Hiring guide for X10 Engineers

X10 Developer Hiring Guide

X10 is a high-performance, parallel, and distributed programming language developed by IBM. It is designed to improve productivity and simplify parallel programming, particularly for large-scale computations. X10 is statically-typed and uses an object-oriented programming model. It introduces new concepts such as places and activities to support parallelism and distribution. The language also supports modern programming concepts like closures, constraints, and type inference. X10 aims to provide a way to write programs that are both easy to write and efficient to run on high-performance computing systems.

Ask the right questions secure the right X10 talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General X10 app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in X10 application development, including their experience with various programming languages, databases, and their approach to designing scalable and maintainable systems.

How would you describe the main features of X10?
X10 is a statically-typed, parallel, distributed object-oriented language. It has a strong focus on concurrency and distribution, with support for asynchronous programming, places and distributed arrays. It also supports modern programming concepts such as closures and type inference.
What are the key components of X10's concurrency model?
X10's concurrency model is based on the concept of 'activities' that run concurrently, 'places' that provide a context for data and computation, and 'clocks' that provide a mechanism for coordinating activities.
Describe the difference between 'at' and 'async' in X10.
'At' and 'async' are both constructs for concurrency in X10. 'At' is used to specify the place where an activity should be executed, while 'async' is used to create a new concurrent activity.
How would you use 'finish' in X10?
'Finish' is used to wait for the completion of one or more activities. It blocks the execution of the current activity until all activities created within its scope have completed.
What are the main uses of 'clocks' in X10?
Clocks in X10 are used to coordinate the execution of concurrent activities. They allow activities to wait for each other at certain points, ensuring that all activities associated with a clock have reached the same phase before proceeding.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of X10 programming language?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills during the interview?
Is the candidate able to communicate effectively?
Does the candidate have relevant experience in X10 development?

Next 20 minutes

Specific X10 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 X10?
Exception handling in X10 is done using the 'try', 'catch', and 'finally' constructs, similar to other object-oriented languages. X10 also supports 'throw' and 'throws' clauses for exception propagation.
What are the key features of X10's type system?
X10's type system is statically-typed and supports generic types, type inference, and constrained types. It also supports arrays as first-class entities.
Describe the difference between 'value' and 'reference' types in X10.
In X10, 'value' types are immutable and passed by value, while 'reference' types are mutable and passed by reference. 'Value' types include basic types like int, float, and boolean, as well as user-defined types declared with 'value' keyword. 'Reference' types include all class types.
How would you implement inheritance in X10?
Inheritance in X10 is implemented using the 'extends' keyword, similar to other object-oriented languages. A class can extend another class, inheriting its fields and methods.
What are the main features of X10's distributed programming model?
X10's distributed programming model is based on the concept of 'places', which are distinct computation units with their own memory. It supports distributed arrays and allows for asynchronous computation across places.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the X10 engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled X10 engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in X10 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 X10.

What does this simple X10 code do?
class Hello {
 public static def main(args: Array[String](1)) {
 Console.OUT.println("Hello, World!");
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What does this X10 code snippet do?
val a = 10;
val b = 20;
val c = a + b;
This code declares two integer variables 'a' and 'b', assigns them the values 10 and 20 respectively, and then adds them together and assigns the result to a third variable 'c'.
What will be the output of this X10 code that manipulates an array?
val arr = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
arr = arr.map(n => n * 2);
This code declares an array 'arr' with 5 elements, then uses the 'map' function to multiply each element by 2. The output will be the array [2, 4, 6, 8, 10].
What does this X10 code snippet related to threading do?
async {
 Console.OUT.println("Hello from a new thread!");
This code creates a new thread and prints the string 'Hello from a new thread!' to the console from that new thread.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for X10 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 X10 application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

Describe the difference between 'global' and 'local' in X10.
'Global' and 'local' refer to the scope of variables in X10. 'Global' variables are accessible from all places, while 'local' variables are only accessible within the place they were defined.
How would you use 'atomic' in X10?
'Atomic' is used to ensure that a block of code is executed without interruption by other activities. It is used to prevent race conditions in concurrent programming.
What are the main uses of 'future' in X10?
'Future' in X10 is used to represent a value that will be computed by a concurrent activity. It allows for asynchronous computation and can be used to wait for the result of an activity.

X10 application related

Product Perfect's X10 development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your X10 engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in X10 projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.