- Have you ever instrumented applications to improve quality over time?
- How do you choose your frameworks, and how will you react if we refuse to replace something you dislike?
Hubbard likes to ask questions ranging from security management to team-building skills. Skill-sets can be easily gleaned via a test or a whiteboarding session; more important is how the candidate will fit into company culture.
“I try to ask questions more along the lines of [what] a technical product manager would ask when trying to determine dates and development costs,” Hubbard said. “I need to know if the candidate is going to have an understanding of what the business needs are if they’re working on their own.”
Here are some potential interview questions along those lines:
- Tell me about an experience when a style guide got in the way?
- What’s the biggest surprise you’ve found from production data that was not exposed in tests?
“This is an opportunity to get into how they work with a team that had some frustrating habits,” Hubbard explained. “Another set of questions I like to ask concerns developer maturity—over time with developers, it’s more about what you don’t do. Are they focused on the problem, or focused on building something cool?”
Which leads to questions along these lines:
- Tell me about the most awesome platform you’ve ever considered, and that you’re glad you didn’t wind up building. Why didn’t you build it, and what did you choose instead?
- What do you do when you and another team member ID a security concern in code?
Hubbard said he also likes to ask questions that make interviewers think about the philosophy of which languages they use and why: “If you’re being hired as a developer for a particular language, and if you sound passionate about the language and radiate an understanding of appropriateness and have a sense of where it’s limitations and best assets are, they’re know they’ve got someone who really understands why that technology was selected.”