Hiring guide for Formac Engineers

Formac Developer Hiring Guide

Formac, short for FORmula MAnipulation Compiler, is a computer programming language developed in the 1960s at IBM by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz (1). It was designed as an extension to the Fortran programming language to support symbolic mathematics (2). Formac was considered revolutionary for its time due to its ability to handle algebraic manipulations of mathematical formulas, which was highly beneficial for scientific computing (3). However, despite its initial popularity, it eventually fell into disuse with the advancement of other high-level languages that offered more flexibility and features. Today, Formac stands as a significant milestone in the history of computer programming languages. Sources: 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FORMAC 2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/365230.365260 3. https://www.computerhistory.org/brochures/computers-and-automation-1964-formac-programming-manual/

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

First 20 minutes

General Formac app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in Formac 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 Formac program?
A Formac program is composed of statements, each of which is terminated by a semicolon. The statements are grouped into blocks, which are enclosed in curly braces. The blocks can be nested within each other. The program starts with a main block, which contains the main logic of the program.
What are the data types supported by Formac?
Formac supports several data types, including integer, real, boolean, character, and string. It also supports arrays, records, and files.
Describe the difference between a constant and a variable in Formac.
In Formac, a constant is a value that doesn't change during the execution of the program, while a variable is a memory location that can hold different values at different times during the program execution.
How would you declare an array in Formac?
In Formac, an array is declared by specifying its type, followed by its name, and then its size in square brackets. For example, 'integer arrayName[10];' declares an array of 10 integers.
What are the control structures in Formac?
Formac supports several control structures, including if-else statements, switch-case statements, for loops, while loops, and do-while loops.
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What you’re looking for early on

Has the candidate demonstrated a strong understanding of Formac language?
Does the candidate show good problem-solving skills?
Is the candidate able to communicate effectively?
Does the candidate have experience with similar projects or tasks?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Formac 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 a function and a procedure in Formac.
In Formac, a function is a block of code that returns a value, while a procedure is a block of code that performs a specific task but doesn't return a value.
How would you handle exceptions in Formac?
Formac provides a try-catch mechanism to handle exceptions. The code that might throw an exception is placed inside a try block, and the code to handle the exception is placed inside a catch block.
What are the file handling capabilities of Formac?
Formac provides several functions for file handling, including opening and closing files, reading from and writing to files, and checking the end of a file.
Describe the difference between a static and a dynamic array in Formac.
In Formac, a static array is an array whose size is fixed at compile time, while a dynamic array is an array whose size can be changed at runtime.
How would you implement recursion in Formac?
In Formac, recursion can be implemented by defining a function or a procedure that calls itself. The recursive call must be controlled by a condition to prevent infinite recursion.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does this simple Formac code do?
print('Hello, World!')
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What will be the output of the following Formac code: x = 5, y = 10, z = x + y, print(z)?
x = 5
y = 10
z = x + y
This code will output the number 15. It first assigns the values 5 and 10 to variables x and y respectively, then adds them together and assigns the result to variable z. Finally, it prints the value of z.
What does the following Formac code do: myList = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], print(myList.reverse())?
myList = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
This code reverses the order of the elements in the array myList and then prints the reversed array.
What does the following Formac code do: import threading, def printNumbers(): for i in range(10): print(i), t = threading.Thread(target=printNumbers), t.start()?
import threading
def printNumbers():
  for i in range(10):
t = threading.Thread(target=printNumbers)
This code creates a new thread and runs the function printNumbers in that thread. The function printNumbers prints the numbers 0 through 9.

Wrap-up questions

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

What are the features of object-oriented programming in Formac?
Formac supports several features of object-oriented programming, including classes, objects, inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation.
Describe the difference between overloading and overriding in Formac.
In Formac, overloading refers to defining multiple functions or procedures with the same name but different parameters, while overriding refers to redefining a function or a procedure in a derived class that was already defined in the base class.
How would you implement multithreading in Formac?
Formac provides a thread class that can be used to create and manage threads. Each thread runs independently and can execute a specific task concurrently with other threads.

Formac application related

Product Perfect's Formac development capabilities

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