Hiring guide for Nim Engineers

Nim Developer Hiring Guide

Nim is a statically typed, imperative programming language that offers high performance. It combines the efficiency of languages like C and C++ with the readability and ease-of-use of Python and JavaScript. Nim provides powerful metaprogramming features which allow for compile-time code generation, making it highly flexible for various applications. The syntax is clean and indentation-based, similar to Python's syntax style. Despite its simplicity, Nim supports advanced features such as garbage collection, parallelism/multithreading support (including shared data), exception handling among others. Furthermore, Nim allows cross-compilation by generating optimized C/C++, Objective-C or JavaScript code which can then be compiled/executed on virtually any platform without needing a virtual machine or interpreter. Nim has been used in diverse fields including game development, web development (backend/frontend), system utilities scripting etc., proving its versatility as a general-purpose language.

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

First 20 minutes

General Nim app knowledge and experience

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

What are the key features of Nim programming language?
Nim is a statically typed compiled language. It provides high level programming constructs like object orientation, generics, and exception handling. It offers powerful metaprogramming capabilities, and allows for both functional and procedural programming styles. It also has a garbage collector and supports parallelism and concurrency.
How does garbage collection work in Nim?
Nim uses a deferred reference counting garbage collector by default. This means that it keeps track of the number of references to each object, and when an object's reference count drops to zero, it is immediately deallocated. Nim also provides a cycle collector to handle circular references.
Describe the difference between 'let', 'var', and 'const' in Nim.
'let' is used to declare a constant whose value is computed at runtime and can't be changed. 'var' is used to declare a variable that can be changed. 'const' is used to declare a constant whose value is computed at compile-time.
How would you handle exception in Nim?
In Nim, exceptions are handled using try, except, finally blocks. You can raise an exception using the 'raise' statement and handle it using the 'except' block. The 'finally' block can be used to ensure that certain code runs whether an exception occurred or not.
What is the purpose of 'discard' in Nim?
The 'discard' statement is used to ignore the result of an expression. It is often used when calling a procedure that returns a value that is not required.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a deep understanding of the Nim programming language?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills during the interview?
Is the candidate able to communicate their thoughts and ideas clearly?
Has the candidate shown an ability to work well in a team?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Nim 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 create a multi-threaded application in Nim?
Nim provides the 'threads' module for creating multi-threaded applications. You can use the 'createThread' procedure to create a new thread, and the 'joinThread' procedure to wait for a thread to finish.
What are the different types of operators in Nim?
Nim supports a variety of operators including arithmetic operators (like +, -, *, /), comparison operators (like ==, !=, <, >), logical operators (like and, or, not), bitwise operators (like &, |, ^), and assignment operators (like =, +=, -=).
How would you implement a generic function in Nim?
In Nim, you can create a generic function by specifying a type parameter in the function declaration. For example, 'proc swap[T](x, y: var T)' is a generic function that can swap two variables of any type.
What is the difference between 'proc' and 'func' in Nim?
'proc' and 'func' are used to define procedures in Nim. The main difference is that 'func' is used to define a pure function, which means it can't have any side effects or change any global state.
How would you write a macro in Nim?
In Nim, macros are written using the 'macro' keyword followed by the name of the macro, the parameters, and the body. Macros in Nim are powerful and can generate code at compile-time.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does the following Nim code do?
echo "Hello, World!"
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the standard output.
What will be the output of the following Nim code?
var x = 10
echo x
This code will output '11'. The 'inc' procedure increments the value of 'x' by 1.
What does the following Nim code do?
var numbers = @[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
let sum = numbers.foldl(a + b)
echo sum
This code calculates the sum of all numbers in the 'numbers' sequence using the 'foldl' procedure and then prints the result, which is '15'.
What does the following Nim code do?
import threadpool
proc work() =
  for i in 0 ..< 10:
    echo i
spawn work()
This code creates a new thread that executes the 'work' procedure, which prints numbers from 0 to 9. The 'sync' procedure waits for all spawned threads to finish.

Wrap-up questions

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

What is the purpose of the 'defer' statement in Nim?
The 'defer' statement is used to ensure that a certain piece of code is executed before the current scope ends, regardless of how it ends. This is useful for cleanup tasks like closing files or releasing resources.
Describe how metaprogramming is done in Nim.
Metaprogramming in Nim is done using templates, macros, and compile-time function execution. Templates are simple text substitutions, while macros are more powerful and can generate code at compile-time. Compile-time function execution allows for computations to be done at compile-time.
How would you implement polymorphism in Nim?
Polymorphism in Nim can be achieved using methods. Methods are similar to procedures, but they are dynamically dispatched based on the type of the object they are called on. This allows different types to define their own implementation of a method.

Nim application related

Product Perfect's Nim development capabilities

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