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Basic Software Engineer Interview Questions

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Question #: Which Programming Languages Do You Know And Prefer

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How to answer: An interviewer will want to know what programming languages you’re familiar with, as well as which languages you prefer. This question doesn’t necessarily have a right or wrong answer, but it does provide insights into your capabilities and coding expertise. If the job listing for which you are interviewing includes specific language knowledge preferences, make sure to include them when outlining the software languages you know.

What Are The Types Of Static Testing Tools

There are the three types of static testing tools.

  • Code-based testing tools: These tools take source code as input and generate test cases.
  • Specialized testing tools: Using this language, the detailed test specification can be written for each test case.
  • Requirement-based testing tools: These tools help in designing as per user requirements.

Talk About A Time When You Had To Make A Critical Decision During Production What Happened How Did You Manage It

This question should help you judge whether a candidate is able to think for themselves, analyze and evaluate issues quickly and clearly, and recognize the most logical relationship between ideas.

Critical thinkers often also have an explorative mindset which can lead to innovation and the improvement of production systems and processes.

Giving candidates a simple programming challenge may seem trivial, but its useful for several reasons:

  • It gives you an opportunity to see how well they work under pressure.
  • It demonstrates their educational foundation.
  • It shows simply whether they can write code or not, and how experienced they are.
  • Depending on what kind of challenge you choose, it can help you differentiate skill sets. It also helps tease out their scientific/mathematical background and whether they are a high-level thinker.

This question will give you an idea of the candidates programming knowledge, their level of proficiency, and whether they are a good fit for your company.

GitHub, a code-sharing website used by developers from around the world, listed the following as ten of the most commonly used programming languages and technologies at the end of 2017:

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Software Engineer Hiring Process:

The recruitment process of a software engineer basically comprises of three stages. Though every company has its own defined recruitment process for selecting employees, here we will be discussing the generalized form of a hiring process.

Stage 1- Basic questions about yourself along with past work experience involved in this stage.

Stage 2 Complete technical round, here the questions will be asked to assess the developers skills and abilities.

Stage 3 Here employees can ask questions to the interviewer about the company as well as the job role.

The interview process should be very straightforward and up to the point. We have listed a few important interview questions for software developers which you can prefer to ask.

Software Development Questions For Project Management

Software engineering interviews often ask whiteboard algorithms ...

Another key area for software engineers and developers is project management. These interview questions will help you understand how software engineers and developers organize and prioritize tasks for project management.

  • What systems do you typically use for managing task lists and projects?
  • If you have multiple deadlines, how do you decide which tasks you prioritize in front of others?
  • When building a new product/application release, what do you do to ensure the project runs according to plan?
  • Tell me about a project that you were a part of that was mismanaged. What would you do differently?
  • Agile, Scrum, XP, PRINCE2, Lean. Have you ever worked using any of these project methodologies? Which is your favorite and why?
  • What do you think is most important for a project to be a success?

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Do You Have Any Experience Working In A Team Environment And If So What Role Did You Play Within The Team

These questions aim to reveal facts about the candidates organizational experience. What have they done that involved working with other people? What were their contributions? And so on.

Entry-level engineers dont have much industry experience, so try to be flexible. However, its ideal to ask about their academic experience or passion projects.

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Software Engineer

You need a software engineer to perform the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Studying the business requirements
  • Understanding the technical solutions and providing inputs to creating them
  • Collaborating with testers, DevOps engineers, etc., to establish an effective Continuous Integration /Continuous Delivery environment
  • Creating specifications for new applications
  • Coding and unit testing of new applications
  • Working with testers and DevOps engineers in testing and deployment
  • Maintaining existing applications
  • Communicating effectively with the relevant stakeholders
  • Working with the project manager, architect, and other team members to deliver sustained and tangible value to clients.

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Please Tell Us A Little About The Last Project You Worked On Along The Way What Challenges Did You Face And How Did You Overcome Them

Use the STAR method situation, task, action, and result to explain how you navigated bumps along the road on a previous software development project before ultimately arriving at a positive result. This question gives you an opportunity to showcase your problem solving skills. You should also explain how you plan to apply this knowledge to future web development projects.

What Questions Do You Have For Us

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When interviewing a potential software engineer, it is important not just to ask them questions but to allow them to ask their own questions.

If an engineer doesnt really care about your company and is just interested in making money, they probably wont have a lot of questions.

In addition, a good software engineer who cares about their work is in high demand, and cares about working with a great team will probably have a few questions for you as well.

They might want to ask about the company culture, the work-life balance, your company values, the goals you are trying to reach, what you are looking for in a software developer and more to figure out whether you would make a good fit for them and how they will fit in with your overall company goals.

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Done Is Better Than Perfect

If youre interviewing with a top tech company, theres a good chance that youll face an algorithms problem that you wont be able to find the optimal solution to. In this scenario, a lot of people get tunnel vision and spend forever digging for the optimal solution, ending up with effectively nothing when the times up. This is almost always considered a failure.

Best Resources To Prepare System Design Interviews

If you need some more resources like online courses and guides and a few more questions to practice then you can check out these online courses and book to further sharpen your knowledge and crack any System design interviews.

Other Java Design Patterns tutorials you may like

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Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these Software design and System Design interview questions then please share them with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback then please drop a note.

P.S.- If you are looking for some free courses to learn Design Pattern and Software Architecture, I also suggest you check out the Java Design Patterns and Architecture course by John Purcell on Udemy. Its completely free, all you need to do is create an Udemy account to access this course.

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How Did You Solve A Problem You Faced

This question will allow the candidate to explain how they approach problems and their methodology for solving them. It will show whether they have the skills to hold up to pressure and use their problem-solving skills to arrive at a solution.

This does not have to be a software engineering problem, though it may be. It can also be a problem with teamwork. For example, they can explain how they had a disagreement with a colleague on how to properly approach a specific problem and how they came to an agreement with that colleague.

This will show that they have the teamwork skills to work with someone else, even when there is a conflict.

Software Engineering Interview Questions For Senior Programmers

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When interviewing senior software engineers, you might need to use the whiteboard coding practice. It requires the candidate to write either the pseudocode or the code to solve a problem. Additionally, use the following technical software engineer interview questions while interviewing a senior software engineer:

Question 17: Explain the advantages of creating an API during software development.

Answer: Creating an API offers the following advantages:

  • An organization might have valuable data. Creating an API in the backend allows the front end of the application to access the data in an efficient manner. Modifying the data doesnt require a modification of the front-end program.
  • APIs allow developers to decouple the front end from the back end of the application. A software development team can develop them in parallel.
  • Using APIs helps software developers integrate new sources of data into the application. They dont need to change the front end of the application when integrating new data sources.
  • Using APIs allows flexibility since APIs make the delivery of services and information easier.

Question 18: What are the advantages of object-oriented programming ?

Answer: Object-oriented programming offers the following advantages:

Question 19: Explain the operations of a stack.

Question 20: Explain the decomposition technique for estimating a software development project.

Question 21: Explain the differences between function-oriented design and object-oriented design.

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How Would You Create Your Own Instagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing application that provides some custom filters to enhance your photo quality. Your application should have photo upload functionality, tagging photos for search, and some basic filters. If you could add share or social network that could be great.

Btw, if you stuck, you can see the free solution provided on the Educative Grokking System design course as well.

7. How do you design global file sharing and storage apps like Google Drive or Dropbox?These are used to store and share files, photos, and other media. How do you go about designing things like allowing users to upload/view/search/share files or photos? track permissions for file sharing, and allow multiple users to edit the same document?

If you like YouTube video, here is a nice one which will teach you how to design a Dropbox or Google Drive or any other document hosting solution:

You Have A 100 Coins Laying Flat On A Table Each With A Head Side And A Tail Side 10 Of Them Are Heads Up 90 Are Tails Up You Can’t Feel See Or In Any Other Way Find Out Which Side Is Up Split The Coins Into Two Piles Such That There Are The Same Number Of Heads In Each Pile

Split into two piles, one with 90 coins and the other with 10. Flip over every coin in the pile with 10 coins.Less

Pick 10 coins from the original 100 and put them in a separate pile. Then flip those 10 coins over. The two piles are now guaranteed to have the same number of heads. For a general solution of N heads and a total of M coins:1.) Pick any N coins out of the original group and form a second pile.2.) Flip the new pile of N coins over. Done.Example :Original group is HHTTTT . Pick any two of these and flip them over. There are only three possible scenarios:1: The two coins you picked are both tails. New groups are and when you flip the 2nd group you have and . 2.) The two coins you picked consist of one head and one tail. New groups are and and when you flip the 2nd group you have and .3.) The two coins you picked are both heads. New groups are and and when you flip the 2nd group you have and .Less

1. calculate the sum of elements in array say SUM2. sum of numbers 1 to 100 is)/2 = 5050 when n==1003. missing element is Less

Read the question. Here are the steps to solve it:1) find the sum of integers 1 to 1002) subtract the sum of the 99 members of your set3) the result is your missing element!Very satisfying!Less

A callback function is a piece of JavaScript code that executes after the main function that the callback is attached to executes successfully.Less

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Describe The Software Development Process:

The software development process is like a life cycle of particular software. If the developer can answer and describe the process accurately, that means he be well acquainted with the cycle. The process is composed of the following activities: Requirement analysis > Specification > Software architecture > Implementation > Testing > Documentation > Training and support > Maintenance.

Entry Level Software Engineer Interview Questions:

Interview tips from Google Software Engineers
  • What are the main categories of any software?
  • Explain computer software and its types?
  • What does the software manager do?
  • What are his roles and responsibilities?
  • Explain the difference between a computer program and computer software?
  • Which SDLC model is the best?
  • What is the difference between tags and branches?
  • Explain the difference between stack and queue in java?
  • Why do we need polymorphism?
  • Explain software reengineering?
  • Why using Catch almost always a bad idea?
  • How to Determine the size of a software product?
  • Why do you think that the maintenance of software is expensive?
  • How to execute multiple catch blocks for a single try statement in java?
  • What is the difference between object-oriented and component-based language?
  • What is the difference between .dll and .exe?
  • Explain the stages of the software development process?
  • What is the basic difference between Interface-oriented, Object-oriented, and Aspect-oriented programming?
  • How do you define the scope in software?
  • When you inherit a protected class-level variable, who is it available to?
  • What are case tools in software engineering?
  • What do you mean structured design?
  • What is the difference between a process and a thread?
  • Define cohesion?
  • When should a class be abstract?
  • How to prioritize requirements?
  • Explain level-0 Data flow diagram?
  • What do you need for testing the code quality?
  • Name a few available SDLC models?
  • What do you mean by feasibility study?
  • Explain Software configuration management?
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    General Software Engineer Interview Questions

    After questioning your coding skills and knowledge of technical software engineering principles, a hiring team member may ask general, more standard interview questions. These software engineering interview questions may involve your practical experience, projects youve worked on, and your work style.

    Software Engineering Skills And Competencies To Look For

    You would need a software engineer with a bachelors degree in computer science, information technology, or related fields. Look for the following technical skills during the interview process:

    • The knowledge of programming languages relevant to your project, e.g., Java, Python, JavaScript, etc., and standard web technologies
    • Familiarity with the popular development and CASE tools, e.g., web development frameworks used in your project and software analysis tools
    • Scientific software.

    Question 2: How does a computer program differ from computer software?

    Answer: A computer program only has code. It executes predefined tasks. However, computer software includes code, documentation, and user manuals.

    Question 3: Explain software re-engineering.

    Answer:Software developers often need to modify the software. They might do it in various ways, and software re-engineering is one such way. Software re-engineering involves modifying software without impacting its functionality. The process of software engineering might or might not add new features to the software. However, developers use this process to improve the over experience of the software. This could include making the software more efficient and maintainable.

    Question 4: What are the main phases in the software development life cycle

    Answer: The main phases in the SDLC are as follows:

    • Requirements analysis

    Question 6: Explain the verification and validation processes in software development.

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    Define Black Box Testing And White Box Testing

    • Black box testing is a type of high-level testing in which the primary goal is to evaluate functionalities from a behavioural standpoint. In black-box testing, the tester does not test the code instead, they utilize the program to see if it works as expected.
    • When you have insight into the code or broad information about the architecture of the software in question, you can perform white box testing, also known as clear box testing. It falls under the category of low-level testing and is mostly concerned with integration and unit testing. White box testing requires programming expertise or at the very least a thorough grasp of the code that implements a particular functionality.

    Talk About Some Mistakes You Learned From

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    Every software engineer who is passionate about engineering and has worked on personal and business projects will have made some mistakes. Perhaps they worked on a project that ended up failing. That is not a bad thing, however, as it allows them to learn important lessons from those failures.

    During the interview process, try to find out what mistakes the software engineer made and what lessons they learned from those mistakes.

    This allows you to get an insight into their work ethic, their willingness to admit mistakes and learn, and how they work on improving their skills while working on projects.

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