Hiring guide for Tiny BASIC Engineers

Tiny BASIC Developer Hiring Guide

Tiny BASIC is a minimalist computer programming language developed in the 1970s as a response to expensive software. It was designed by Dr. Li-Chen Wang and first published in Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics & Orthodontia, making it accessible for hobbyists at home (Wang, L., "Palo Alto Tiny BASIC," Dr.Dobb's Journal, May 1976). The language only includes essential commands which makes it fit into just a few kilobytes of memory space ("Tiny Basic", People's Computer Company Newsletter Vol2 No5). Its simplicity and small size made it ideal for early microcomputers with limited resources such as the Altair 8800 or IMSAI 8080 (Ahlschwede T., et al., "The Stand-Alone Tiny Basic SA-TB1 User Manual," Processor Technology Corporation, April 1977). Despite its limitations compared to larger languages like Fortran or COBOL, Tiny BASIC played an important role in democratizing access to computing power.

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

First 20 minutes

General Tiny BASIC app knowledge and experience

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

How would you define Tiny BASIC in your own words?
Tiny BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language, designed to use as little memory as possible, making it ideal for microcomputers with limited memory.
What are some of the limitations of Tiny BASIC?
Some limitations of Tiny BASIC include lack of floating point numbers, limited string handling, and lack of complex data structures.
How would you write a simple program in Tiny BASIC to print 'Hello, World!'?
The code would be: PRINT 'Hello, World!'
Describe the difference between LET and GOTO statements in Tiny BASIC.
LET is used to assign a value to a variable, while GOTO is used to jump to a specific line in the program.
What are the data types supported by Tiny BASIC?
Tiny BASIC primarily supports integer data types.
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What you’re looking for early on

Has the candidate shown a solid understanding of the Tiny BASIC language?
Is the candidate capable of problem-solving within the constraints of Tiny BASIC?
Has the candidate demonstrated past experience in developing with Tiny BASIC or similar languages?
Does the candidate have a good understanding of programming concepts and algorithms?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Tiny BASIC 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 use a FOR loop in Tiny BASIC?
FOR loops in Tiny BASIC are used in the format 'FOR variable = start TO end'.
What is the purpose of the RUN command in Tiny BASIC?
The RUN command is used to start the execution of a program.
Describe the difference between the IF and GOSUB statements in Tiny BASIC.
IF is used for conditional execution of code, while GOSUB is used to call a subroutine that returns control back to the caller after execution.
What are some of the mathematical operations that Tiny BASIC supports?
Tiny BASIC supports basic mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
How would you write a subroutine in Tiny BASIC?
A subroutine in Tiny BASIC can be written using the GOSUB statement, followed by the line number of the subroutine.
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The ideal back-end app developer

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

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

What does this Tiny BASIC code do?
10 PRINT "Hello, World!"
20 END
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What will be the output of this Tiny BASIC code?
10 LET A = 5
20 LET B = 10
40 END
The output of this code will be 15. It adds the values of variables A and B and prints the result.
What does this Tiny BASIC code do?
10 LET A = 1
30 LET A = A + 1
40 IF A <= 10 THEN 20
50 END
This code prints the numbers from 1 to 10. It uses a loop that increments the value of A by 1 each time until A is greater than 10.
What will be the output of this Tiny BASIC code?
10 LET A = 1
20 LET B = 0
30 LET B = B + A
40 LET A = A + 1
50 IF A <= 10 THEN 30
70 END
The output of this code will be 55. It calculates the sum of the numbers from 1 to 10.

Wrap-up questions

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

What is the purpose of the INPUT statement in Tiny BASIC?
The INPUT statement is used to get input from the user.
How would you handle errors in Tiny BASIC?
Error handling in Tiny BASIC is typically done using the ONERR GOTO statement, which jumps to a specific line in the program when an error occurs.
Describe the difference between READ and DATA statements in Tiny BASIC.
READ is used to read data from a DATA statement. The DATA statement is used to define the data to be read.

Tiny BASIC application related

Product Perfect's Tiny BASIC development capabilities

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