Hiring guide for Oberon-3 Engineers

Oberon-3 Developer Hiring Guide

Oberon-3 is a successor to the Oberon programming language, developed by Niklaus Wirth and Jürg Gutknecht at ETH Zurich in the late 1980s. It was designed as part of the Oberon System - a software environment that includes an operating system, compiler, and graphical user interface. The language is statically typed and block-structured with syntax similar to Pascal or Modula. Despite its simplicity, it supports advanced features like type extension for object-oriented programming. Sources: "The Programming Language Oberon" (Niklaus Wirth) & "Project Oberon: The Design of an Operating System and Compiler" (Niklaus Wirth & Jürg Gutknecht).

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

First 20 minutes

General Oberon-3 app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in Oberon-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 Oberon-3?
You can declare a variable in Oberon-3 using the VAR keyword followed by the variable name and its type. For example, 'VAR x: INTEGER;' declares an integer variable named x.
What are the basic data types in Oberon-3?
The basic data types in Oberon-3 are INTEGER, REAL, BOOLEAN, CHAR, and SET.
How would you define a procedure in Oberon-3?
In Oberon-3, you can define a procedure using the PROCEDURE keyword followed by the procedure name, parameters, and body. For example, 'PROCEDURE Add(x, y: INTEGER): INTEGER; BEGIN RETURN x + y; END Add;' defines a procedure named Add.
What is the purpose of the BEGIN and END keywords in Oberon-3?
The BEGIN and END keywords in Oberon-3 are used to denote the start and end of a block of code, such as the body of a procedure or a control structure.
Describe the difference between the WHILE and REPEAT statements in Oberon-3.
In Oberon-3, the WHILE statement checks the condition before executing the loop body, whereas the REPEAT statement executes the loop body first and then checks the condition.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of the Oberon-3 programming language?
Does the candidate have experience in developing software using Oberon-3?
Can the candidate solve complex problems?
Is the candidate able to learn and adapt?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Oberon-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 Oberon-3?
Oberon-3 does not have built-in support for exception handling. However, you can simulate exception handling using conditional statements and procedure calls.
What are the rules for identifier naming in Oberon-3?
In Oberon-3, identifiers must start with a letter and can be followed by any combination of letters, digits, and underscores. They are case sensitive.
How would you implement recursion in Oberon-3?
You can implement recursion in Oberon-3 by defining a procedure that calls itself. For example, the factorial function can be implemented recursively as follows: 'PROCEDURE Factorial(n: INTEGER): INTEGER; BEGIN IF n = 0 THEN RETURN 1 ELSE RETURN n * Factorial(n - 1) END; END Factorial;'.
Describe the difference between the := and = operators in Oberon-3.
In Oberon-3, the := operator is used for assignment, whereas the = operator is used for comparison.
What is the purpose of the IMPORT statement in Oberon-3?
The IMPORT statement in Oberon-3 is used to import modules, which are separate units of code that can be reused in different parts of a program.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does the following Oberon-3 code do?
    Out.String('Hello, World!'); Out.Ln
  END Hello.
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What will be the output of the following Oberon-3 code?
    a, b, c: INTEGER;
    a := 5; b := 10;
    c := a + b;
    Out.Int(c, 0); Out.Ln
  END Add.
The output will be 15, which is the sum of the integers a and b.
What does the following Oberon-3 code do?
MODULE ArraySum;
    arr: ARRAY 5 OF INTEGER;
    sum, i: INTEGER;
    FOR i := 0 TO LEN(arr)-1 DO
      arr[i] := i;
      sum := sum + arr[i]
    Out.Int(sum, 0); Out.Ln
  END ArraySum.
This code initializes an array with 5 elements, assigns each element a value equal to its index, sums up all the elements, and prints the sum to the console.
What does the following Oberon-3 code do?
MODULE Thread;
  PROCEDURE MyThread*;
      Out.String('Running...'); Out.Ln
  END MyThread;
END Thread.
This code creates a new thread that continuously prints 'Running...' to the console.

Wrap-up questions

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

How would you define a record type in Oberon-3?
In Oberon-3, you can define a record type using the RECORD keyword followed by a list of field declarations. For example, 'TYPE Person = RECORD name: ARRAY 100 OF CHAR; age: INTEGER; END;' defines a record type named Person.
What are the rules for operator precedence in Oberon-3?
In Oberon-3, the operator precedence rules are as follows: unary operators have the highest precedence, followed by multiplication and division, addition and subtraction, comparison operators, and finally logical operators.
How would you implement polymorphism in Oberon-3?
Oberon-3 does not support polymorphism in the same way as object-oriented languages. However, you can simulate polymorphism using type-bound procedures and record types.

Oberon-3 application related

Product Perfect's Oberon-3 development capabilities

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