Hiring guide for Oberon Engineers

Oberon Developer Hiring Guide

Oberon is a general-purpose programming language that was developed in the late 1980s by Niklaus Wirth and Jürg Gutknecht at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. It was named after the moon of Uranus, Oberon. The language is a derivative of Modula-2 and was designed as a part of the Oberon operating system. It is statically typed and has garbage collection, making it suitable for system programming. Oberon is known for its simplicity and efficiency, and it supports both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms. The language is modular, allowing for separate compilation of parts of a program, and it also supports concurrent programming.

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

First 20 minutes

General Oberon app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in Oberon 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 Oberon?
In Oberon, you declare a variable by specifying its type after the variable name. For example, 'VAR x: INTEGER;' declares an integer variable named x.
What are the basic data types in Oberon?
The basic data types in Oberon are INTEGER, REAL, BOOLEAN, CHAR, and SET.
Describe the difference between a procedure and a function in Oberon.
In Oberon, a procedure is a set of instructions that performs a specific task, while a function is a special type of procedure that returns a value.
How would you implement a loop in Oberon?
In Oberon, you can implement a loop using the WHILE or REPEAT statements. For example, 'WHILE x < 10 DO x := x + 1 END' creates a loop that increments x until it is no longer less than 10.
What are the control structures available in Oberon?
Oberon provides several control structures, including IF, CASE, WHILE, REPEAT, FOR, and LOOP.
The hiring guide has been successfully sent to your email address.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of the Oberon programming language?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?
Is the candidate able to communicate effectively?
Does the candidate show familiarity with version control systems like Git?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Oberon 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 the WHILE and REPEAT statements in Oberon.
In Oberon, the WHILE statement checks the condition before executing the loop body, while the REPEAT statement executes the loop body first and then checks the condition.
How would you handle exceptions in Oberon?
In Oberon, you can handle exceptions using the TRY...EXCEPT...END construct. The TRY block contains the code that may raise an exception, and the EXCEPT block contains the code to handle the exception.
What are the rules for naming identifiers in Oberon?
In Oberon, identifiers must start with a letter and can be followed by any combination of letters, digits, and underscores. They are case sensitive.
Describe the difference between a record and an array in Oberon.
In Oberon, a record is a complex data type that allows you to combine data items of different kinds, while an array is a data structure that contains a number of elements of the same type.
How would you define a constant in Oberon?
In Oberon, you can define a constant using the CONST keyword. For example, 'CONST pi = 3.14;' defines a constant named pi with a value of 3.14.
The hiring guide has been successfully sent to your email address.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does this simple Oberon code do?
  WriteLn('Hello, World!');
END Hello.
This code prints 'Hello, World!' to the standard output.
What does this Oberon code do?
MODULE Factorial;
  n, f: INTEGER;
  n := 5;
  f := 1;
  WHILE n > 0 DO
    f := f * n;
  WriteInt(f, 0);
END Factorial.
This code calculates the factorial of 5, which is 120, and prints it to the standard output.
What will be the output of this Oberon code that manipulates an array?
MODULE ArraySum;
  sum, i: INTEGER;
  FOR i := 0 TO 4 DO
    arr[i] := i;
  sum := 0;
  FOR i := 0 TO 4 DO
    INC(sum, arr[i]);
  WriteInt(sum, 0);
END ArraySum.
This code initializes an array of 5 integers with values from 0 to 4, sums up the elements, and prints the sum, which is 10, to the standard output.
What does this Oberon code do, which uses concurrency?
MODULE Concurrency;
  a := 1;
  a := 2;
  WriteInt(a, 0);
END Concurrency.
This code launches two concurrent procedures P1 and P2 that modify the same global variable 'a'. The final value of 'a' printed to the standard output could be either 1 or 2, depending on which procedure finishes last.

Wrap-up questions

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

What are the different ways to pass parameters to a procedure in Oberon?
In Oberon, you can pass parameters to a procedure by value or by reference. Passing by value means that a copy of the argument is passed, while passing by reference means that a reference to the argument is passed.
Describe the difference between the DIV and MOD operators in Oberon.
In Oberon, the DIV operator performs integer division, while the MOD operator returns the remainder of the division.
How would you implement recursion in Oberon?
In Oberon, you can implement recursion by having a procedure call itself. For example, a recursive implementation of the factorial function would call itself with a smaller argument until reaching the base case.

Oberon application related

Product Perfect's Oberon development capabilities

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