How to Evaluate the Expertise of a Software Developer in 5 Easy Questions? Expert Answer


When you often conduct interviews, you may want to have several key questions at hand so that you can immediately understand what kind of programmer is in front of you. Today we give you expert advice whether there are such questions, and if so, what are they.

How do you learn something new for yourself? Tell us about your experience with new solutions for you.

This question allows us to understand whether a software developer has a desire for new knowledge and how he (she) prefer to receive it - whether he shows independence or is waiting for a directive from above. Also, the response of the applicant will show whether he is easy to take on something new. The software development business is constantly evolving, so you can not do without constant training.

Do you allow yourself to deviate from the Technical Requirements, experiment with the code? In which cases?

The programmer can deviate from the plan and experiment with the code in different ways. Somebody tries to optimize it, think over the architecture, test the resulting code and always report the expected results. This approach is unlikely to raise questions, especially if the result of the experiments suits everyone. If a developer believes that it is possible to deviate from giver task without any purpose, “for the sake of interest”, this is an occasion to think.

What will you do if you realize that the project has no future?

It is not good if the developer, who realized that something is wrong with the project, remains silent or simply escapes. Thanks to this question, we can understand how the applicant will act if he finds himself in such a situation. At what level does he escalate information? What measures he will take? Will he correct the situation himself or inform others, will he propose a solution?

Are you ready to correct the mistakes of other people?

It just seems that programming is a great job for introverts: sit with your computer in the corner and that's it. In fact, work on a project is most often carried out as a development team. Difficulties happen to everyone. This question will allow us to understand a person’s readiness to "pick up" a problem that a colleague has encountered and to help with its solution.

Describe your biggest failure: what was it?  

A mature person, talking about such a situation, is usually responsible for his own mistakes. If the applicant tends to blame other people for everything, circumstances and weather conditions - this is an occasion for the HR specialist to think.

Other opinion

First of all, the question arises: why exactly five, not six or four? The question itself is rather deep and involves interviewing all candidates and cut off who are not ready to talk about themselves excitedly and who do not understand clearly all aspects of what is interesting to the interviewer.

Probably, the first question would still be technical - in the end, if the candidate does not have a sufficient technical level, we have nothing to talk about. For this question, a fairly popular and non-trivial technology, for example multithreading, is selected. To determine the advanced level engineers, you can ask to tell how it is arranged inside.

The next question I would ask to talk about my project. In answer to this question, it is necessary to clearly control how much the candidate understands the goals and objectives of what he is doing, and not just writes the software code according to the tasks. In conjunction with this matter, there is a third question - to talk about related projects that he himself did not do. A good team player usually has a good idea of ​​what the people around him do.

I would ask the fourth question about what a person would like to change at his current place of work. The answer to this question can say a lot about him - what attracts and annoys him, what interests him is to work with people or with technologies, as he sees his future. Of course, it is very difficult to formulate one question so that the candidate guesses to talk about everything about it, therefore they often ask him in the form "How would the candidate want to see his ideal job".

The last question remains and it is probably worth spending on the question of why the candidate decided to change his job, what he is looking for and how he sees the development of his career.

What other software development questions do you think about? Write in comments below.