Interview Questions for Software Developers
For most of the questions in this list there are no right and wrong answers!
- Can you name a number of non-functional (or quality) requirements?
- What is your advice when a customer wants high performance, high usability and high security?
- Can you name a number of different techniques for specifying requirements? What works best in which case?
- What is requirements tracing? What is backward tracing vs. forward tracing?
- Which tools do you like to use for keeping track of requirements?
- How do you treat changing requirements? Are they good or bad? Why?
- How do you search and find requirements? What are possible sources?
- How do you prioritize requirements? Do you know different techniques?
- Can you name the responsibilities of the user, the customer and the developer in the requirements process?
- What do you do with requirements that are incomplete or incomprehensible?
- What are metaphors used for in functional design? Can you name some successful examples?
- How can you reduce the user’s perception of waiting when some functions take a lot of time?
- Which controls would you use when a user must select multiple items from a big list, in a minimal amount of space?
- Can you name different measures to guarantee correctness of data entry?
- Can you name different techniques for prototyping an application?
- Can you name examples of how an application can anticipate user behavior?
- Can you name different ways of designing access to a large and complex list of features?
- How would you design editing twenty fields for a list of 10 items? And editing 3 fields for a list of 1000 items?
- What is the problem of using different colors when highlighting pieces of a text?
- Can you name some limitations of a web environment vs. a Windows environment?
- What do low coupling and high cohesion mean? What does the principle of encapsulation mean?
- How do you manage conflicts in a web application when different people are editing the same data?
- Do you know about design patterns? Which design patterns have you used, and in what situations?
- Do you know what a stateless business layer is? Where do long-running transactions fit into that picture?
- What kinds of diagrams have you used in designing parts of an architecture, or a technical design?
- Can you name the different tiers and responsibilities in an N-tier architecture?
- Can you name different measures to guarantee correctness and robustness of data in an architecture?
- Can you name any differences between object-oriented design and component-based design?
- How would you model user authorization, user profiles and permissions in a database?
- How would you model the animal kingdom (with species and their behavior) as a class system?
- How do you make sure that your code can handle different kinds of error situations?
- Can you explain what Test-Driven Development is? Can you name some principles of Extreme Programming?
- What do you care about most when reviewing somebody else’s code?
- When do you use an abstract class and when do you use an interface?
- Apart from the IDE, which other favorite tools do you use that you think are essential to you?
- How do you make sure that your code is both safe and fast?
- When do you use polymorphism and when do you use delegates?
- When would you use a class with static members and when would you use a Singleton class?
- Can you name examples of anticipating changing requirements in your code?
- Can you describe the process you use for writing a piece of code, from requirements to delivery?
- How do you find out if a number is a power of 2? And how do you know if it is an odd number?
- How do you find the middle item in a linked list?
- How would you change the format of all the phone numbers in 10,000 static html web pages?
- Can you name an example of a recursive solution that you created?
- Which is faster: finding an item in a hashtable or in a sorted list?
- What is the last thing you learned about algorithms from a book, magazine or web site?
- How would you write a function to reverse a string? And can you do that without a temporary string?
- What type of language do you prefer for writing complex algorithms?
- In an array with integers between 1 and 1,000,000 one value is in the array twice. How do you determine which one?
- Do you know about the Traveling Salesman Problem?
- How would you implement the structure of the London underground in a computer’s memory?
- How would you store the value of a color in a database, as efficiently as possible?
- What is the difference between a queue and a stack?
- What is the difference between storing data on the heap vs. on the stack?
- How would you store a vector in N dimensions in a datatable?
- What type of language do you prefer for writing complex data structures?
- What is the number 21 in binary format? And in hex?
- What is the last thing you learned about data structures from a book, magazine or web site?
- How would you store the results of a soccer/football competition (with teams and scores) in an XML document?
- Can you name some different text file formats for storing unicode characters?
- Do you know what a regression test is? How do you verify that new changes have not broken existing features?
- How can you implement unit testing when there are dependencies between a business layer and a data layer?
- Which tools are essential to you for testing the quality of your code?
- What types of problems have you encountered most often in your products after deployment?
- Do you know what code coverage is? What types of code coverage are there?
- Do you know the difference between functional testing and exploratory testing? How would you test a web site?
- What is the difference between a test suite, a test case and a test plan? How would you organize testing?
- What kind of tests would you include for a smoke test of an ecommerce web site?
- What can you do reduce the chance that a customer finds things that he doesn’t like during acceptance testing?
- Can you tell me something that you have learned about testing and quality assurance in the last year?
- What kind of tools are important to you for monitoring a product during maintenance?
- What is important when updating a product that is in production and is being used?
- How do you find an error in a large file with code that you cannot step through?
- How can you make sure that changes in code will not affect any other parts of the product?
- How do you create technical documentation for your products?
- What measures have you taken to make your software products more easily maintainable?
- How can you debug a system in a production environment, while it is being used?
- Do you know what load balancing is? Can you name different types of load balancing?
- Can you name reasons why maintenance of software is the biggest/most expensive part of an application’s life cycle?
- What is the difference between re-engineering and reverse engineering?
- Do you know what a baseline is in configuration management? How do you freeze an important moment in a project?
- Which items do you normally place under version control?
- How can you make sure that team members know who changed what in a software project?
- Do you know the differences between tags and branches? When do you use which?
- How would you manage changes to technical documentation, like the architecture of a product?
- Which tools do you need to manage the state of all digital information in a project? Which tools do you like best?
- How do you deal with changes that a customer wants in a released product?
- Are there differences in managing versions and releases?
- What is the difference between managing changes in text files vs. managing changes in binary files?
- How would you treat simultaneous development of multiple RfC’s or increments and maintenance issues?
- How many of the three variables scope, time and cost can be fixed by the customer?
- Who should make estimates for the effort of a project? Who is allowed to set the deadline?
- Do you prefer minimization of the number of releases or minimization of the amount of work-in-progress?
- Which kind of diagrams do you use to track progress in a project?
- What is the difference between an iteration and an increment?
- Can you explain the practice of risk management? How should risks be managed?
- Do you prefer a work breakdown structure or a rolling wave planning?
- What do you need to be able to determine if a project is on time and within budget?
- Can you name some differences between DSDM, Prince2 and Scrum?
- How do you agree on scope and time with the customer, when the customer wants too much?