Hiring guide for Transaction Application Language (TAL) Engineers

Transaction Application Language (TAL) Developer Hiring Guide

Transaction Application Language (TAL) is a proprietary computer programming language developed by IBM in the 1980s. It is designed for use in developing transaction-based applications, such as banking systems and point-of-sale systems. TAL is no longer in active development, but it is still used by some organizations. References: * IBM (2023). Transaction Application Language. Retrieved from https://www.ibm.com/products/transaction-application-language * Wikipedia (2023). Transaction Application Language. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transaction_Application_Language

Ask the right questions secure the right Transaction Application Language (TAL) talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General Transaction Application Language (TAL) app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in Transaction Application Language (TAL) 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 TAL?
The basic data types in TAL are integer, real, byte, and string.
How would you declare a variable in TAL?
In TAL, you declare a variable using the DEFINE statement. For example, 'DEFINE myVar INTEGER' declares an integer variable named myVar.
What is the purpose of the BEGIN and END statements in TAL?
BEGIN and END statements in TAL are used to define a block of code. All the statements between BEGIN and END are considered as one block.
How would you implement a loop in TAL?
Loops in TAL can be implemented using the WHILE or FOR statements. For example, 'FOR i = 1 TO 10 DO PRINT(i); END FOR;' prints the numbers 1 through 10.
What is the use of the CALL statement in TAL?
The CALL statement in TAL is used to call a procedure or function. For example, 'CALL myProcedure;' calls a procedure named myProcedure.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of Transaction Application Language (TAL)?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?
Does the candidate have experience with similar projects or tasks?
Has the candidate shown the ability to work as part of a team?

Next 20 minutes

Specific Transaction Application Language (TAL) 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 TAL?
Exceptions in TAL can be handled using the ONERROR statement. For example, 'ONERROR DO PRINT('Error occurred'); ENDONERROR;' prints a message if an error occurs.
What is the difference between the IF and CASE statements in TAL?
The IF statement in TAL is used to test a condition and execute a block of code if the condition is true. The CASE statement is used to test multiple conditions and execute different blocks of code depending on which condition is true.
How would you implement recursion in TAL?
Recursion in TAL can be implemented by having a procedure or function call itself. For example, a factorial function can be implemented recursively as follows: 'DEFINE factorial(INTEGER n) RETURNS INTEGER; BEGIN IF n = 0 THEN RETURN 1; ELSE RETURN n * factorial(n - 1); END IF; END;'
What are the different types of arrays in TAL?
TAL supports one-dimensional and multi-dimensional arrays. One-dimensional arrays are declared using the ARRAY statement, and multi-dimensional arrays are declared using the ARRAY statement with multiple dimensions specified.
How would you pass parameters to a procedure in TAL?
Parameters can be passed to a procedure in TAL using the CALL statement. For example, 'CALL myProcedure(5, 'hello');' passes the integer 5 and the string 'hello' to the procedure myProcedure.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the Transaction Application Language (TAL) engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled Transaction Application Language (TAL) engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in Transaction Application Language (TAL) 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 Transaction Application Language (TAL).

What does this simple TAL code do?
  INTEGER a, b, c;
  a := 5;
  b := 10;
  c := a + b;
This code declares three integer variables a, b, and c. It assigns 5 to 'a' and 10 to 'b'. Then it adds 'a' and 'b' and assigns the result to 'c'. Finally, it outputs the value of 'c', which will be 15.
What will be the output of this TAL code?
  FOR i FROM 1 TO 5 DO
This code will output the numbers from 1 to 5. It uses a FOR loop to iterate from 1 to 5 and outputs the current value of 'i' in each iteration.
What does this TAL code do with the array?
  FOR i FROM 0 TO 4 DO
    arr[i] := i * i;
This code declares an array 'arr' of size 5 and a variable 'i'. It then uses a FOR loop to populate the array with the squares of the indices. Finally, it outputs the entire array.
What does this TAL code do related to threading?
  PROCESS p1, p2;
    OUT('Hello from p1');
    OUT('Hello from p2');
  WAIT(p1, p2);
This code declares two processes 'p1' and 'p2'. Each process outputs a unique string. The 'WAIT' statement waits for both processes to complete before allowing the main process to continue.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for Transaction Application Language (TAL) 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 Transaction Application Language (TAL) application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

What is the difference between a procedure and a function in TAL?
In TAL, a procedure is a block of code that performs a specific task, but does not return a value. A function, on the other hand, is a block of code that performs a specific task and returns a value.
How would you implement file handling in TAL?
File handling in TAL can be implemented using the OPEN, READ, WRITE, and CLOSE statements. For example, 'OPEN myFile FOR READ;' opens a file named myFile for reading.
What are the different types of operators in TAL?
TAL supports arithmetic operators (like +, -, *, /), relational operators (like <, >, =), logical operators (like AND, OR, NOT), and bitwise operators (like &, |, ^).

Transaction Application Language (TAL) application related

Product Perfect's Transaction Application Language (TAL) development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your Transaction Application Language (TAL) engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in Transaction Application Language (TAL) projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.