Hiring guide for COMAL Engineers

COMAL Developer Hiring Guide

COMAL (Common Algorithmic Language) is a high-level programming language developed in Denmark by Benedict Løfstedt and Børge R. Christensen in 1973. It was designed as an educational language, combining the readability and structure of Pascal with the simplicity and interactivity of BASIC. COMAL is known for its structured programming features, which make it easier to write, debug, and maintain code. It supports both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms. Despite its initial popularity in the 1980s, especially in Europe, COMAL is not widely used today.

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

First 20 minutes

General COMAL app knowledge and experience

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

What are the fundamental data types in COMAL?
The fundamental data types in COMAL are INTEGER, REAL, and STRING.
How do you declare variables in COMAL?
Variables are declared in COMAL by using the DIM statement. For example, DIM A AS INTEGER declares an integer variable A.
How would you perform error handling in COMAL?
Error handling in COMAL is performed using the ON ERROR statement. This allows you to specify what to do when an error occurs.
What is the purpose of the PROC statement in COMAL?
The PROC statement in COMAL is used to define a procedure. It is similar to a function in other programming languages.
How would you use the IF statement in COMAL?
The IF statement in COMAL is used for conditional execution of code. It is followed by a condition and then the code to be executed if the condition is true.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a solid understanding of COMAL language?
Has the candidate demonstrated good problem-solving skills during the interview?
Is the candidate able to explain complex concepts in simple terms?
Does the candidate have experience with related technologies?

Next 20 minutes

Specific COMAL 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.

Describe the difference between the FOR and WHILE loops in COMAL.
The FOR loop in COMAL executes a block of code a specified number of times. The WHILE loop, on the other hand, executes a block of code as long as a specified condition is true.
What are arrays in COMAL and how would you use them?
Arrays in COMAL are collections of variables of the same type that are accessed by a numerical index. They are declared using the DIM statement and can be used to store multiple values in a single variable.
How would you create a function in COMAL?
Functions in COMAL are created using the FUNC statement, followed by the function name, parameters, and the block of code to be executed.
What is the purpose of the END statement in COMAL?
The END statement in COMAL is used to indicate the end of a program or a procedure.
What is the difference between the INPUT and PRINT statements in COMAL?
The INPUT statement in COMAL is used to get input from the user, while the PRINT statement is used to output data to the screen.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does this COMAL code do?
PRINT 'Hello, World!'
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What will be the output of this COMAL code snippet?
LET a = 5 
LET b = 10 
PRINT a + b
This code will output 15. It first assigns values 5 and 10 to the variables 'a' and 'b' respectively, then it prints the sum of 'a' and 'b'.
What does this COMAL code do?
DIM arr(5) 
FOR i = 1 TO 5 DO 
arr(i) = i * 2 
PRINT arr(3)
This code declares an array of 5 elements, then populates it with multiples of 2. It then prints the third element of the array, which is 6.
What does this COMAL code do?
PROC main() 
LET a = 5 
PROC other() 
This code declares a procedure 'main' that contains a local variable 'a' and another procedure 'other'. The procedure 'other' attempts to print the local variable 'a', but it is not visible outside the 'main' procedure. Thus, the code will result in an error.

Wrap-up questions

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

How would you use the CASE statement in COMAL?
The CASE statement in COMAL is used for multiple condition checks. It is similar to the switch statement in other programming languages.
What are the different types of operators available in COMAL?
There are several types of operators available in COMAL, including arithmetic operators (like +, -, *, /), relational operators (like <, >, =), and logical operators (like AND, OR, NOT).
How would you handle file operations in COMAL?
File operations in COMAL are handled using the OPEN, CLOSE, READ, and WRITE statements.

COMAL application related

Product Perfect's COMAL development capabilities

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