Hiring guide for Lean Engineers

Lean Developer Hiring Guide

Lean is a general-purpose programming language designed for creating performant, maintainable software. It was created by Google in 2011 and is heavily influenced by Python and Rust. Lean is open-source and available on GitHub. Here are some additional details about Lean: * It is statically typed, which means that errors are caught at compile time rather than runtime. * It has a garbage collector, which automatically frees up memory that is no longer being used. * It is designed to be easy to learn, with a clean and concise syntax. * It is well-suited for developing web applications, mobile applications, and distributed systems.

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

First 20 minutes

General Lean app knowledge and experience

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

How would you describe Lean development?
Lean development is a software development philosophy that emphasizes the minimization of waste, creating a fast and efficient process that delivers high quality. It's about working smarter, not harder, and continuously improving the process.
What are the principles of Lean development?
The principles of Lean development are: Eliminate waste, Build quality in, Create knowledge, Defer commitment, Deliver fast, Respect people, and Optimize the whole.
Describe the difference between Agile and Lean development.
While both Agile and Lean methodologies advocate for iterative development and customer collaboration, Agile typically focuses on the flexibility and customer satisfaction, while Lean aims to optimize the entire development process and eliminate waste.
How would you apply Lean principles in software development?
Applying Lean principles in software development involves eliminating waste by removing unnecessary steps or processes, building in quality by developing reliable and simple code, creating knowledge through continuous learning, deferring commitment until the last responsible moment, delivering fast to get customer feedback, respecting people by acknowledging their expertise, and optimizing the whole system rather than individual parts.
What are some techniques you can use to identify waste in a development process?
Techniques to identify waste in a development process include value stream mapping, which visualizes the flow of materials and information, and root cause analysis, which identifies the underlying cause of a problem or inefficiency.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate demonstrate a solid understanding of Lean development principles?
Did the candidate provide examples of past projects where they applied Lean methodologies?
How well does the candidate understand the customer's perspective in the development process?
Is the candidate able to articulate how they handle changes in project requirements?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Lean 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 ensure quality in a Lean development process?
Ensuring quality in a Lean development process can be achieved by incorporating automated testing, code reviews, pair programming, and continuous integration. These practices help catch and correct errors early, preventing them from becoming bigger problems down the line.
What are the benefits of Lean development?
Benefits of Lean development include reduced waste, faster delivery times, higher quality products, improved customer satisfaction, and increased efficiency and productivity.
What are some potential challenges in implementing Lean development and how would you overcome them?
Some potential challenges in implementing Lean development include resistance to change, lack of understanding of Lean principles, and difficulty in identifying waste. These can be overcome by providing thorough training, getting buy-in from all team members, and using tools like value stream mapping to identify waste.
How would you handle a situation where a team member is resistant to Lean principles?
If a team member is resistant to Lean principles, I would take the time to understand their concerns, provide education about the benefits of Lean, and show them how it can improve their own work processes. Change can be difficult, but with patience and understanding, it can be managed effectively.
Describe the difference between 'push' and 'pull' systems in Lean development.
In a 'push' system, work is pushed onto teams regardless of their capacity, leading to potential bottlenecks and inefficiencies. In a 'pull' system, work is only undertaken when there is capacity, leading to smoother flow and less waste.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does the following simple Python code do?
def greet(name):
	return 'Hello, ' + name
This code defines a function named 'greet' that takes one parameter 'name'. The function returns a string that says 'Hello, ' followed by the value of the 'name' parameter.
What will be the output of the following JavaScript code?
let x = 10;
let y = '5';
console.log(x + y);
The output will be '105'. JavaScript performs string concatenation when one of the operands of the '+' operator is a string. So, it converts the number 10 to a string and then concatenates it with the string '5'.
What does the following Java code do?
List numbers = Arrays.asList(1, 2, 3, 4, 5);
numbers.stream().map(n -> n * n).collect(Collectors.toList());
This code creates a list of integers. It then uses Java 8's Stream API to transform each number in the list to its square. The result is a new list containing the squares of the original numbers.
What does the following C# code do?
Parallel.For(0, 10, i => {
This code uses the Parallel.For method from the System.Threading.Tasks namespace to print the numbers 0 through 9 inclusively in parallel. The order in which the numbers are printed is not guaranteed because of the parallel execution.

Wrap-up questions

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

How would you incorporate continuous learning in a Lean development team?
Continuous learning in a Lean development team could be incorporated through regular retrospectives to reflect on what worked and what didn't, encouraging team members to share knowledge and learn from each other, and providing opportunities for professional development.
What are some strategies for deferring commitment in software development?
Deferring commitment in software development can be achieved by using techniques like Agile's 'just in time' planning, which allows decisions to be made at the last responsible moment, and by avoiding early commitment to specific solutions until more information is available.
What is the role of the customer in Lean development?
In Lean development, the customer plays a crucial role. They help define the value of the product, provide feedback, and participate in the development process. This close collaboration ensures that the product meets their needs and expectations.

Lean application related

Product Perfect's Lean development capabilities

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