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10 Questions to Ask in an Interview for Developers

10 Questions to Ask in an Interview for Developers

    Editors note: This article assumes that you have some knowledge of software development.

    The wonderful world of software development. I have now been a “professional” programmer for about 6 months now and have learned much more in that time than I did during most of my entire education at college.

    Thanks college.

    But, there are a few things that I have learned about the company that I work for, the people that I work with, and about programming in general that I wish I would have known when considering employment with any company. This isn’t because I don’t like my job (in fact, I Love my job); it’s because there are some things every developer should know before entering a new job in a new company.

    I’ve compiled a list of 10 questions to ask in an interview for developers. If I missed something , add your questions in the comments below.

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    1. What tools does the team / company use?

    We never learned about good testing frameworks or testing frameworks in general in school. Never learned what a good text/code editor was. And sure as hell didn’t hear what to use for source control.

    These are some some good things to know about the company that you are applying to. What coding environment do you use? What type of source control tools? Are there any other specific tools I need to know before you join the team?

    2. Are there some sort of coding standards?

    What are big “no-nos” when it comes to coding style? Is there some sort of coding standard and style? If not, it doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they are doing, but it could mean that source code ends up being “spaghetti code” and tough to wrap your head around.

    3. What type of storage technologies are used?

    What ways do developers and the company store information? Is it a specific type of database technology or is it open ended? For example, do you have to use a standard, company-issued type of database technology like SQL Server or MySQL to get things done? Or can you use MongoDB on a whim?

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    4. What operating systems are used?

    This should be somewhat apparent before your interview, but it’s always something good to ask. Plus it doesn’t hurt to passionately talk about your favorite OS, you geek. I can imagine that many companies use a wide-range of operating systems. Of course the most popular being Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

    5. Is the team an Agile team? Do they follow Waterfall methodology (yikes!)?

    What type of development style does the company / team subscribe to? Are they an Agile team? Waterfall? How closely do they follow the methodology?

    Also, different teams within one company may have different types of methodologies they use. learning this allows you to see how you will work and what other teams use.

    6. How much room do developers have to “take charge”?

    Are customer software requirements locked and stringent or do developers have wiggle room to try and create things that customers would like better?

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    Do developers have the opportunity to create tools and systems during their day to help the team that they work on without having to create an entire formal project? Some companies encourage developers to take charge and make things on the side while others simply want you to do what you are told.

    7. Are there any tool / software restrictions?

    Is there any software that the company has “banned” from use? This is more along the lines of open source software or software that has weird licensing restrictions for commercial use.

    Even after your interview, it’s probably a good idea not to install and use software that isn’t directly “approved” by the company, unless you are given free reign to do so.

    8. Is telecommuting an option?

    What type of working condition does the company have when it comes to working remotely? This can be a huge benefit to a future employee – the ability to work from home. If the company allows for remote working arrangements, It’s important to know what expectations are.

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    9. Does the team have code reviews? If so what are they like?

    Ahh, code reviews. The one place that can make you feel like a genius or show you aren’t the hotshot that you thought you were. Does the company and team give code reviews on a regular basis? If so, what are they like? Hell on earth or generally helpful in learning what you are doing wrong and how to make it better?

    I haven’t had the opportunity to sit through a killer code review, but I have heard horror stories. It’s good to know what you are getting into.

    10. What type of experience is on the team that I will join?

    How seasoned are the developers that you are about to join up with? What type of experiences and code have they been to exposed to? What are the weaknesses of the team and what can they improve on?

    It’s a great thing to know when joining a new team; who can I ask for help if (and when) I need it?

    Of course there are other important questions that you may want to ask in a developer interview, but these 10 will quickly give you an idea of what the team and company is like that you are interviewing for.

    Like I said, I haven’t been in the software development field for too long, but feel that I now have a better understanding of what I would ask in my next interview. Are there any other questions that developers should ask during an interview? Post them below.

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

    Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

    As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

    In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

    Projects and Tasks Management

    1. Monday dot com

      Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

      The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

      The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

      The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

      Check out the software here!

      2. Asana

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        The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

        The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

        Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

        Check out the software here!

        3. Trello

          Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

          Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

          Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

          Check out the software here!

          4. Jira

            The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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            The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

            The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

            Check out the software here!

            5. Evernote Business

              Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

              The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

              Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

              Check out the software here!

              Communication

              6. Slack

                Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                Check out the software here!

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                7. Spike

                  Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                  Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                  Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                  Check out the software here!

                  Creation

                  8. Office 365

                    Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                    Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                    You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                    Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                    Check out the software here!

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                    9. Grammarly

                      Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                      Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                      Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Team Analytics

                      10. ActivTrak

                        ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                        The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                        Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                        Check out the software here!

                        The Bottom Line

                        Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                        More Productivity Tools

                        Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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