Hiring guide for Oberon-2 Engineers

Oberon-2 Developer Hiring Guide

Oberon-2 is an object-oriented programming language that was developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Niklaus Wirth and Hanspeter Mössenböck at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. It is an extension of Oberon, which was itself a successor to the Modula-2 language. Oberon-2 retains the simplicity and efficiency of its predecessors, while adding support for object-oriented programming features such as classes, type-bound procedures, and dynamic method dispatch. It also includes improvements to data type compatibility rules and syntax refinements for better readability. The language is designed to be compact and efficient, making it suitable for teaching, research, and system development tasks.

Ask the right questions secure the right Oberon-2 talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General Oberon-2 app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in Oberon-2 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-2?
You can declare a variable in Oberon-2 by specifying the variable type and name. For example, 'VAR x: INTEGER;' declares an integer variable named x.
What are the basic data types in Oberon-2?
The basic data types in Oberon-2 are INTEGER, REAL, BOOLEAN, CHAR, and SET.
Describe the difference between a procedure and a function in Oberon-2.
In Oberon-2, a procedure is a block of code that performs a specific task and does not return a value. On the other hand, a function is similar to a procedure but it returns a value.
How would you implement a loop in Oberon-2?
In Oberon-2, you can implement a loop using the WHILE or REPEAT statements. For example, 'WHILE condition DO statements END' or 'REPEAT statements UNTIL condition'.
What are the control structures available in Oberon-2?
Oberon-2 provides several control structures including IF, CASE, WHILE, REPEAT, FOR, and LOOP.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a solid understanding of the Oberon-2 language?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills during the interview?
Does the candidate have experience with object-oriented programming?
Has the candidate shown the ability to work as part of a team?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Oberon-2 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 Oberon-2?
Oberon-2 provides a mechanism for exception handling using the TRY...EXCEPT...END construct.
Describe the difference between the := and = operators in Oberon-2.
In Oberon-2, := is used for assignment while = is used for comparison.
How would you define a record in Oberon-2?
In Oberon-2, you can define a record using the RECORD...END construct. For example, 'TYPE Person = RECORD name: ARRAY 10 OF CHAR; age: INTEGER END;' defines a record type named Person.
What are type-bound procedures in Oberon-2?
Type-bound procedures in Oberon-2 are procedures that are associated with a specific type, similar to methods in object-oriented programming.
Describe the difference between static and dynamic arrays in Oberon-2.
In Oberon-2, static arrays have a fixed size that is determined at compile time, while the size of dynamic arrays can be changed at runtime.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the Oberon-2 engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled Oberon-2 engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in Oberon-2 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-2.

What does this simple Oberon-2 code do?
  Out.String('Hello, World!');
END Hello.
This code prints 'Hello, World!' to the standard output.
What does this Oberon-2 code do?
  IF n = 0 THEN
    RETURN 1
    RETURN n * Factorial(n - 1)
END Factorial.
This code defines a recursive function that calculates the factorial of a given integer.
What does this Oberon-2 code do?
VAR i, j: INTEGER; ch: CHAR;
  i := 0; j := LEN(a)-2;
  WHILE i < j DO
    ch := a[i]; a[i] := a[j]; a[j] := ch;
    INC(i); DEC(j);
END Reverse.
This code defines a procedure that reverses the order of elements in a character array.
What does this Oberon-2 code do?
PROCEDURE ThreadProc(VAR M: Semaphore.Mutex);
  (* critical section *)
END ThreadProc.
This code defines a procedure for a thread that acquires a mutex lock before entering a critical section and releases it afterward, ensuring that the critical section is not concurrently accessed by multiple threads.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for Oberon-2 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-2 application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

How would you implement inheritance in Oberon-2?
In Oberon-2, you can implement inheritance using the EXTENDS keyword. For example, 'TYPE Child = RECORD (Parent) field: INTEGER END;' defines a type Child that inherits from the type Parent.
What are the rules for identifier naming in Oberon-2?
In Oberon-2, identifiers must begin with a letter and can be followed by any combination of letters, digits, and underscores. They are case sensitive.
How would you handle file I/O in Oberon-2?
Oberon-2 provides modules like Files and In/Out for handling file I/O operations. For example, you can use the Files.Open procedure to open a file.

Oberon-2 application related

Product Perfect's Oberon-2 development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your Oberon-2 engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in Oberon-2 projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.