Hiring guide for GW-BASIC Engineers

GW-BASIC Developer Hiring Guide

GW-BASIC is a programming language developed by Microsoft in the early 1980s. It is an interpreted, high-level language that was designed for beginners to learn programming. The name GW-BASIC stands for Gee-Whiz Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It is a variant of the BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language, which was widely used in microcomputers at that time. GW-BASIC includes features such as line numbers, GOTO statements, and other elements common to early versions of BASIC. It supports standard control structures like IF...THEN...ELSE, FOR...NEXT, and WHILE...WEND loops. Additionally, it provides commands for simple file I/O operations and graphics primitives. Despite its simplicity and ease of use for beginners, GW-BASIC lacks many features found in more modern programming languages such as structured programming constructs and data types. As a result, it has largely been replaced by more advanced languages like Python or JavaScript for beginner programmers. However, it still holds historical significance as one of the first accessible programming languages.

Ask the right questions secure the right GW-BASIC talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General GW-BASIC app knowledge and experience

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

How would you define GW-BASIC?
GW-BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language developed by Microsoft. It is an interpreted language, which means it can execute instructions directly and freely, without previously compiling a program into machine-language instructions.
What are the key features of GW-BASIC?
Some key features of GW-BASIC include its simplicity and ease of use, its ability to handle graphics and sound, its support for structured programming constructs, and its built-in debugging features.
Describe the difference between GW-BASIC and QBasic.
GW-BASIC is an older version of BASIC, while QBasic is a later, more advanced version. QBasic has a more user-friendly interface and includes features such as a built-in editor and debugger, which GW-BASIC lacks.
How would you write a simple program in GW-BASIC to print 'Hello, World'?
You would write the following code: PRINT 'Hello, World'
What are the data types supported by GW-BASIC?
GW-BASIC supports several data types, including integer, single-precision floating-point, double-precision floating-point, and string.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of GW-BASIC language?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving abilities throughout the interview?
Has the candidate shown an ability to work in a team environment?
Does the candidate have experience with debugging and optimizing GW-BASIC code?

Next 20 minutes

Specific GW-BASIC 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 FOR loop and a WHILE loop in GW-BASIC.
A FOR loop executes a block of code a specific number of times, while a WHILE loop executes a block of code as long as a certain condition is true.
How would you handle errors in GW-BASIC?
You can handle errors in GW-BASIC using the ON ERROR statement, which allows you to specify a line of code to be executed when an error occurs.
What are the control structures available in GW-BASIC?
GW-BASIC provides several control structures, including IF...THEN...ELSE, FOR...NEXT, WHILE...WEND, and GOTO.
Describe the difference between a function and a subroutine in GW-BASIC.
A function in GW-BASIC is a block of code that performs a specific task and returns a value, while a subroutine is a block of code that performs a specific task but does not return a value.
How would you read and write data from a file in GW-BASIC?
You can read data from a file in GW-BASIC using the INPUT# statement, and write data to a file using the PRINT# statement.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the GW-BASIC engineer at this point.

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

What does this simple GW-BASIC code do?
10 PRINT "Hello, World!"
20 END
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console and then ends the program.
What will be the output of this GW-BASIC code?
10 LET A = 5
20 LET B = 10
30 PRINT A + B
40 END
The output of this code will be 15. The code assigns the values 5 and 10 to variables A and B respectively, then prints the sum of A and B.
What does this GW-BASIC code do with the array?
10 DIM A(5)
20 FOR I = 1 TO 5
30 LET A(I) = I * 2
50 FOR I = 1 TO 5
80 END
This code initializes an array of size 5, assigns each element of the array a value that is twice its index, and then prints each element of the array.
What does this GW-BASIC code do?
10 FOR I = 1 TO 100
30 IF I MOD 10 = 0 THEN 60
50 END
60 PRINT "Multiple of 10"
70 GOTO 40
This code prints numbers from 1 to 100. Whenever it encounters a number that is a multiple of 10, it prints 'Multiple of 10'.

Wrap-up questions

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

What are the string manipulation functions available in GW-BASIC?
GW-BASIC provides several string manipulation functions, including LEN (to get the length of a string), LEFT$ (to get the leftmost characters of a string), RIGHT$ (to get the rightmost characters of a string), and MID$ (to get a substring of a string).
Describe the difference between the PRINT and PRINT USING statements in GW-BASIC.
The PRINT statement in GW-BASIC outputs data to the screen or a file, while the PRINT USING statement outputs data to the screen or a file using a specified format.
How would you create a multidimensional array in GW-BASIC?
You can create a multidimensional array in GW-BASIC using the DIM statement, for example: DIM A(10, 10).

GW-BASIC application related

Product Perfect's GW-BASIC development capabilities

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