Hiring guide for BlitzMax Engineers

BlitzMax Developer Hiring Guide

BlitzMax is a powerful game programming language that follows the BASIC syntax. It was developed by Blitz Research Ltd and first released in 2004. BlitzMax offers various features such as object-oriented design, easy to use graphics, audio commands and more. It supports multiple platforms including Windows, MacOS and Linux. BlitzMax provides a fast development process with its straightforward command set which makes it suitable for beginners while also offering advanced features like pointers, modules, etc., which are appreciated by experienced programmers. The language is specifically designed to handle 2D gaming needs but can be used for other types of applications as well. Moreover, it includes an integrated development environment (IDE), debugger and compiler; allowing developers to manage everything from one place. With its ability to directly access low-level APIs of operating systems or hardware components through its extension system called "modules", the programmer has great flexibility in creating complex programs or games with high performance requirements. However, despite these capabilities offered by BlitzMax compared to traditional BASIC languages or similar game programming tools on the market; this language is no longer actively maintained since 2018 but remains available under zlib license as open source software on GitHub where community members continue improving it unofficially.

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

First 20 minutes

General BlitzMax app knowledge and experience

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

How would you declare a variable in BlitzMax?
You can declare a variable in BlitzMax by specifying the type of the variable followed by the variable name. For example, 'Local myVariable:Int'.
What are the different data types available in BlitzMax?
BlitzMax supports several data types including Int (integer), Float (floating point number), String (text), Byte (single byte), Short (two bytes), Long (four bytes), Double (eight byte floating point), and Object (any object type).
How would you create a function in BlitzMax?
A function in BlitzMax is created using the 'Function' keyword followed by the function name, parameters, and return type. For example, 'Function AddNumbers(a:Int, b:Int)'.
What are the different types of loops in BlitzMax?
BlitzMax supports several types of loops including 'For-Next' loops, 'While' loops, and 'Repeat-Until' loops.
Describe the difference between a 'Local' variable and a 'Global' variable in BlitzMax.
A 'Local' variable is one that is declared within a function or a method and can only be accessed within that function or method. A 'Global' variable is one that is declared outside of any function or method and can be accessed from anywhere in the code.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of BlitzMax language?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?
Is the candidate familiar with version control systems like Git?
Can the candidate communicate technical information effectively?

Next 20 minutes

Specific BlitzMax 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 exceptions in BlitzMax?
BlitzMax handles exceptions using the 'Try-Catch' mechanism. The 'Try' block contains the code that might throw an exception, and the 'Catch' block contains the code to handle the exception.
What are the different types of arrays in BlitzMax and how would you declare them?
BlitzMax supports one-dimensional and multi-dimensional arrays. You can declare a one-dimensional array like 'Local myArray:Int[5]', and a multi-dimensional array like 'Local myArray:Int[5][5]'.
How would you read and write data from a file in BlitzMax?
BlitzMax provides the 'ReadFile' and 'WriteFile' functions to read from and write to a file. You can open a file for reading or writing using the 'OpenFile' function.
Describe the difference between 'Strict' and 'SuperStrict' modes in BlitzMax.
'Strict' mode in BlitzMax enforces type checking and requires all variables to be declared before they are used. 'SuperStrict' mode is similar to 'Strict' mode but also requires all functions to be declared before they are used.
How would you use inheritance in BlitzMax?
In BlitzMax, you can use inheritance by declaring a new type that extends an existing type using the 'Extends' keyword. For example, 'Type MyNewType Extends ExistingType'.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

At this point, a skilled BlitzMax engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in BlitzMax 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 BlitzMax.

What does this simple BlitzMax code do?

Print "Hello, World!"
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What does this BlitzMax code do?

Local myVar:Int = 10

If myVar > 5 Then
    Print "Greater than 5"
    Print "Less than or equal to 5"
This code declares an integer variable 'myVar', assigns it a value of 10, and then checks if 'myVar' is greater than 5. If it is, it prints 'Greater than 5', otherwise it prints 'Less than or equal to 5'.
What will be the output of this BlitzMax code?

Local myArray:Int[] = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

For Local i:Int = EachIn myArray
    Print i
This code will print each element of the 'myArray' array on a new line. So the output will be: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
What does this BlitzMax code do?

Local myThread:TThread = CreateThread(myFunction)

Function myFunction:TThread()
    Print "Hello from thread"
End Function
This code creates a new thread 'myThread' that runs the function 'myFunction'. The function 'myFunction' prints 'Hello from thread' to the console.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for BlitzMax 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 BlitzMax application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

What are the different types of modules in BlitzMax and how would you use them?
BlitzMax has two types of modules: 'Module' and 'Super Module'. A 'Module' is a collection of functions, constants, and types, while a 'Super Module' is a module that can be extended by other modules. You can use them by importing them with the 'Import' keyword.
How would you create and use an interface in BlitzMax?
In BlitzMax, you can create an interface using the 'Interface' keyword and then define the required methods. To use an interface, a type must implement all the methods defined in the interface.
What are the different ways to handle memory management in BlitzMax?
BlitzMax uses garbage collection for memory management. You can also use the 'New' keyword to allocate memory for an object and the 'Delete' keyword to deallocate memory.

BlitzMax application related

Product Perfect's BlitzMax development capabilities

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