Hiring guide for GLib/GTK+ Engineers

GLib/GTK+ Developer Hiring Guide

GLib/GTK+ is a highly influential programming language used for creating graphical user interfaces. Developed by the GNOME project, it was initially released in 1999 as part of the GNU Project (source: GNOME Project). The GLib component serves as a utility library, providing data structures and APIs for tasks such as object systems and threading. The GTK+, or GIMP Toolkit, is designed for creating graphical user interfaces, originally developed to support the GIMP image editor (source: GIMP). Over time, GLib/GTK+ has evolved into a comprehensive software stack used by prominent applications like Google Chrome and Wireshark.

Ask the right questions secure the right GLib/GTK+ talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General GLib/GTK+ app knowledge and experience

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

How would you create a new GTK+ widget?
To create a new GTK+ widget, you would typically use a function specific to the widget you want to create. For example, to create a new button, you would use the gtk_button_new() function.
What are the main components of a GTK+ application?
The main components of a GTK+ application are the widgets. These include windows, buttons, sliders, text boxes, and many others. These widgets are organized into a hierarchy, with a top-level window widget containing other widgets.
Describe the difference between a GTK+ container widget and a non-container widget.
A GTK+ container widget can contain other widgets, whereas a non-container widget cannot. Examples of container widgets include windows, frames, and boxes. Non-container widgets include buttons, labels, and entries.
How would you handle user input in a GTK+ application?
User input in a GTK+ application is typically handled through signals. For example, when a user clicks a button, the button emits a 'clicked' signal. You can connect a function to this signal to perform some action when the button is clicked.
What are the steps to compile a GTK+ application?
To compile a GTK+ application, you would typically use the gcc compiler. You need to include the gtk/gtk.h header file and link against the gtk library using the `-lgtk-3` flag.
The hiring guide has been successfully sent to your email address.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a solid understanding of GLib/GTK+?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?
Does the candidate have experience with other relevant technologies and languages?
Is the candidate able to communicate effectively?

Next 20 minutes

Specific GLib/GTK+ 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 GTK+ and GDK.
GTK+ is a toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces, while GDK is the abstraction layer that allows GTK+ to support multiple platforms. GDK provides a uniform API that GTK+ can use, regardless of the underlying graphics system.
How would you use a GTK+ tree view widget?
To use a GTK+ tree view widget, you first create the tree view widget with gtk_tree_view_new(). Then you create a model to hold the data, and set the model on the tree view with gtk_tree_view_set_model(). Finally, you create one or more columns with gtk_tree_view_column_new(), and add them to the tree view with gtk_tree_view_append_column().
What are the main features of GLib?
GLib provides data structure handling for C, portability wrappers, and interfaces for such runtime functionality as an event loop, threads, dynamic loading, and an object system.
Describe the difference between a GTK+ modal and non-modal dialog.
A modal dialog prevents the user from interacting with other parts of the application until the dialog is closed, while a non-modal dialog allows the user to continue interacting with the application while the dialog is open.
How would you use GLib's GMainLoop?
GMainLoop is used to create a main event loop. You would create a new GMainLoop with g_main_loop_new(), then start the loop with g_main_loop_run(). The loop will continue running until g_main_loop_quit() is called.
The hiring guide has been successfully sent to your email address.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the GLib/GTK+ engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled GLib/GTK+ engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in GLib/GTK+ 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 GLib/GTK+.

What does the following GLib code do?
gchar *str;
str = g_strdup ("Hello, World!");
g_print ("%s\n", str);
g_free (str);
This code creates a duplicate of the string "Hello, World!" using g_strdup, prints it using g_print, and then frees the memory allocated for the string using g_free.
What will be the output of the following GTK+ code?
GtkWidget *window;
window = gtk_window_new (GTK_WINDOW_TOPLEVEL);
gtk_window_set_title (GTK_WINDOW (window), "Hello, GTK+");
gtk_widget_show (window);
This code creates a new top-level window, sets its title to "Hello, GTK+", and then shows the window. The output will be a window with the title "Hello, GTK+".
What does the following GLib code do?
GArray *array;
array = g_array_new (FALSE, FALSE, sizeof (gint));
g_array_append_val (array, 42);
g_array_free (array, FALSE);
This code creates a new GArray, appends the integer 42 to it, and then frees the memory allocated for the array. The FALSE arguments in g_array_new and g_array_free mean that the array elements are not zero-terminated and that the array elements are not freed when the array is freed.
What does the following GLib code do?
GThread *thread;
thread = g_thread_new ("mythread", my_func, NULL);
g_thread_join (thread);
This code creates a new thread that executes the function my_func, and then waits for the thread to finish execution using g_thread_join.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for GLib/GTK+ 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 GLib/GTK+ application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

What are the steps to create a custom GTK+ widget?
To create a custom GTK+ widget, you would typically subclass an existing widget or the GtkWidget base class. You would then override the class's virtual functions to provide the functionality for your custom widget.
Describe the difference between GTK+ 3 and GTK+ 4.
GTK+ 4 introduces several changes from GTK+ 3, including a new layout manager system, improved input device handling, and a new Vulkan renderer. It also removes several deprecated features from GTK+ 3.
How would you use GLib's GObject system?
The GObject system provides a base class and a set of interfaces for creating object-oriented code in C. To use it, you would typically subclass GObject and add properties and signals to your class. You can then create instances of your class and manipulate them using the GObject functions.

GLib/GTK+ application related

Product Perfect's GLib/GTK+ development capabilities

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