Hiring guide for ORCA/Modula-2 Engineers

ORCA/Modula-2 Developer Hiring Guide

ORCA/Modula-2 is a high-level programming language developed in the late 1970s by Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Wirth, who also created Pascal. It was designed for system programming and has been influential in the development of other languages such as Ada and Oberon. ORCA/Modula-2's key features include strong typing, modularization facilities, and concurrency support. The language was implemented on Apple's Apple IIGS computer system, using the ORCA environment developed by Byte Works. References for this information can be found in "Programming in Modula-2" by Niklaus Wirth and "The ORCA Programming Environment" by Byte Works.

Ask the right questions secure the right ORCA/Modula-2 talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General ORCA/Modula-2 app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in ORCA/Modula-2 application development, including their experience with various programming languages, databases, and their approach to designing scalable and maintainable systems.

What are the basic data types in ORCA/Modula-2?
The basic data types in ORCA/Modula-2 are INTEGER, REAL, CHAR, BOOLEAN, and SET.
How would you declare a constant in ORCA/Modula-2?
A constant in ORCA/Modula-2 can be declared using the CONST keyword followed by the identifier, the '=' symbol, and the constant value.
What are the control structures available in ORCA/Modula-2?
The control structures in ORCA/Modula-2 include IF, CASE, WHILE, REPEAT, FOR, and LOOP.
How would you define a procedure in ORCA/Modula-2?
A procedure in ORCA/Modula-2 is defined using the PROCEDURE keyword followed by the procedure name, parameters (if any) enclosed in parentheses, and the procedure body enclosed in BEGIN and END.
Describe the difference between local and global variables in ORCA/Modula-2.
Local variables are declared within a procedure or module and are only accessible within that scope. Global variables are declared outside any procedure or module and can be accessed by any part of the program.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a solid understanding of ORCA/Modula-2?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?
Is the candidate familiar with the software development life cycle?
Can the candidate work well in a team?

Next 20 minutes

Specific ORCA/Modula-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.

What are the standard I/O procedures in ORCA/Modula-2?
The standard I/O procedures in ORCA/Modula-2 include ReadInt, WriteInt, ReadReal, WriteReal, ReadChar, WriteChar, ReadBool, and WriteBool.
How would you handle exceptions in ORCA/Modula-2?
Exceptions in ORCA/Modula-2 are handled using the TRY...EXCEPT...FINALLY construct. The TRY block contains the code that might throw an exception, the EXCEPT block contains the code to handle the exception, and the FINALLY block contains the code that is always executed regardless of whether an exception occurred or not.
Describe the difference between a record and an array in ORCA/Modula-2.
A record is a collection of variables of different types grouped under a single name, while an array is a collection of variables of the same type grouped under a single name.
What are the bitwise operators in ORCA/Modula-2?
The bitwise operators in ORCA/Modula-2 include AND, OR, XOR, NOT, SHL (shift left), and SHR (shift right).
How would you implement inheritance in ORCA/Modula-2?
ORCA/Modula-2 does not directly support inheritance as in object-oriented languages. However, you can simulate inheritance by using a record to represent a base class and including that record as a field in another record representing a derived class.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does this simple ORCA/Modula-2 code do?
MODULE HelloWorld;
  WriteString('Hello, World!');
END HelloWorld.
This is a simple program that outputs 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What does this code snippet do in ORCA/Modula-2?
  RETURN a / b;
END Divide;
This code defines a procedure named 'Divide' that takes two integers as arguments and returns their division as a real number.
What will be the output of this ORCA/Modula-2 code?
MODULE ArrayExample;
  arr: ARRAY [1..5] OF INTEGER;
  FOR i := 1 TO 5 DO
    arr[i] := i * 2;
  FOR i := 1 TO 5 DO
    WriteInt(arr[i], 0);
END ArrayExample.
This code will output the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 each on a new line. It declares an array 'arr' of 5 integers, then assigns each element of the array double its index value and finally prints all elements of the array.
What does this ORCA/Modula-2 code do that relates to threading?
MODULE ThreadExample;
  threadID: INTEGER;
  threadID := Fork;
  IF threadID = 0 THEN
    WriteString('This is the child thread.');
    WriteString('This is the parent thread.');
END ThreadExample.
This code creates a new thread by calling the 'Fork' procedure. If the 'Fork' procedure returns 0, it means we are in the child thread, so it prints 'This is the child thread.'; otherwise, we are in the parent thread, so it prints 'This is the parent thread.'

Wrap-up questions

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

Describe the difference between a procedure and a function in ORCA/Modula-2.
A procedure is a subprogram that performs a specific task but does not return a value, while a function is a subprogram that performs a specific task and returns a value.
What are the features of ORCA/Modula-2 that support concurrent programming?
ORCA/Modula-2 supports concurrent programming through the use of coroutines and the PROCEDURE type, which allows procedures to be passed as parameters and stored in variables.
How would you implement polymorphism in ORCA/Modula-2?
ORCA/Modula-2 does not directly support polymorphism as in object-oriented languages. However, you can simulate polymorphism by using a record to represent an object and a PROCEDURE type field in the record to represent a method, which can be assigned different procedures at runtime.

ORCA/Modula-2 application related

Product Perfect's ORCA/Modula-2 development capabilities

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