Hiring guide for OpenLisp Engineers

OpenLisp Developer Hiring Guide

OpenLisp is a high-level, general-purpose programming language that traces its roots back to the original Lisp language developed in the late 1950s. It is one of the oldest high-level programming languages still in widespread use today. OpenLisp is known for its fully parenthesized prefix notation, which can be used for coding complex algorithms and data structures. This software has been instrumental in areas of artificial intelligence research and development. The information was sourced from "History of Programming Languages" by Thomas J. Bergin and Richard G. Gibson.

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

First 20 minutes

General OpenLisp app knowledge and experience

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

How would you declare variables in OpenLisp?
In OpenLisp, variables can be declared using the 'defvar' or 'setq' functions. For example, '(defvar x 10)' or '(setq x 10)'.
What are the basic data types in OpenLisp?
The basic data types in OpenLisp include integers, floating point numbers, characters, strings, symbols, lists, vectors, hash-tables, and functions.
How would you define a function in OpenLisp?
Functions in OpenLisp can be defined using the 'defun' keyword. For example, '(defun square (x) (* x x))' defines a function named 'square' that squares its argument.
What is the difference between 'eq', 'eql', 'equal', and 'equalp' in OpenLisp?
'eq' checks if two symbols or pointers are the same, 'eql' checks if two objects are the same type and value, 'equal' checks if two structures have the same shape and contents, and 'equalp' does a deep comparison of two structures.
How would you implement recursion in OpenLisp?
Recursion in OpenLisp can be implemented by having a function call itself. For example, a recursive function to compute the factorial of a number could be defined as follows: '(defun factorial (n) (if (<= n 1) 1 (* n (factorial (- n 1)))))'.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a solid understanding of OpenLisp?
Can the candidate solve problems using OpenLisp?
Is the candidate able to work well in a team?
Does the candidate show a willingness to learn and adapt?

Next 20 minutes

Specific OpenLisp 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.

What are macros in OpenLisp and how would you define one?
Macros in OpenLisp are a way to define new syntax or new constructs not provided by the language. They are defined using the 'defmacro' keyword. For example, '(defmacro inc (var) `(setq ,var (+ ,var 1)))' defines a macro that increments a variable.
How would you handle exceptions in OpenLisp?
Exceptions in OpenLisp can be handled using the 'condition-case' function. For example, '(condition-case nil (error "This is an error") (error (message "An error occurred")))' catches and handles an error.
Describe the difference between 'let' and 'let*' in OpenLisp.
'let' and 'let*' both bind variables to values, but 'let' binds all variables simultaneously, while 'let*' binds them sequentially, allowing later bindings to refer to earlier ones.
How would you perform file I/O operations in OpenLisp?
File I/O operations in OpenLisp can be performed using functions like 'open', 'close', 'read', 'write', 'read-line', etc. For example, '(with-open-file (stream "file.txt") (write "Hello, World!" :stream stream))' writes a string to a file.
What are the different types of loops available in OpenLisp?
OpenLisp provides several types of loops, including 'do', 'dotimes', 'dolist', 'loop', and recursion. Each type of loop has its own use cases and syntax.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does the following OpenLisp code do?
(defun hello-world () (print 'Hello, World!))
This code defines a function named 'hello-world' that prints 'Hello, World!' when it's called.
What will be the output of the following OpenLisp code?
(let ((x 5) (y 10)) (+ x y))
This code will output 15. It first assigns 5 to variable 'x' and 10 to 'y', then it adds 'x' and 'y' together.
What does the following OpenLisp code do?
(mapcar #'(lambda (x) (* x x)) '(1 2 3 4 5))
This code squares each element in the list (1 2 3 4 5) and returns a new list with the results. The output would be (1 4 9 16 25).
What does the following OpenLisp code do?
(defun parallel (a b) (bt:make-thread a) (bt:make-thread b))
This code defines a function named 'parallel' that creates two threads, one for function 'a' and another for function 'b'. The two functions will be executed concurrently.

Wrap-up questions

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

How would you create and manipulate lists in OpenLisp?
Lists in OpenLisp can be created using the 'list' function and manipulated using functions like 'car', 'cdr', 'cons', 'append', etc. For example, '(setq my-list (list 1 2 3))' creates a list, and '(car my-list)' returns the first element of the list.
Describe the difference between 'apply' and 'funcall' in OpenLisp.
'apply' and 'funcall' both call a function with arguments, but 'apply' expects the arguments as a single list, while 'funcall' expects the arguments as separate values.
How would you implement object-oriented programming in OpenLisp?
Object-oriented programming in OpenLisp can be implemented using the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS), which provides features like classes, inheritance, and polymorphism. For example, '(defclass person () ((name :initarg :name :accessor person-name)))' defines a class 'person' with a 'name' attribute.

OpenLisp application related

Product Perfect's OpenLisp development capabilities

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