Hiring guide for Elixir Time Engineers

Elixir Time Developer Hiring Guide

Elixir Time is a dynamic, functional programming language designed for creating scalable and maintainable applications. It was first introduced in 2012 by José Valim, a former Ruby on Rails core team member. Elixir Time leverages the Erlang Virtual Machine (BEAM), known for running low-latency, distributed, and fault-tolerant systems. The language also supports metaprogramming, allowing developers to write code that writes code. Its concurrency model and tooling make it an ideal choice for high-traffic systems like web servers or databases.

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

First 20 minutes

General Elixir Time app knowledge and experience

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

What is the main use of Elixir in development?
Elixir is mainly used in web development, building domain-specific languages, and for creating distributed and fault-tolerant systems due to its scalability and maintainability.
How would you install Elixir in your system?
You can use a package manager like Homebrew for macOS, Chocolatey for Windows, or apt for Ubuntu. The command generally looks like 'brew install elixir' or 'apt-get install elixir'.
What are some of the advantages of using Elixir for development?
Elixir offers advantages like high scalability, fault tolerance, and efficient concurrency, making it ideal for high-traffic systems. It also has a clean syntax, making code more maintainable.
Describe the difference between Elixir and Erlang.
Elixir and Erlang share the same BEAM virtual machine but Elixir has more modern features and syntax. Elixir also provides macros for metaprogramming while Erlang does not.
What is the role of Mix in Elixir?
Mix is a build tool that provides tasks for creating, compiling, testing your application, managing its dependencies, and more.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate show a deep understanding of the Elixir language?
Has the candidate worked on any project related to time management or scheduling?
How familiar is the candidate with the OTP (Open Telecom Platform) framework?
Can the candidate solve problems efficiently and write clean, maintainable code?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Elixir Time 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 Elixir?
Elixir uses a mechanism called 'let it crash' where errors are allowed to happen, and then supervisors restart parts of the system to recover from errors.
What are Elixir macros and how do you use them?
Macros in Elixir are a way to define reusable code. You can use them to avoid code duplication and to create domain-specific languages.
Describe the difference between Elixir processes and operating system processes.
Elixir processes are much lighter than OS processes, and many can run simultaneously on a single OS thread. They also have isolated memory and communicate via message-passing.
What is OTP in Elixir?
OTP stands for Open Telecom Platform. It's a set of tools and libraries for building concurrent, distributed, fault-tolerant applications.
How would you implement real-time features in an Elixir application?
You can use the Phoenix framework's channels feature to implement real-time communication in an Elixir application.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does the following Elixir code do?
IO.puts 'Hello, World!'
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What will be the output of the following Elixir code?
IO.inspect(Enum.map([1, 2, 3, 4], fn x -> x * 2 end))
This code will output the list [2, 4, 6, 8]. It maps over the list [1, 2, 3, 4] and multiplies each element by 2.
What does the following Elixir code do?
Enum.reduce([1, 2, 3, 4], 0, fn(x, acc) -> x + acc end)
This code sums up the elements in the list [1, 2, 3, 4]. It uses the reduce function to accumulate the sum starting from 0.
What does the following Elixir code do?
Task.async(fn -> 1 + 2 end) |> Task.await()
This code executes the function (1 + 2) asynchronously in a separate process and waits for the result. It will return 3.

Wrap-up questions

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

What is the role of GenServer in Elixir?
GenServer is a behaviour module for implementing the server of a client-server relation. It abstracts the message-passing and state-keeping for concurrent activities.
What are some of the common data types in Elixir?
Common data types in Elixir include integers, floats, booleans, atoms, tuples, lists, and maps.
How would you test an Elixir application?
You can use the ExUnit framework that comes with Elixir for unit testing. It supports setup callbacks, test tagging, and nesting test contexts.

Elixir Time application related

Product Perfect's Elixir Time development capabilities

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