integers, strings, arrays, structures, and so on) across the interoperation boundary as needed.

Q. Is it true that COM objects no longer need to be registered on the server?

A. Yes and No. Legacy COM objects still need to be registered on the server before they can be used. COM developed using the new .NET Framework will not need to be registered. Developers will be able to auto-register these objects just by placing them in the 'bin' folder of the application.

Q. What are Sealed Classes in C#?

A. The sealed modifier is used to prevent derivation from a class. A compile-time error occurs if a sealed class is specified as the base class of another class. (A sealed class cannot also be an abstract class)

Q. What are the access-specifiers available in c#?

A. Private, Protected, Public, Internal, Protected Internal.

Q. Explain about Protected and protected internal, “internal” access-specifier?

A. protected - Access is limited to the containing class or types derived from the containing class.

internal - Access is limited to the current assembly.

protected internal - Access is limited to the current assembly or types derived from the containing class.

Q. Difference between type constructor and instance constructor? What is static constructor, when it will be fired? And what is its use?

A. (Class constructor method is also known as type constructor or type initializer)Instance constructor is executed when a new instance of type is created and the class constructor is executed after the type is loaded and before any one of the type members is accessed. (It will get executed only 1st time, when we call any static methods/fields in the same class.) Class constructors are used for static field initialization. Only one class constructor per type is permitted, and it cannot use the vararg (variable argument) calling convention.A static constructor is used to initialize a class. It is called automatically to initialize the class before the first instance is created or any static members are referenced.

Q. What is Private Constructor? and it’s use? Can you create instance of a class which has Private Constructor?

A. When a class declares only private instance constructors, it is not possible for classes outside the program to derive from the class or to directly create instances of it. (Except Nested classes)Make a constructor private if:- You want it to be available only to the class itself. For example, you might have a special constructor used only in the implementation of your class' Clone method.- You do not want instances of your component to be created. For example, you may have a class containing nothing but Shared utility functions, and no instance data. Creating instances of the class would waste memory.

Q. I have 3 overloaded constructors in my class. In order to avoid making instance of the class do I need to make all constructors to private?

A. yes

Q. Overloaded constructor will call default constructor internally?

A. No

Q. Destructor and finalize.

A. Generally in C++ the destructor is called when objects gets destroyed. And one can explicitly call the destructors in C++. And also the objects are destroyed in reverse order that they are created in. So in C++ you have control over the destructors.In C# you can never call them, the reason is one cannot destroy an object. So who has the control over the destructor (in C#)? it's the .Net frameworks Garbage Collector (GC). GC destroys the objects only when necessary. Some situations of necessity are memory is exhausted or user explicitly calls System.GC.Collect() method.Points to remember:

1. Destructors are invoked automatically, and cannot be invoked explicitly.

2. Destructors cannot be overloaded. Thus, a class can have, at most, one destructor.

3. Destructors are not inherited. Thus, a class has no destructors other than the one, which may be declared in it.

4. Destructors cannot be used with structs. They are only used with classes.

5. An instance becomes eligible for destruction when it is no longer possible for any code to use the instance.

6. Execution of the destructor for the instance may occur at any time after the instance becomes eligible for destruction.

7. When an instance is destructed, the destructors in its inheritance chain are called, in order, from most derived to least derived.

Q. What is the difference between Finalize and Dispose (Garbage collection)

A. Class instances often encapsulate control over resources that are not managed by the runtime, such as window handles (HWND), database connections, and so on. Therefore, you should provide both an explicit and an implicit way to free those resources. Provide implicit control by implementing the protected Finalize Method on an object (destructor syntax in C# and the Managed Extensions for C++). The garbage collector calls this method at some point after there are no longer any valid references to the object.In some cases, you might want to provide programmers using an object with the ability to explicitly release these external resources before the garbage collector frees the object. If an external resource is scarce or expensive, better performance can be achieved if the programmer explicitly releases resources when they are no longer being used. To provide explicit control, implement the Dispose method provided by the IDisposable Interface. The consumer of the object should call this method when it is done using the object. Dispose can be called even if other references to the object are alive.Note that even when you provide explicit control by way of Dispose, you should provide implicit cleanup using the Finalize method. Finalize provides a backup to prevent resources from permanently leaking if the programmer fails to call Dispose.

Q. Is goto statement supported in C#? How about Java?

A. Gotos are supported in C#to the fullest. In Java goto is a reserved keyword that provides absolutely no functionality.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Dot Net Interview Questions - Answers Vol-3

32. using directive vs using statement
A. You create an instance in a using statement to ensure that Dispose is called on the object when the using statement is exited. A using statement can be exited either when the end of the using statement is reached or if, for example, an exception is thrown and control leaves the statement block before the end of the statement.The using directive has two uses:
· Create an alias for a namespace (a using alias).
· Permit the use of types in a namespace, such that, you do not have to qualify the use of a type in that namespace (a using directive).

33. Describe the Managed Execution Process?
A. The managed execution process includes the following steps:
0. Choosing a compiler. To obtain the benefits provided by the common language runtime, you must use one or more language compilers that target the runtime.
1. Compiling your code to Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL). Compiling translates your source code into MSIL and generates the required metadata.
2. Compiling MSIL to native code. At execution time, a just-in-time (JIT) compiler translates the MSIL into native code. During this compilation, code must pass a verification process that examines the MSIL and metadata to find out whether the code can be determined to be type safe.
3. Executing your code. The common language runtime provides the infrastructure that enables execution to take place as well as a variety of services that can be used during execution.

34. What is Active Directory? What is the namespace used to access the Microsoft Active Directories? What are ADSI Directories?
A. Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) is a programmatic interface for Microsoft Windows Active Directory. It enables your applications to interact with diverse directories on a network, using a single interface. Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework make it easy to add ADSI functionality with the DirectoryEntry and DirectorySearcher components.Using ADSI, you can create applications that perform common administrative tasks, such as backing up databases, accessing printers, and administering user accounts. ADSI makes it possible for you to:
· Log on once to work with diverse directories. The DirectoryEntry component class provides username and password properties that can be entered at runtime and communicated to the Active Directory object you are binding to.
· Use a single application programming interface (API) to perform tasks on multiple directory systems by offering the user a variety of protocols to use. The DirectoryServices namespace provides the classes to perform most administrative functions.
· Perform "rich querying" on directory systems. ADSI technology allows for searching for an object by specifying two query dialects: SQL and LDAP.
· Access and use a single, hierarchical structure for administering and maintaining diverse and complicated network configurations by accessing an Active Directory tree.
· Integrate directory information with databases such as SQL Server. The DirectoryEntry path may be used as an ADO.NET connection string provided that it is using the LDAP provider.
using System.DirectoryServices;

35. How Garbage Collector (GC) Works?
A. The methods in this class influence when an object is garbage collected and when resources allocated by an object are released. Properties in this class provide information about the total amount of memory available in the system and the age category, or generation, of memory allocated to an object. Periodically, the garbage collector performs garbage collection to reclaim memory allocated to objects for which there are no valid references. Garbage collection happens automatically when a request for memory cannot be satisfied using available free memory. Alternatively, an application can force garbage collection using the Collect method.Garbage collection consists of the following steps:
0. The garbage collector searches for managed objects that are referenced in managed code.
1. The garbage collector attempts to finalize objects that are not referenced.
2. The garbage collector frees objects that are not referenced and reclaims their memory.

36. Why do we need to call CG.SupressFinalize?
A. Requests that the system not call the finalizer method for the specified object. [C#]public static void SuppressFinalize( object obj); The method removes obj from the set of objects that require finalization. The obj parameter is required to be the caller of this method.Objects that implement the IDisposable interface can call this method from the IDisposable.Dispose method to prevent the garbage collector from calling Object.Finalize on an object that does not require it.

37. What is nmake tool?
A. The Nmake tool (Nmake.exe) is a 32-bit tool that you use to build projects based on commands contained in a .mak file.usage : nmake -a all

38. What are Namespaces?
A. The namespace keyword is used to declare a scope. This namespace scope lets you organize code and gives you a way to create globally-unique types. Even if you do not explicitly declare one, a default namespace is created. This unnamed namespace, sometimes called the global namespace, is present in every file. Any identifier in the global namespace is available for use in a named namespace. Namespaces implicitly have public access and this is not modifiable.

39. What is Jagged Arrays?
A. A jagged array is an array whose elements are arrays. The elements of a jagged array can be of different dimensions and sizes. A jagged array is sometimes called an "array-of-arrays."

40. Interop Services?
A. The common language runtime provides two mechanisms for interoperating with unmanaged code:
· Platform invoke, which enables managed code to call functions exported from an unmanaged library.
· COM interop, which enables managed code to interact with COM objects through interfaces.
Both platform invoke and COM interop use interop marshaling to accurately move method arguments between caller and callee and back, if required.

Java Interview Questions - Answers Vol - 2

Q. What is Collection API ?

A. The Collection API is a set of classes and interfaces that support operation on collections of objects. These classes and interfaces are more flexible, more powerful, and more regular than the vectors, arrays, and hashtables if effectively replaces. Example of classes: HashSet, HashMap, ArrayList, LinkedList, TreeSet and TreeMap.Example of interfaces: Collection, Set, List and Map.

Q. Is Iterator a Class or Interface? What is its use?

A. Iterator is an interface which is used to step through the elements of a Collection.

Q. What is similarities/difference between an Abstract class and Interface?

A. Differences are as follows: Interfaces provide a form of multiple inheritance. A class can extend only one other class. Interfaces are limited to public methods and constants with no implementation. Abstract classes can have a partial implementation, protected parts, static methods, etc. A Class may implement several interfaces. But in case of abstract class, a class may extend only one abstract class. Interfaces are slow as it requires extra indirection to to find corresponding method in in the actual class. Abstract classes are fast. Similarities: Neither Abstract classes or Interface can be instantiated.

Q. How to define an Abstract class?

A. A class containing abstract method is called Abstract class. An Abstract class can't be instantiated.Example of Abstract class:

abstract class testAbstractClass {

protected String myString;

public String getMyString()


return myString;


public abstract string anyAbstractFunction();


Q. How to define an Interface in Java ?

A. In Java Interface defines the methods but does not implement them. Interface can include constants. A class that implements the interfaces is bound to implement all the methods defined in Interface.Emaple of Interface:

public interface sampleInterface {

public void functionOne();

public long CONSTANT_ONE = 1000;


Q. If a class is located in a package, what do you need to change in the OS environment to be able to use it?
A. You need to add a directory or a jar file that contains the package directories to the CLASSPATH environment variable. Let's say a class Employee belongs to a package; and is located in the file c:\dev\com\xyz\hr\ In this case, you'd need to add c:\dev to the variable CLASSPATH. If this class contains the method main(), you could test it from a command prompt window as follows:c:\>java

Q. How many methods in the Serializable interface?

A. There is no method in the Serializable interface. The Serializable interface acts as a marker, telling the object serialization tools that your class is serializable.

Q. How many methods in the Externalizable interface?

A. There are two methods in the Externalizable interface. You have to implement these two methods in order to make your class externalizable. These two methods are readExternal() and writeExternal().

Q. What is the difference between Serializalble and Externalizable interface?

A. When you use Serializable interface, your class is serialized automatically by default. But you can override writeObject() and readObject() two methods to control more complex object serailization process. When you use Externalizable interface, you have a complete control over your class's serialization process.

Q. What is a transient variable in Java?

A. A transient variable is a variable that may not be serialized. If you don't want some field to be serialized, you can mark that field transient or static.

Q. Which containers use a border layout as their default layout?

A. The Window, Frame and Dialog classes use a border layout as their default layout.

Q. How are Observer and Observable used?

A. Objects that subclass the Observable class maintain a list of observers. When an Observable object is updated, it invokes the update() method of each of its observers to notify the observers that it has changed state. The Observer interface is implemented by objects that observe Observable objects.

HR Interview Questions - Answers Vol -1

Question 1 Tell me about yourself.
TRAPS: Beware; about 80% of all interviews begin with this “innocent” question. Many candidates, unprepared for the question, skewer themselves by rambling, recapping their life story, delving into ancient work history or personal matters.
BEST ANSWER: Start with the present and tell why you are well qualified for the position. Remember that the key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. In other words you must sell what the buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy in job hunting.
So, before you answer this or any question it's imperative that you try to uncover your interviewer's greatest need, want, problem or goal.
To do so, make you take these two steps:
1. Do all the homework you can before the interview to uncover this person's wants and needs (not the generalized needs of the industry or company)
2. As early as you can in the interview, ask for a more complete description of what the position entails. You might say: “I have a number of accomplishments I'd like to tell you about, but I want to make the best use of our time together and talk directly to your needs. To help me do, that, could you tell me more about the most important priorities of this position? All I know is what I (heard from the recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)”
Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly, third question, to draw out his needs even more. Surprisingly, it's usually this second or third question that unearths what the interviewer is most looking for.
You might ask simply, "And in addition to that?..." or, "Is there anything else you see as essential to success in this position?:
This process will not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer questions, but only if you uncover the employer's wants and needs will your answers make the most sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving your answers, the process will feel more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job candidates you're competing with. After uncovering what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job bear striking parallels to tasks you've succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate with specific examples of your responsibilities and especially your achievements, all of which are geared to present yourself as a perfect match for the needs he has just described.

Question 2 What are your greatest strengths?
TRAPS: This question seems like a softball lob, but be prepared. You don't want to come across as egotistical or arrogant. Neither is this a time to be humble.
BEST ANSWER: You know that your key strategy is to first uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs before you answer questions. And from Question 1, you know how to do this.
Prior to any interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths. You should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates each strength, an example chosen from your most recent and most impressive achievements.
You should, have this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from your achievements so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after being shaken awake at 2:30AM.
Then, once you uncover your interviewer's greatest wants and needs, you can choose those achievements from your list that best match up.
As a general guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their employees are:
1. A proven track record as an achiever...especially if your achievements match up with the employer's greatest wants and needs.
2. "savvy".
3. Honesty...integrity...a decent human being.
4. Good fit with corporate culture...someone to feel comfortable with...a team player who meshes well with interviewer's team.
5. Likeability...positive attitude...sense of humor.
6. Good communication skills.
7. Dedication...willingness to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.
8. Definiteness of purpose...clear goals.
9. Enthusiasm...high level of motivation.
10. Confident...healthy...a leader.

Question 3 What are your greatest weaknesses?
TRAPS: Beware - this is an eliminator question, designed to shorten the candidate list. Any admission of a weakness or fault will earn you an “A” for honesty, but an “F” for the interview.
PASSABLE ANSWER: Disguise a strength as a weakness.
Example: “I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and everyone is not always on the same wavelength.”
Drawback: This strategy is better than admitting a flaw, but it's so widely used, it is transparent to any experienced interviewer.
BEST ANSWER: (and another reason it's so important to get a thorough description of your interviewer's needs before you answer questions): Assure the interviewer that you can think of nothing that would stand in the way of your performing in this position with excellence. Then, quickly review you strongest qualifications.
Example: “Nobody's perfect, but based on what you've told me about this position, I believe I' d make an outstanding match. I know that when I hire people, I look for two things most of all. Do they have the qualifications to do the job well, and the motivation to do it well? Everything in my background shows I have both the qualifications and a strong desire to achieve excellence in whatever I take on. So I can say in all honesty that I see nothing that would cause you even a small concern about my ability or my strong desire to perform this job with excellence.”
Alternate strategy (if you don't yet know enough about the position to talk about such a perfect fit): Instead of confessing a weakness, describe what you like most and like least, making sure that what you like most matches up with the most important qualification for success in the position, and what you like least is not essential.
Example: Let's say you're applying for a teaching position. “If given a choice, I like to spend as much time as possible in front of my prospects selling, as opposed to shuffling paperwork back at the office. Of course, I long ago learned the importance of filing paperwork properly, and I do it conscientiously. But what I really love to do is sell (if your interviewer were a sales manager, this should be music to his ears.)

Question 4 Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little ashamed of.
TRAPS: There are some questions your interviewer has no business asking, and this is one. But while you may feel like answering, “none of your business,” naturally you can’t. Some interviewers ask this question on the chance you admit to something, but if not, at least they’ll see how you think on your feet.
Some unprepared candidates, flustered by this question, unburden themselves of guilt from their personal life or career, perhaps expressing regrets regarding a parent, spouse, child, etc. All such answers can be disastrous.
BEST ANSWER: As with faults and weaknesses, never confess a regret. But don’t seem as if you’re stonewalling either.
Best strategy: Say you harbor no regrets, then add a principle or habit you practice regularly for healthy human relations.
Example: Pause for reflection, as if the question never occurred to you. Then say, “You know, I really can’t think of anything.” (Pause again, then add): “I would add that as a general management principle, I’ve found that the best way to avoid regrets is to avoid causing them in the first place. I practice one habit that helps me a great deal in this regard. At the end of each day, I mentally review the day’s events and conversations to take a second look at the people and developments I’m involved with and do a doublecheck of what they’re likely to be feeling. Sometimes I’ll see things that do need more follow-up, whether a pat on the back, or maybe a five minute chat in someone’s office to make sure we’re clear on things…whatever.”
“I also like to make each person feel like a member of an elite team, like the Boston Celtics or LA Lakers in their prime. I’ve found that if you let each team member know you expect excellence in their performance…if you work hard to set an example yourself…and if you let people know you appreciate and respect their feelings, you wind up with a highly motivated group, a team that’s having fun at work because they’re striving for excellence rather than brooding over slights or regrets.”

Software Testing Interview Questions Answers - Vol 2

Q: What if an organization is growing so fast that fixed QA processes are impossible?
A: This is a common problem in the software industry, especially in new technology areas. There is no easy solution in this situation, other than...
Hire good people
Ruthlessly prioritize quality issues and maintain focus on the customer;
Everyone in the organization should be clear on what quality means to the customer

Q: How is testing affected by object-oriented designs?
A: A well-engineered object-oriented design can make it easier to trace from code to internal design to functional design to requirements. While there will be little affect on black box testing (where an understanding of the internal design of the application is unnecessary), white-box testing can be oriented to the application's objects. If the application was well designed this can simplify test design.

Q: Why do you recommended that we test during the design phase?
A: Because testing during the design phase can prevent defects later on. I recommend we verify three things...
Verify the design is good, efficient, compact, testable and maintainable.
Verify the design meets the requirements and is complete (specifies all relationships between modules, how to pass data, what happens in exceptional circumstances, starting state of each module and how to guarantee the state of each module).
Verify the design incorporates enough memory, I/O devices and quick enough runtime for the final product.

Q: What is quality assurance?
A: Quality Assurance ensures all parties concerned with the project adhere to the process and procedures, standards and templates and test readiness reviews.

Q: Processes and procedures - why follow them?
A: Detailed and well-written processes and procedures ensure the correct steps are being executed to facilitate a successful completion of a task. They also ensure a process is repeatable.

Q: Standards and templates - what is supposed to be in a document?
A: All documents should be written to a certain standard and template. Standards and templates maintain document uniformity. It also helps in learning where information is located, making it easier for a user to find what they want. Lastly, with standards and templates, information will not be accidentally omitted from a document.

Q: What is black box testing?
A: Black box testing is functional testing, not based on any knowledge of internal software design or code. Black box testing is based on requirements and functionality

Q: What is white box testing?
A: White box testing is based on knowledge of the internal logic of an application's code. Tests are based on coverage of code statements, branches, paths and conditions.

Q: What is unit testing?
A: Unit testing is the first level of dynamic testing and is first the responsibility of developers and then that of the test engineers. Unit testing is performed after the expected test results are met or differences are explainable/acceptable.

Q: What is parallel/audit testing?
A: Parallel/audit testing is testing where the user reconciles the output of the new system to the output of the current system to verify the new system performs the operations correctly.

Q: What is functional testing?
A: Functional testing is black-box type of testing geared to functional requirements of an application. Test engineers should perform functional testing.

Q: What is usability testing?
A: Usability testing is testing for 'user-friendliness'. Clearly this is subjective and depends on the targeted end-user or customer. User interviews, surveys, video recording of user sessions and other techniques can be used. Test engineers are needed, because programmers and developers are usually not appropriate as usability testers.

Q: What is incremental integration testing?
A: Incremental integration testing is continuous testing of an application as new functionality is recommended. This may require that various aspects of an application's functionality are independent enough to work separately, before all parts of the program are completed, or that test drivers are developed as needed. This type of testing may be performed by programmers, software engineers, or test engineers.

Q: What is integration testing?
A: Upon completion of unit testing, integration testing begins. Integration testing is black box testing. The purpose of integration testing is to ensure distinct components of the application still work in accordance to customer requirements. Test cases are developed with the express purpose of exercising the interfaces between the components. This activity is carried out by the test team. Integration testing is considered complete, when actual results and expected results are either in line or differences are explainable/acceptable based on client input.

Q: What is system testing?
A: System testing is black box testing, performed by the Test Team, and at the start of the system testing the complete system is configured in a controlled environment. The purpose of system testing is to validate an application's accuracy and completeness in performing the functions as designed. System testing simulates real life scenarios that occur in a "simulated real life" test environment and test all functions of the system that are required in real life. System testing is deemed complete when actual results and expected results are either in line or differences are explainable or acceptable, based on client input.
Upon completion of integration testing, system testing is started. Before system testing, all unit and integration test results are reviewed by SWQA to ensure all problems have been resolved. For a higher level of testing it is important to understand unresolved problems that originate at unit and integration test levels.

Q: What is end-to-end testing?
A: End-to-end testing is similar to system testing, the *macro* end of the test scale; it is the testing a complete application in a situation that mimics real life use, such as interacting with a database, using network communication, or interacting with other hardware, application, or system.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

SQL Interview Questions Answers Vol - 2


1) Tables:

In relational database systems, data are represented using tables (relations). The data is stored as records or rows or tuples in the table. The data attributes contitute the columns of table. The structure of table or relation schema is defined by these column attributes.

2) Database Schema:

is a set of relation schemas. The extension of a database schema at database runtime is called a database instance or database, for short.

3) SQL:

SQL stands for "Structured Query Language". This language allows us to pose complex questions of a database. It also provides a means of creating databases. SQL works with relational databases.


The critical difference between RDBMS and ODBMS is the extent to which the programmer is constrained in interacting with the data. With an RDBMS the application program--written in a procedural language such as C, COBOL, Fortran, Perl, or Tcl--can have all kinds of catastrophic bugs. However, these bugs generally won't affect the information in the database because all communication with the RDBMS is constrained through SQL statements. With an ODBMS, the application program is directly writing slots in objects stored in the database. A bug in the application program may translate directly into corruption of the database, one of an organization's most valuable assets. With an object-relational database, you get to define your own data types. For example, you could define a data type called url... If you really want to be on the cutting edge, you can use a bona fide object database, like Object Design's ObjectStore ( These persistently store the sorts of object and pointer structures that you create in a Smalltalk, Common Lisp, C++, or Java program. Chasing pointers and certain kinds of transactions can be 10 to 100 times faster than in a relational database.

5) ACID Properties of RDBMS:

Data processing folks like to talk about the "ACID test" when deciding whether or not a database management system is adequate for handling transactions. An adequate system has the following properties: Atomicity Results of a transaction's execution are either all committed or all rolled back. All changes take effect, or none do. That means, for Joe User's money transfer, that both his savings and checking balances are adjusted or neither are. Consistency The database is transformed from one valid state to another valid state. This defines a transaction as legal only if it obeys user-defined integrity constraints. Illegal transactions aren't allowed and, if an integrity constraint can't be satisfied then the transaction is rolled back. For example, suppose that you define a rule that, after a transfer of more than $10,000 out of the country, a row is added to an audit table so that you can prepare a legally required report for the IRS. Perhaps for performance reasons that audit table is stored on a separate disk from the rest of the database. If the audit table's disk is off-line and can't be written, the transaction is aborted. Isolation The results of a transaction are invisible to other transactions until the transaction is complete. For example, if you are running an accounting report at the same time that Joe is transferring money, the accounting report program will either see the balances before Joe transferred the money or after, but never the intermediate state where checking has been credited but savings not yet debited. Durability Once committed (completed), the results of a transaction are permanent and survive future system and media failures. If the airline reservation system computer gives you seat 22A and crashes a millisecond later, it won't have forgotten that you are sitting in 22A and also give it to someone else. Furthermore, if a programmer spills coffee into a disk drive, it will be possible to install a new disk and recover the transactions up to the coffee spill, showing that you had seat 22A.

Dot Net Interview Questions Answers - Vol 2

16. What are server controls?
ASP.NET server controls are components that run on the server and encapsulate user-interface and other related functionality. They are used in ASP.NET pages and in ASP.NET code-behind classes.

17. What is the difference between Web User Control and Web Custom Control?
Custom ControlsWeb custom controls are compiled components that run on the server and that encapsulate user-interface and other related functionality into reusable packages. They can include all the design-time features of standard ASP.NET server controls, including full support for Visual Studio design features such as the Properties window, the visual designer, and the Toolbox. There are several ways that you can create Web custom controls:
· You can compile a control that combines the functionality of two or more existing controls. For example, if you need a control that encapsulates a button and a text box, you can create it by compiling the existing controls together.
· If an existing server control almost meets your requirements but lacks some required features, you can customize the control by deriving from it and overriding its properties, methods, and events.
· If none of the existing Web server controls (or their combinations) meet your requirements, you can create a custom control by deriving from one of the base control classes. These classes provide all the basic functionality of Web server controls, so you can focus on programming the features you need.
If none of the existing ASP.NET server controls meet the specific requirements of your applications, you can create either a Web user control or a Web custom control that encapsulates the functionality you need. The main difference between the two controls lies in ease of creation vs. ease of use at design time.Web user controls are easy to make, but they can be less convenient to use in advanced scenarios. You develop Web user controls almost exactly the same way that you develop Web Forms pages. Like Web Forms, user controls can be created in the visual designer, they can be written with code separated from the HTML, and they can handle execution events. However, because Web user controls are compiled dynamically at run time they cannot be added to the Toolbox, and they are represented by a simple placeholder glyph when added to a page. This makes Web user controls harder to use if you are accustomed to full Visual Studio .NET design-time support, including the Properties window and Design view previews. Also, the only way to share the user control between applications is to put a separate copy in each application, which takes more maintenance if you make changes to the control.Web custom controls are compiled code, which makes them easier to use but more difficult to create; Web custom controls must be authored in code. Once you have created the control, however, you can add it to the Toolbox and display it in a visual designer with full Properties window support and all the other design-time features of ASP.NET server controls. In addition, you can install a single copy of the Web custom control in the global assembly cache and share it between applications, which makes maintenance easier.
Web user controls
Web custom controls
Easier to create
Harder to create
Limited support for consumers who use a visual design tool
Full visual design tool support for consumers
A separate copy of the control is required in each application
Only a single copy of the control is required, in the global assembly cache
Cannot be added to the Toolbox in Visual Studio
Can be added to the Toolbox in Visual Studio
Good for static layout
Good for dynamic layout

18. What is exception handling?
When an exception occurs, the system searches for the nearest catch clause that can handle the exception, as determined by the run-time type of the exception. First, the current method is searched for a lexically enclosing try statement, and the associated catch clauses of the try statement are considered in order. If that fails, the method that called the current method is searched for a lexically enclosing try statement that encloses the point of the call to the current method. This search continues until a catch clause is found that can handle the current exception, by naming an exception class that is of the same class, or a base class, of the run-time type of the exception being thrown. A catch clause that doesn't name an exception class can handle any exception.Once a matching catch clause is found, the system prepares to transfer control to the first statement of the catch clause. Before execution of the catch clause begins, the system first executes, in order, any finally clauses that were associated with try statements more nested that than the one that caught the exception. Exceptions that occur during destructor execution are worth special mention. If an exception occurs during destructor execution, and that exception is not caught, then the execution of that destructor is terminated and the destructor of the base class (if any) is called. If there is no base class (as in the case of the object type) or if there is no base class destructor, then the exception is discarded.

19. What is Assembly?
Assemblies are the building blocks of .NET Framework applications; they form the fundamental unit of deployment, version control, reuse, activation scoping, and security permissions. An assembly is a collection of types and resources that are built to work together and form a logical unit of functionality. An assembly provides the common language runtime with the information it needs to be aware of type implementations. To the runtime, a type does not exist outside the context of an assembly.Assemblies are a fundamental part of programming with the .NET Framework. An assembly performs the following functions:
· It contains code that the common language runtime executes. Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code in a portable executable (PE) file will not be executed if it does not have an associated assembly manifest. Note that each assembly can have only one entry point (that is, DllMain, WinMain, or Main).
· It forms a security boundary. An assembly is the unit at which permissions are requested and granted.
· It forms a type boundary. Every type's identity includes the name of the assembly in which it resides. A type called MyType loaded in the scope of one assembly is not the same as a type called MyType loaded in the scope of another assembly.
· It forms a reference scope boundary. The assembly's manifest contains assembly metadata that is used for resolving types and satisfying resource requests. It specifies the types and resources that are exposed outside the assembly. The manifest also enumerates other assemblies on which it depends.
· It forms a version boundary. The assembly is the smallest versionable unit in the common language runtime; all types and resources in the same assembly are versioned as a unit. The assembly's manifest describes the version dependencies you specify for any dependent assemblies.
· It forms a deployment unit. When an application starts, only the assemblies that the application initially calls must be present. Other assemblies, such as localization resources or assemblies containing utility classes, can be retrieved on demand. This allows applications to be kept simple and thin when first downloaded.
· It is the unit at which side-by-side execution is supported.
Assemblies can be static or dynamic. Static assemblies can include .NET Framework types (interfaces and classes), as well as resources for the assembly (bitmaps, JPEG files, resource files, and so on). Static assemblies are stored on disk in PE files. You can also use the .NET Framework to create dynamic assemblies, which are run directly from memory and are not saved to disk before execution. You can save dynamic assemblies to disk after they have executed.There are several ways to create assemblies. You can use development tools, such as Visual Studio .NET, that you have used in the past to create .dll or .exe files. You can use tools provided in the .NET Framework SDK to create assemblies with modules created in other development environments. You can also use common language runtime APIs, such as Reflection.Emit, to create dynamic assemblies.

20. What are the contents of assembly?In general, a static assembly can consist of four elements:
· The assembly manifest, which contains assembly metadata.
· Type metadata.
· Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code that implements the types.
· A set of resources.

21. What are the different types of assemblies?
Private, Public/Shared, Satellite

22. What is the difference between a private assembly and a shared assembly?
Location and visibility: A private assembly is normally used by a single application, and is stored in the application's directory, or a sub-directory beneath. A shared assembly is normally stored in the global assembly cache, which is a repository of assemblies maintained by the .NET runtime. Shared assemblies are usually libraries of code which many applications will find useful, e.g. the .NET framework classes.
Versioning: The runtime enforces versioning constraints only on shared assemblies, not on private assemblies.

23. What are Satellite Assemblies? How you will create this? How will you get the different language strings?
Satellite assemblies are often used to deploy language-specific resources for an application. These language-specific assemblies work in side-by-side execution because the application has a separate product ID for each language and installs satellite assemblies in a language-specific subdirectory for each language. When uninstalling, the application removes only the satellite assemblies associated with a given language and .NET Framework version. No core .NET Framework files are removed unless the last language for that .NET Framework version is being removed.(For example, English and Japanese editions of the .NET Framework version 1.1 share the same core files. The Japanese .NET Framework version 1.1 adds satellite assemblies with localized resources in a \ja subdirectory. An application that supports the .NET Framework version 1.1, regardless of its language, always uses the same core runtime files.) **

24. What is Assembly manifest? what all details the assembly manifest will contain?
Every assembly, whether static or dynamic, contains a collection of data that describes how the elements in the assembly relate to each other. The assembly manifest contains this assembly metadata. An assembly manifest contains all the metadata needed to specify the assembly's version requirements and security identity, and all metadata needed to define the scope of the assembly and resolve references to resources and classes. The assembly manifest can be stored in either a PE file (an .exe or .dll) with Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code or in a standalone PE file that contains only assembly manifest information.It contains Assembly name, Version number, Culture, Strong name information, List of all files in the assembly, Type reference information, Information on referenced assemblies.

25. Difference between assembly manifest & metadata?
assembly manifest - An integral part of every assembly that renders the assembly self-describing. The assembly manifest contains the assembly's metadata. The manifest establishes the assembly identity, specifies the files that make up the assembly implementation, specifies the types and resources that make up the assembly, itemizes the compile-time dependencies on other assemblies, and specifies the set of permissions required for the assembly to run properly. This information is used at run time to resolve references, enforce version binding policy, and validate the integrity of loaded assemblies. The self-describing nature of assemblies also helps makes zero-impact install and XCOPY deployment feasible.
metadata - Information that describes every element managed by the common language runtime: an assembly, loadable file, type, method, and so on. This can include information required for debugging and garbage collection, as well as security attributes, marshaling data, extended class and member definitions, version binding, and other information required by the runtime.

26. What is Global Assembly Cache (GAC) and what is the purpose of it? (How to make an assembly to public? Steps) How more than one version of an assembly can keep in same place?
Each computer where the common language runtime is installed has a machine-wide code cache called the global assembly cache. The global assembly cache stores assemblies specifically designated to be shared by several applications on the computer. You should share assemblies by installing them into the global assembly cache only when you need to.Steps- Create a strong name using sn.exe tooleg: sn -k keyPair.snk- with in AssemblyInfo.cs add the generated file name eg: [assembly: AssemblyKeyFile("abc.snk")]- recompile project, then install it to GAC by eitherdrag & drop it to assembly folder (C:\WINDOWS\assembly OR C:\WINNT\assembly) (shfusion.dll tool)orgacutil -i abc.dll

27. What is Garbage Collection in .Net? Garbage collection process?
The process of transitively tracing through all pointers to actively used objects in order to locate all objects that can be referenced, and then arranging to reuse any heap memory that was not found during this trace. The common language runtime garbage collector also compacts the memory that is in use to reduce the working space needed for the heap.

28. Readonly vs. const?
A const field can only be initialized at the declaration of the field. A readonly field can be initialized either at the declaration or in a constructor. Therefore, readonly fields can have different values depending on the constructor used. Also, while a const field is a compile-time constant, the readonly field can be used for runtime constants, as in the following example:public static readonly uint l1 = (uint) DateTime.Now.Ticks;

29. What is Reflection in .NET? Namespace? How will you load an assembly which is not referenced by current assembly?
All .NET compilers produce metadata about the types defined in the modules they produce. This metadata is packaged along with the module (modules in turn are packaged together in assemblies), and can be accessed by a mechanism called reflection. The System.Reflection namespace contains classes that can be used to interrogate the types for a module/assembly.Using reflection to access .NET metadata is very similar to using ITypeLib/ITypeInfo to access type library data in COM, and it is used for similar purposes - e.g. determining data type sizes for marshaling data across context/process/machine boundaries.Reflection can also be used to dynamically invoke methods (see System.Type.InvokeMember), or even create types dynamically at run-time (see System.Reflection.Emit.TypeBuilder).

30. What is Custom attribute? How to create? If I'm having custom attribute in an assembly, how to say that name in the code?
The primary steps to properly design custom attribute classes are as follows:
Applying the AttributeUsageAttribute ([AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.All, Inherited = false, AllowMultiple = true)])
Declaring the attribute. (class public class MyAttribute : System.Attribute { // . . . })
Declaring constructors (public MyAttribute(bool myvalue) { this.myvalue = myvalue; })Declaring properties
public bool MyPropertye. {
get {return this.myvalue;}
set {this.myvalue = value;}
The following example demonstrates the basic way of using reflection to get access to custom attributes.
class MainClass
public static void Main()
System.Reflection.MemberInfo info = typeof(MyClass);
object[] attributes = info.GetCustomAttributes();
for (int i = 0; i < attributes.Length; i ++)

31. What is the managed and unmanaged code in .net?
The .NET Framework provides a run-time environment called the Common Language Runtime, which manages the execution of code and provides services that make the development process easier. Compilers and tools expose the runtime's functionality and enable you to write code that benefits from this managed execution environment. Code that you develop with a language compiler that targets the runtime is called managed code; it benefits from features such as cross-language integration, cross-language exception handling, enhanced security, versioning and deployment support, a simplified model for component interaction, and debugging and profiling services.

J2EE Interview Questions and Answers Vol - 1

What is J2EE?
J2EE is an environment for developing and deploying enterprise applications. The J2EE platform consists of a set of services, application programming interfaces (APIs), and protocols that provide the functionality for developing multitier, web-based applications.

What is the J2EE module?
A J2EE module consists of one or more J2EE components for the same container type and one component deployment descriptor of that type.

What are the components of J2EE application?
A J2EE component is a self-contained functional software unit that is assembled into a J2EE application with its related classes and files and communicates with other components. The J2EE specification defines the following J2EE components:
Application clients and applets are client components.
Java Servlet and JavaServer PagesTM (JSPTM) technology components are web components.
Enterprise JavaBeansTM (EJBTM) components (enterprise beans) are business components.
Resource adapter components provided by EIS and tool vendors.

What are the four types of J2EE modules?
1. Application client module
2. Web module
3. Enterprise JavaBeans module
4. Resource adapter module

What does application client module contain?
The application client module contains:--class files, --an application client deployment descriptor.Application client modules are packaged as JAR files with a .jar extension.

What does web module contain?
The web module contains:--JSP files,--class files for servlets,--GIF and HTML files, and --a Web deployment descriptor. Web modules are packaged as JAR files with a .war (Web ARchive) extension.

What are the differences between Ear, Jar and War files? Under what circumstances should we use each one?
There are no structural differences between the files; they are all archived using zip-jar compression. However, they are intended for different purposes.
--Jar files (files with a .jar extension) are intended to hold generic libraries of Java classes, resources, auxiliary files, etc.
--War files (files with a .war extension) are intended to contain complete Web applications. In this context, a Web application is defined as a single group of files, classes, resources, .jar files that can be packaged and accessed as one servlet context.
--Ear files (files with a .ear extension) are intended to contain complete enterprise applications. In this context, an enterprise application is defined as a collection of .jar files, resources, classes, and multiple Web applications. Each type of file (.jar, .war, .ear) is processed uniquely by application servers, servlet containers, EJB containers, etc.

What is the difference between Session bean and Entity bean ?
The Session bean and Entity bean are two main parts of EJB container. Session Bean--represents a workflow on behalf of a client--one-to-one logical mapping to a client.--created and destroyed by a client --not permanent objects--lives its EJB container(generally) does not survive system shut down--two types: stateless and stateful beansEntity Bean--represents persistent data and behavior of this data--can be shared among multiple clients --persists across multiple invocations --findable permanent objects--outlives its EJB container, survives system shutdown --two types: container managed persistence(CMP) and bean managed persistence(BMP)

What is "applet" ?
A J2EE component that typically executes in a Web browser but can execute in a variety of other applications or devices that support the applet programming model.
What is "applet container" ?A container that includes support for the applet programming model.

What is "application assembler" ?
A person who combines J2EE components and modules into deployable application units.

Why the stock market isn't a casino?

THE fear of buying and selling shares arises from the belief that the stock market is a casino. Therefore, a vast majority of investors in India tend to keep away from the stock markets. Because of this belief, they opt for 'safe and assured return' products like bank deposits, Public Provident Fund, National Saving Certificate, post office etc.

For a select few, however, the greed is more powerful than their fear. They therefore, dare to take a plunge in the stock markets though not with very encouraging results. Fear and greed can often cloud our judgment and reasoning. As it is, investing demands one to be rational, disciplined and patient. Therefore, when we act due to our emotions, we only increase the probability of taking wrong decisions. Let's see how one can overcome these fears to profit from the stock markets.

The fear of loss

Because one can lose money in the stock markets, most people don't invest in shares. But the questions we need to ask are:
1. Is investing in stock market same as gambling?
2. Does making money depend on one's 'luck'?
3. What is the probability of making a loss?
Let's think rationally. What does buying a share mean? It means being part of a business and sharing its profits and losses. If businesses make profit, the share prices will rise; if not, the prices will fall. Now, does a business run on luck?

No! It runs on hard work. It runs on efficient management. Therefore, more often than not, a well-managed business will make money and consequently the share price will rise. Hence, if you invest in say 10-15 good businesses, majority of them will make profits and hence your probability of making money from such a portfolio will be much higher. Hence, stock markets are not a casino. Luck has a very little role to play. A portfolio of good companies will give good returns with high probability.

One more important point. Can a business double its' profits in a few days? No. Businesses take time to grow. Therefore, keep your return expectations in line with the business growth. If businesses are growing at 15-20 per cent pa today, don't expect to double you money in six months or one year.

Be patient. Give time for the businesses to grow. Also, look at making money from the portfolio as a whole and not from each and every share.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

10 Tips to Invset in Stock Market

Currently, the Indian markets are in doldrums and nobody is talking of stocks or investments. You may think justifiably so, as the markets are headed in no direction. Is it not exactly the opposite of the exuberant times we were witnessing a few months back. Conversely, bottoms are made in turbulent times.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to say when the markets will halt their southward journey and change direction for the better. Who knows, we might have already hit the bottom and the markets may soon return back to their upward trajectory.

My empirical observation and research have proved it that wealth making in the market has more to do with discipline and the power of time to compound growth than being smart at stock picking and timing the markets just right. To help you in your quest to make wealth in our markets, I suggest you follow the 10 golden rules of markets that will virtually ensure reasonable, steady wealth appreciation.

Bear in mind, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Saving and consumption do not go hand-in-hand. You need to plan today for the lifestyle you want after you stop working, i.e. the finances you will require after you retire. Accordingly, save the necessary portion of your income to invest in equities. Equities, or stocks, may appear risky, but they are just volatile, they go up and down, and time is the perfect hedge against volatility.

Therefore, Rule No 1: Plan for tomorrow, today. Start saving for it now! Stagger your investments throughout your earning phase. Invest regularly and invest for the long term to buy in at an average price that includes both markets’ up and down ticks.

Never wait until you have large amounts of money to invest. However small the amount you are able to save, start early. The earlier you start, the better are your chances of making great wealth. Remember to make great gains. Time is a crucial factor, as wealth creation is a factor of both the power of compounding and the returns on your investments.

Accordingly, Rule No 2: Start early so that the power of compounding begins sooner; time is the magic that converts paise into rupees. In exuberant phases, when we have earned good money from our investments, most of us get greedy, and derivatives and futures provide an outlet for the expression of human greed. While such instruments often satisfy the whims of human greed, if taken to unrealistic levels, irresponsible investment in these securities can lead to financial ruin.

Hence, Rule No 3: Do not leverage, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict short-term trends. Buy markets, not stocks. We all know that our economy is in a secular phase of prosperity and the stock market is the best proxy for the growth of an economy. To benefit from our soaring economy, buy the market as a whole and not any single stock.

Consequently, Rule No 4: Buy stocks that mirror the broader indexes, but never buy a single, or a handful of stock exposures. This means that you need to spread your risk across various market segments in the event a particular stock does not perform for reasons beyond the company’s control. It is easier to predict company earnings, but difficult to predict stock prices of the same company in the short run. Ironically, over the long term, stock prices mirror growth in a corporation’s earnings.

Therefore, Rule No 5: Look at company earnings, not at stock prices. Stock prices may tempt or give the wrong impression of a company’s welfare. But to build real wealth in equities, you must always rely on declared profits and facts, rather than make decisions based on stock movements. We all tend to sell stocks when we have made profits and keep the ones that have not appreciated. Eventually, we end up holding a portfolio of companies that are not performing! It is only human to sell for profits and not to want to take losses.

Hence, Rule No 6: Keep the winners, sell the losers. Stay on top of your investments. Check constantly for stocks that are not performing and eliminate them from your portfolio if the outlook does not seem promising. This way, you will have all winners left in your portfolio to take you to your goals.

In exuberant times, we all tend to believe that the good times will last longer than they actually will. And before D-day, we will be able to sell our investments that were bought at unjustified levels. Just then, it happens that the markets turn and before we can sell out, we are left holding the bag.

For this reason, Rule No 7: Avoid being the “Bigger Fool;” it is imperative that you recognise the difference between price and value. Buy value and not momentum. When investing in stocks, your head should prevail over your heart. Resist the urge to get consumed by market chatter. Ignore hot tips from dealers and friends. It is advisable to do your own home work

As the result, Rule No 8: Pick stocks with your brain, not your heart. Large-caps are the ones that have already proven themselves over longer periods of time and have the balance sheet acumen, strong cash flow and brains to manage businesses effectively according to prevailing situations and realistic opportunities available.

Hence, Rule No 9: Prefer large-cap stocks to small- and medium-caps. Investment in small and mid-cap stocks requires expertise and strong tracking abilities, that without, your portfolio will under-perform. Do not short sell a stock just because it is going up, and thus, one day it must come down. Newton’s law is not applicable to the markets. What goes up does not necessarily come back down! If companies are able to sustain earnings’ growth for long periods, then its stock may go up, up and up, or it can even remain high without any reason for a long period of time.

Because of this, Rule No 10: Markets can remain irrationally up, or continually climb for the right reasons. Therefore, never go short. It will expose you to unnecessary risks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008