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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 November 5, 2019

    5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

    5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

    Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

    The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

    1. Duolingo

      Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

      Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

      The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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      Download the app

      2. HelloTalk

        HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

        There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

        What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

        Download the app

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        3. Mindsnacks

          Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

          You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

          Download the app

          4. Busuu

            Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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            The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

            When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

            Download the app

            5. Babbel

              Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

              Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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              If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

              Download the app

              Takeaways

              All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

              Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

              More About Language Learning

              Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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