C# – Remove non-alphanumeric characters from a string

The simplest way to remove non-alphanumeric characters from a string is to use regex: Note: Don’t pass in a null, otherwise you’ll get an exception. Regex is the simplest approach for solving this problem, but it’s also the slowest. If you’re concerned about the performance take a look at the performance section below. This example … Read more

C# – Convert a list to a dictionary

The simplest way to convert a list to a dictionary is to use the Linq ToDictionary() method: This loops through the list and uses the key/element selector lambdas you passed in to build the dictionary. In this article, I’ll go into details about how to use ToDictionary() and show how to deal with duplicate keys. … Read more

C# – Select distinct objects based on a property

There are three ways to select distinct objects based on a property using Linq: These select one movie per year: GroupBy() is the simplest because it doesn’t require any additional code. Distinct() is faster but it’s more complicated. DistinctBy() is the fastest and simplest, but requires the most code (it requires .NET 6 or getting … Read more

C# – Pad a 2D array on all sides

Padding a 2D array on all sides means adding new rows on the top and bottom, new columns on the left and right, and then copying the original elements to the center of the padded array. It looks like this: There are two approaches for copying the elements. You can either copy individual items in … Read more

C# – Remove a set of characters from a string

The fastest and simplest way to remove a set of characters from a string is to use StringBuilder + List<char>, like this: I compared this with three other approaches. I did 100,000 iterations with a string with 2500 characters and a list of 15 characters to remove. This StringBuilder approach is almost 2x faster than … Read more

C# – Convert a list of strings into a set of enums

Let’s say you have a list of HTTP status codes that you read in when the service starts up (perhaps from appsettings.json or from the database). Whenever you send an HTTP request, you want to check if the returned status code is in this list of status code. To make things more efficient, you want … Read more

C# – Check if an IP range is valid

Given an IP range as a starting IP address and an ending IP address (as strings, like from user input or a config file), you can check if the IP range is valid by doing the following steps: Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re given starting IP “” and ending “”. The following table shows … Read more

Set Operations – Intersect, Union, Difference, and Symmetric Difference

In the show House, different sets of main characters appeared in different seasons. For example, here are the main characters that starred in seasons 1 and 7: Characters in Season 1 Characters in Season 7 HouseCuddyWilsonForemanChaseCameron HouseCuddyWilsonForemanChaseTaubThirteenMasters Set operations allow you to answer interesting questions, such as “Which House main characters appeared in both seasons … Read more

C# – Merge two dictionaries in-place

When you merge two dictionaries, you can either merge them in-place, or create a new dictionary and copy the values over to it. The following extension method does an in-place merge of two dictionaries. It puts items from the right dictionary into the left dictionary. When duplicate keys exist, it’s keeping the value from the … Read more

C# – Hex string to byte array

This article shows code for converting a hex string to a byte array, unit tests, and a speed comparison. First, this diagram shows the algorithm for converting a hex string to a byte array. To convert a hex string to a byte array, you need to loop through the hex string and convert two characters … Read more

C# – Sort all but first element

To sort a list, except for the first element, you need to: Separate the first element from the rest of the elements. Sort the rest of the elements. Merge the first element with the sorted list. This can be accomplished in a single line using Linq methods: Example – sorting a list of people Let’s … Read more

C# – How to sort by multiple fields

Use OrderBy() and ThenBy() when you want to sort by multiple fields, like this: Note: These are Linq extension methods, so make sure to add a reference to System.Linq. Ascending vs Descending order By default, OrderBy() and ThenBy() sort in ascending order. If you want to sort by descending order, use the Descending version of … Read more

Solving whiteboard problems to prepare for coding interviews

Companies like to ask you to solve whiteboard problems during coding interviews. If it’s an in-person interview, they’ll ask you to solve the problem on a physical whiteboard. If it’s a remote interview, they’ll either have you solve the problem on a website like HackerRank, or they’ll ask you the question in a “digital whiteboard” … Read more