Reverse list of last names

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This a problem set for you to work through [1]

This is a problem set. Some of these are easy, others are far more difficult. The purpose of these problems sets are:

  1. to build your skill applying computational thinking to a problem
  2. to assess your knowledge and skills of different programming practices

What is this problem set trying to do[edit]

In this example we are learning about lists, loops, conditionals, and processing user input.

The Problem[edit]

You are given a list of names in a list. The list will only have one first name and one last name. You must construct a program to process the names so they are in reverse order by last name. YOU WILL NOT BE GIVEN AN ALPHABETICAL LIST!

for example:

names = ["Bill MacKenty", "Joe Shmoe", "Jan Kowalski", "Max Haltre"]

# the output should be: 

Joe Shmoe,  Bill MacKenty, Jan Kowalski, Max Haltre

How you will be assessed[edit]

Your solution will be graded using the following axis:


  • To what extent does your code implement the features required by our specification?
  • To what extent is there evidence of effort?


  • To what extent did your code meet specifications?
  • To what extent did your code meet unit tests?
  • To what extent is your code free of bugs?


  • To what extent is your code written well (i.e. clearly, efficiently, elegantly, and/or logically)?
  • To what extent is your code eliminating repetition?
  • To what extent is your code using functions appropriately?


  • To what extent is your code readable?
  • To what extent is your code commented?
  • To what extent are your variables well named?
  • To what extent do you adhere to style guide?


A possible solution[edit]

Click the expand link to see one possible solution, but NOT before you have tried and failed!

# This code is used with consent from Daniel, who gave this to us on 25 September 2019

names = ["Bill MacKenty", "Joe Shmoe", "Jan Kowalski", "Max Zaltre"]


for name in names:
    first_letter_name = name.split(" ")[1][0]
    first_letter_names = names[0].split(" ")[1][0]
    if(alphabet.index(first_letter_name) > alphabet.index(first_letter_names)):
        current_name = name
        del names[names.index(name)]
        names.insert(0, current_name)