Hiring guide for Modula-3 Engineers

Modula-3 Developer Hiring Guide

Modula-3 is a systems programming language that was derived from an earlier language, Modula-2, which itself was designed as a successor to the Pascal programming language. Developed in the late 1980s by researchers at Digital Equipment Corporation and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Modula-3 is characterized by its simplicity and safety features. It supports both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms, with notable features including strong type checking, garbage collection, concurrency support, and exception handling. Despite its strengths and influence on later languages like Java and Python, Modula-3 did not gain widespread use.

Ask the right questions secure the right Modula-3 talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General Modula-3 app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in Modula-3 application development, including their experience with various programming languages, databases, and their approach to designing scalable and maintainable systems.

How would you declare a variable in Modula-3?
You can declare a variable in Modula-3 using the VAR keyword followed by the variable name and its type. For example: VAR x: INTEGER;
What are the basic data types in Modula-3?
The basic data types in Modula-3 include INTEGER, REAL, BOOLEAN, CHAR, and TEXT.
How would you define a procedure in Modula-3?
A procedure in Modula-3 is defined using the PROCEDURE keyword followed by the procedure name, parameters, and the procedure body enclosed in BEGIN and END. For example: PROCEDURE MyProcedure(x: INTEGER); BEGIN ... END MyProcedure;
What is the purpose of the LOOP statement in Modula-3?
The LOOP statement in Modula-3 is used to create a loop that executes a block of code repeatedly until a certain condition is met.
Describe the difference between the WHILE and LOOP statements in Modula-3.
The WHILE statement in Modula-3 executes a block of code as long as a specified condition is true. The LOOP statement, on the other hand, executes a block of code indefinitely until an EXIT statement is encountered.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of Modula-3 syntax and semantics?
Can the candidate effectively debug Modula-3 code?
Does the candidate have experience with Modula-3 libraries and frameworks?
Is the candidate able to design and implement complex systems in Modula-3?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Modula-3 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 handle exceptions in Modula-3?
Exceptions in Modula-3 are handled using the TRY...EXCEPT...END structure. The TRY block contains the code that might raise an exception, and the EXCEPT block contains the code to handle the exception.
What are the benefits of using Modula-3's type-safe features?
Modula-3's type-safe features help prevent type-related errors at compile time. This can lead to more reliable, bug-free code.
How would you implement multithreading in Modula-3?
Multithreading in Modula-3 can be implemented using the THREAD type and the BEGIN...END structure. The THREAD type is used to declare a thread, and the BEGIN...END structure is used to define the thread's execution.
Describe the difference between a RECORD and an OBJECT in Modula-3.
A RECORD in Modula-3 is a composite data type that can contain variables of different types. An OBJECT, on the other hand, is a data type that can contain variables, methods, and can also support inheritance and polymorphism.
How would you implement inheritance in Modula-3?
Inheritance in Modula-3 can be implemented using the OVERRIDES keyword. The subclass declares a method with the same name as a method in the superclass, and uses the OVERRIDES keyword to indicate that it is overriding the superclass's method.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the Modula-3 engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled Modula-3 engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in Modula-3 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 Modula-3.

What does this simple Modula-3 code do?
  WRITELN('Hello, World!');
END Hello.
This code prints 'Hello, World!' to the standard output.
What does this Modula-3 code do?
  RETURN n * n;
END Square;
This code defines a function named 'Square' that takes an integer as input and returns the square of that integer.
What does this Modula-3 code do?
  FOR i := 1 TO 5 DO
    arr[i] := i * i;
This code declares an array 'arr' of size 5 and populates it with the squares of the indices.
What does this Modula-3 code do?
  t1, t2: Thread.T;
  t1 := Thread.Fork(Nil, 0);
  t2 := Thread.Fork(Nil, 0);
This code declares two threads 't1' and 't2' and initializes them with the 'Fork' method. However, since the first argument to 'Fork' is 'Nil', these threads do not perform any operation when started.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for Modula-3 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 Modula-3 application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

What are the key features of Modula-3's module system?
Modula-3's module system supports encapsulation and information hiding. It allows the definition of interfaces in separate interface modules, and the implementation of these interfaces in implementation modules.
How would you implement polymorphism in Modula-3?
Polymorphism in Modula-3 can be implemented using the OVERRIDES keyword and the TYPECASE statement. The OVERRIDES keyword is used to override methods in a superclass, and the TYPECASE statement is used to perform different actions based on the actual type of an object.
Describe the difference between a constant and a variable in Modula-3.
A constant in Modula-3 is a value that cannot be changed after it is defined, while a variable is a value that can be changed during the execution of the program.

Modula-3 application related

Product Perfect's Modula-3 development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your Modula-3 engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in Modula-3 projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.