Hiring guide for BASIC Engineers

BASIC Developer Hiring Guide

BASIC, an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, is a high-level computer programming language developed in 1964 by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz at Dartmouth College. It was designed to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. BASIC became widely used on microcomputers in the mid-1970s and remains popular in many computing environments today. Its simplicity and ease of use made it a fundamental tool in the early days of personal computing, according to the Computer History Museum. Despite its age, BASIC continues to have an impact on modern programming languages like Microsoft's Visual Basic.

Ask the right questions secure the right BASIC talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General BASIC app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in BASIC application development, including their experience with various programming languages, databases, and their approach to designing scalable and maintainable systems.

What are the primary data types in BASIC?
The primary data types in BASIC are Integer, Long, Single, Double, Currency, String, Date, Object, and Variant.
How would you declare a variable in BASIC?
In BASIC, a variable can be declared using the DIM statement. For example, 'DIM variableName AS INTEGER'.
What is the purpose of the PRINT statement in BASIC?
The PRINT statement in BASIC is used to output or display the result or value of a variable on the screen.
Describe the difference between the IF THEN ELSE and SELECT CASE statements in BASIC.
IF THEN ELSE is used when we want to test a condition and perform an action based on the result of the test. SELECT CASE is used when we have multiple conditions to test and different actions to perform based on each condition.
What are arrays in BASIC and how would you declare them?
Arrays in BASIC are variables that can store multiple values. They are declared using the DIM statement, for example, 'DIM arrayName(10) AS INTEGER'.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a solid understanding of BASIC programming language?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?
Is the candidate able to communicate effectively?
Does the candidate have experience with other relevant technologies?

Next 20 minutes

Specific BASIC development questions

The next 20 minutes of the interview should focus on the candidate's expertise with specific backend frameworks, their understanding of RESTful APIs, and their experience in handling data storage and retrieval efficiently.

How would you handle errors in BASIC?
Errors in BASIC can be handled using the ON ERROR GOTO statement which transfers control to a specific line number or label when an error occurs.
What is the purpose of the FOR...NEXT loop in BASIC?
The FOR...NEXT loop in BASIC is used to repeat a block of code a specific number of times.
Describe the difference between a function and a subroutine in BASIC.
A function in BASIC is a block of code that performs a specific task and returns a value, while a subroutine is a block of code that performs a specific task but does not return a value.
What are the different types of operators in BASIC and provide examples of each.
BASIC has arithmetic operators (+, -, *, /, MOD), comparison operators (=, <>, <, >, <=, >=), logical operators (AND, OR, NOT), and string operators (+, &).
How would you handle file operations in BASIC?
File operations in BASIC can be handled using statements like OPEN, CLOSE, INPUT, LINE INPUT, PRINT, and WRITE.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the BASIC engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled BASIC engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in BASIC programming language, and knowledge of software development methodologies. Red flags include lack of hands-on experience, inability to articulate complex concepts, or unfamiliarity with standard coding practices.

Digging deeper

Code questions

These will help you see the candidate's real-world development capabilities with BASIC.

What does this simple BASIC code do?
PRINT "Hello, World!"
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What does this BASIC code do?
FOR i = 1 TO 10
This code uses a FOR loop to print the numbers 1 through 10 to the console.
What will be the output of this BASIC code snippet?
FOR i = 1 TO 5
  arr(i) = i * 2
FOR i = 1 TO 5
  PRINT arr(i)
This code declares an array of integers, fills it with the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and then prints these numbers to the console.
What does this BASIC code do?
SUB Main()
SUB Worker()
  PRINT "Hello from thread!"
This code creates a new thread and runs the Worker subroutine in that thread, which prints 'Hello from thread!' to the console.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for BASIC Developer role questions

The final few questions should evaluate the candidate's teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, assess their knowledge of microservices architecture, serverless computing, and how they handle BASIC application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

What is the purpose of the DATA statement in BASIC?
The DATA statement in BASIC is used to store data that can be read later by the READ statement.
Describe the difference between the WHILE...WEND and DO...LOOP structures in BASIC.
Both are used to create loops in BASIC. WHILE...WEND loop continues as long as a condition is true. DO...LOOP can be used when the condition is tested either at the start or at the end of the loop.
What are user-defined types in BASIC and how would you declare them?
User-defined types in BASIC are custom data types created by the programmer using the TYPE...END TYPE structure. For example, 'TYPE typeName memberName AS dataType END TYPE'.

BASIC application related

Product Perfect's BASIC development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your BASIC engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in BASIC projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.