Hiring guide for Miranda Engineers

Miranda Developer Hiring Guide

Miranda is a purely functional programming language that was developed in the 1980s. It is statically typed and lazy, meaning computations are only performed when needed. Miranda was designed to be simple yet powerful, with a strong emphasis on list processing capabilities. It has influenced the development of several other programming languages, most notably Haskell. The language supports higher-order functions and data types, pattern matching, and guards. It also includes features for handling infinite data structures and recursion. Miranda's syntax is clean and concise which makes it easier for programmers to write complex programs with fewer lines of code compared to other languages. However, it's not widely used today outside of academic circles due to the emergence of more modern functional languages like Haskell or Scala which offer more features.

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

First 20 minutes

General Miranda app knowledge and experience

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

How would you describe the Miranda programming language?
Miranda is a purely functional programming language that was developed in the 1980s. It is known for its strong, static typing and lazy evaluation features.
What are the key features of Miranda?
Miranda has several key features including strong static typing, lazy evaluation, and pattern matching. It also supports list comprehensions and higher-order functions.
Describe the difference between strict and lazy evaluation in Miranda.
In strict evaluation, the arguments of a function are evaluated before the function is applied. In contrast, with lazy evaluation, arguments are not evaluated until they are needed. Miranda uses lazy evaluation.
How would you implement recursion in Miranda?
In Miranda, recursion is implemented by defining a function in terms of itself. For example, a factorial function could be defined as 'fac n = if n == 0 then 1 else n * fac (n-1)'.
What is pattern matching in Miranda and how would you use it?
Pattern matching in Miranda is a way to check a value against a pattern and, if it matches, deconstruct the value. It's often used in function definitions to handle different cases for different patterns of inputs.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate demonstrate a strong understanding of Miranda programming language?
Has the candidate shown any experience with large-scale software development projects?
How well did the candidate perform on problem-solving tasks during the interview?
Did the candidate showcase good communication skills?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Miranda 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 Miranda and Haskell.
While both Miranda and Haskell are functional programming languages with similar features, Haskell is more widely used and has more features. For example, Haskell has a more advanced type system with type classes, which Miranda does not have.
How would you handle errors in Miranda?
Miranda doesn't have built-in support for exceptions like some other languages. Instead, you would typically use the Maybe type to represent computations that can fail, and pattern matching to handle the success and failure cases.
What are higher-order functions in Miranda?
Higher-order functions in Miranda are functions that can take other functions as arguments and/or return functions as results. Examples include the map and fold functions.
How would you implement a map function in Miranda?
A map function in Miranda could be implemented as follows: 'map f [] = [] | map f (x:xs) = f x : map f xs'. This function applies the function f to each element of the list.
What is currying in Miranda and how would you use it?
Currying in Miranda is the technique of transforming a function with multiple arguments into a function with just one argument. The returned function is then used to supply the other arguments. It's used to create partially applied functions.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does the following simple Miranda code do?
f :: num -> num
f x = x * x
This is a simple function in Miranda that squares a number. It takes a number as input and returns the square of that number.
What does the following Miranda code do?
|| Operator Overloading
(+) :: num * num -> num
(x, y) + = x + y
This code is an example of operator overloading in Miranda. It redefines the '+' operator to add two numbers together, which are passed as a pair.
What will be the output of the following Miranda code that manipulates a list?
|| List Manipulation
front :: [*] -> *
front (a : _) = a

back :: [*] -> *
back (_ : b) = b
The 'front' function returns the first element of a list, while the 'back' function returns all elements of the list except the first one.
What does the following Miranda code that uses concurrency do?
|| Concurrency
f :: num -> num
f x = x * x

|| Threaded computation
threaded_square :: num -> num
threaded_square x = f x & f x
This code defines a function 'f' that squares a number. The 'threaded_square' function then uses the '&' operator to run two instances of 'f' in parallel threads.

Wrap-up questions

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

Describe the difference between a list and a tuple in Miranda.
In Miranda, a list is a collection of elements of the same type, while a tuple is a collection of elements of potentially different types. Also, lists are homogenous while tuples are heterogeneous.
How would you define a type in Miranda?
In Miranda, you can define a new type using the 'data' keyword. For example, 'data Tree a = Leaf a | Node (Tree a) (Tree a)' defines a binary tree type.
What are type variables in Miranda?
Type variables in Miranda are used in the definition of polymorphic types. They represent any type. For example, in the definition of the list type, 'data List a = Nil | Cons a (List a)', 'a' is a type variable.

Miranda application related

Product Perfect's Miranda development capabilities

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