Hiring guide for C Shell Engineers

C Shell Developer Hiring Guide

C Shell (csh) is a Unix shell that was created by Bill Joy in the late 1970s. It is a command language interpreter usable both as an interactive login shell and as a script processor. The C Shell incorporates features from the C programming language such as syntax style, making it popular for teaching purposes and with users who have backgrounds in C or similar languages. C Shell supports built-in arithmetic expressions, history mechanism functions, aliasing capabilities and job control while providing robust string manipulation facilities which are quite comparable to scripting languages like Perl or Python. However, due to certain limitations such as lack of functions within scripts (only aliases), inconsistent syntax rules etc., it has been less recommended for scripting purposes compared to other shells like Bourne shell or Bash. Despite this fact, many system administrators find csh useful for its interactive features when used directly from the terminal.

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

First 20 minutes

General C Shell app knowledge and experience

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

How would you describe the basic structure of a C Shell script?
A C Shell script starts with a shebang (#!) followed by the path to the C Shell interpreter. This is followed by script commands. Variables are defined using the set keyword. Control structures include if-else, switch, while and foreach. Script ends when it encounters exit or end of file.
What is the purpose of the 'set' command in C Shell?
The 'set' command is used in C Shell to define a variable and assign a value to it. It can also be used to give values to array variables and to set shell options.
What is the use of the 'source' command in C Shell?
The 'source' command in C Shell is used to read and execute commands from a file in the current shell environment. It allows the script to use the variables, functions, and aliases defined in the file.
How would you redirect the output of a command in C Shell?
In C Shell, you can redirect the output of a command using the '>' operator. For example, 'command > file' will redirect the output of 'command' into 'file'. If 'file' already exists, it will be overwritten.
What does the 'echo' command do in C Shell?
The 'echo' command in C Shell is used to display a line of text or a variable value. It is commonly used in shell scripts and batch files to output status text to the screen or a file.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a solid understanding of C Shell scripting?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving abilities?
Does the candidate have experience with Unix/Linux systems?
Can the candidate work well in a team?

Next 20 minutes

Specific C Shell 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 check the exit status of a command in C Shell?
In C Shell, the exit status of the last executed command is stored in the $? variable. So you can check the exit status of a command by checking the value of this variable.
What are the different types of loops available in C Shell?
C Shell supports several types of loops, including 'while', 'foreach', and 'until'. 'While' loops continue as long as the condition is true, 'foreach' loops iterate over a list of items, and 'until' loops continue until the condition becomes true.
How would you handle errors in a C Shell script?
To handle errors in a C Shell script, you can use the 'if' statement to check the exit status of a command, which is stored in the $? variable. If the command fails, you can then print an error message and exit the script.
Describe the difference between a soft link and a hard link in Unix.
A hard link is essentially a mirror of the original file, sharing the same inode and data, while a soft link (or symbolic link) is a separate file that points to the original file. Deleting the original file does not affect hard links but will cause soft links to 'break'.
What is a pipe in C Shell and how is it used?
A pipe, represented by the '|' symbol, is a form of redirection in C Shell that is used to send the output of one command to another. For example, 'command1 | command2' would take the output of command1 and use it as the input to command2.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does this simple C Shell script do?
set x = 5
if ($x == 5) then
  echo 'X is 5'
This script sets the variable 'x' to 5 and then checks if 'x' is equal to 5. If 'x' is 5, it prints 'X is 5' to the console.
What will be the output of this C Shell script?
set list = (1 2 3 4 5)
@ sum = $list[1] + $list[3]
echo $sum
This script creates a list of integers from 1 to 5. It then calculates the sum of the first and third elements of the list (1 and 3) and prints the result, which is 4.
What does this C Shell script do with the array?
set arr = (1 2 3 4 5)
@ arr[2] = $arr[2] * 2
echo $arr
This script creates an array of integers from 1 to 5. It then multiplies the second element of the array by 2. The updated array is then printed to the console.
What does this C Shell script do?
set i = 1
while ($i <= 5)
  echo $i
  @ i++
This script initializes a variable 'i' to 1. It then enters a while loop that continues until 'i' is greater than 5. Inside the loop, it prints the value of 'i' and then increments 'i' by 1.

Wrap-up questions

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

How would you write a C Shell script to find all files in a directory and its subdirectories that have been modified in the last 7 days?
You can use the 'find' command in combination with the '-mtime' option. The script would look something like this: 'find /path/to/directory -type f -mtime -7'. This command will find all files in the specified directory and its subdirectories that have been modified in the last 7 days.
What are the differences between C Shell and Bash?
C Shell and Bash are both Unix shells, but they have different syntax and features. Some of the differences include how they handle variables, arrays, and string manipulation. For example, C Shell uses the 'set' keyword to define variables, while Bash uses the '=' operator. C Shell supports arrays, but Bash has more powerful array handling capabilities.
How would you run a C Shell script in the background?
To run a C Shell script in the background, you can use the '&' symbol at the end of the command. For example, 'script.csh &' will run the script in the background and return control to the user.

C Shell application related

Product Perfect's C Shell development capabilities

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