Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

Questions I’m (also) asking at tech interviews

An updated version of this post can be found at “Do You Have Any Questions For Me?”

(courtesy of several sources*, as well as personal experience and interests)

Engineering

  • What version control system do you use? Git, perforce, subversion, etc
  • What is your development methodology?
  • Do you have project managers, if not, who manages the project?
  • Do you have a feature roadmap/schedule all developers can see? How far into the future does it extend? How closely is it followed?
  • Do you have an issue tracker? Is there a clear process for Support escalating issues and being involved with writing reproduction steps of the bug? Does support know when bugs they report are fixed?
  • What tools do you use to manage projects and support?
  • Do dev leads spend time paying back technical debt or include dev cycles to fix issues? Is it common to write new code while bugs are known to exist?
  • How do you balance support work and feature development?
  • Describe your deployment process — how do you find bugs in your team’s code? What recourse do you have when you find a serious bug in production code?
  • Who is responsible for doing deployment? How often do you deploy?
  • Do you test your code?

Management

  • How are your teams structured? What is the management structure like?
  • What kind of communication tools do you use? Internal and external?
  • How are technical decisions made and communicated?
  • Who decides what features get built?
  • How does engineering work get assigned?
  • How are disagreements solved — both technical disagreements and other kinds? What happens when personalities clash?
  • How often do you have meetings? Are there any scheduled/standing meetings?
  • How/when do developers talk to non-developers? Is it easy to talk to the people who are will be using your product?
  • What’s the single biggest issue or problem facing the team/department/company?” What’s currently being done to address it?

Quality of Life

  • What is a typical schedule for my position? What does the day/week look like?
  • With the distributed teams, do the offices sync up, or do they overlap their schedules?
  • Flex time/core hours? Is variability tolerated or is everyone expected to be on the same schedule?
  • Is it possible to work from home, say, 1 or 2 days a week? Does anyone do this?
  • Is remote possible?
  • Does this position require travel? How often?
  • Benefits: Health, vision and dental insurance? % paid by company? HSA?
  • Vacation policy? If “unlimited” vacation, how much vacation do people normally take?
  • Retirement benefits? Any matching?
  • Paid conference time?
  • Is it possible to take unpaid vacation?
  • Do you provide amenities such as gym, yoga, massage, meals, public transport or parking assistance?
  • Desk setup: sit/stand, monitor
  • Can you choose your own tools within reason? Do you use the best tools money can buy?

Culture & Community Involvement

  • Are employees encouraged to go speak at conferences?
  • Do you cover travel to conferences? How many conferences a year do devs typically go to?
  • Do you support local meetups, hackathons or teaching opportunities like RailsBridge?
  • How do you determine if someone is a good/poor fit for your company?
  • What kinds of things do team members do together besides work?
  • Are any engineers on the team involved in programs aimed at supporting women in the industry (e.g. PyLadies, Women Who Code, Hackbright, etc.)?
  • Are there any women on the engineering team? If so, what positions do they hold?
  • How many women work for you? What’s your process for making sure you have diversity in other ways?

Interviewing

  • What about my background/resume, etc. caused you to be interested in me?
  • What are you looking for, from me?
  • What would my work look like?
  • What do you wish you had known when you joined this company?
  • Why did you choose to join this company?
  • Is the on boarding process for a new hire carefully considered? Tell me about it.
  • Do you provide relocation assistance — monetary or help finding a place to live?

Career development/Personal Growth

  • What sorts of things do you do as a company to ensure high-quality code and continued learning?
  • How is performance evaluated? Code reviews, weekly one-on-ones, regular feedback, yearly reviews?
  • What does training look like? Walking through projects, Socratic questions, online tutorials, etc.
  • Do you have a formal mentorship program, or how do you handle training new developers?
  • Do developers have the opportunity to learn other technologies? Web, Android, front end, etc
  • Can you give me an example of someone who’s been in a technical role at your company for a long time, and how their responsibilities and role have changed?
  • How do you handle advancement? For example, when do you increase responsibilities for a developer from junior to mid to senior? Is it a formal process, or is it only done at the request of the developer or their manager?

* Additional Sources:

If you like this post, don’t forget to recommend and share it. Check out more great articles at Code Like A Girl.