Category: Research software engineer interview

Software engineers are often asked to jump into the interview process with a minimum of advance preparation or training. This post is a condensed guide for helping people get up to speed with technical interviewing. This post does not cover specific interview questions. Interviews happen by mutual agreement.

The candidate and your company already made a tacit agreement that this process is OK. Everyone involved wants you to pass judgement decisively! Obviously, interviews are hugely stressful for candidates — but they can be stressful for the interviewer, too. I take this as a guiding principle.

You can absolutely interview people at a level above you. You might not be able to fully assess all their technical skills, but you can gain insight into their critical thinking, whether they work well with others, and if they can demonstrate a level of proficiency. Interviewers often suffer imposter syndrome. Just ask questions — and then ask follow-up questions.

Your organization should have documents that define the hiring bar, including the necessary skills and core values. Every organization has a different process for their interviews, but a typical pipeline looks like:. Your time with the candidate is limited.

Make sure your interview does the following:. Things to avoid during an interview:. I suggest transcribing as much of the interview as possible. Afterwards, review the conversation and think about which parts were the most useful. Put the wasteful stuff on the chopping block.

At the end of an interview you should have an opinion about the candidate:. I liked them, BUT…. I suggest that immediately after the interview, you fill out a standardized feedback form to structure your evaluation by e. You are not hiring for just one particular team. The candidate should be able to switch teams later and still be successful. As much as possible, the interview should cover areas that accurately predict whether a candidate will be a successful software engineer at your organization.

I like to assign in-house interviews on:. Give yourself 15—30 minutes to prepare for each interview. I follow pretty much the same script for each interview:.

Time management is important! Be punctual. Sometimes at the end of an interview, a candidates will ask point-blank whether they did well. This really puts you on the spot! Ask your HR department! Kids, age, pregnancy, religion, health status, etc. Focus on technical questions.Data engineering is a term where everyone is aware of it and is quite popular in the field of Big Data.

Data engineering refers to Data Infrastructure or Data Architecture. Raw data generated from different sources such as social media, mobile phones, www internetneeds to be transformed, cleansed, profiled and aggregated for Business needs.

This raw data is also termed as Dark Data.

research software engineer interview

The practice of designing, architecting and implementing the data process system helps in converting the data into a piece of appropriate information or a set of data, such information or set of data is termed as Data Engineering.

If you are looking for a job that is related to Data Engineer, you need to prepare for the Data Engineer interview questions. Answer: Data engineering is a term that is quite popular in the field of Big Data and it mainly refers to Data Infrastructure or Data Architecture. The data generated by many sources like social media, mobile phones, www internet are raw data.

It needs to be transformed, cleansed, profiled and aggregated for Business needs.

research software engineer interview

We can call this raw data as Dark Data which we will shine the light on to make this Dark Data useful.

The practice of designing, architecting and implementing the data process system which will help to make the data converted to useful information is called Data Engineering.

Answer: Data engineer daily job consists of: a. One can show below the high-level architecture of data model. It consists of a primary key, entity, attributes, relationship, constraints, etc. Answer: There are two types of schemas in data modeling: a. Star Schema This schema is divided into two one is a fact table and the other is dimension table where all the dimension tables are connected to a fact table.

The foreign key in fact table refers to the primary keys present in dimension tables.

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See below architecture of star schema:. Snowflake Schema In this schema the level of normalization is increased, here the fact table will remain the same as of star schema, here dimension tables are normalized. Due to many layers of dimension tables, it looks like a snowflake, thus the name snowflake schema. See below architecture It is easy to use and learn and has features to connect with a different variety of source data and data types, re-usable components and features that make it most favorite for ETL developers.

It also has its own scheduler which is another advantage, where other ETL tools have to use an external scheduler to schedule the jobs. Answer: Mathematics linear algebra and probability Statistics summary statistics Machine learning techniques R and SAS languages SQL databases, Hive QL Python mostly used Apart from these, one should have problem-solving, analytical and architectural knowledge of the database. Answer: 1. Storing a huge amount of data is one issue, the information from that data is another issue.

Which tools can be used which will give the best performance, storage, efficiency, and results. Does the storage scale?

Top 25 Software Engineering Interview Questions [LATEST 2020]

Suppose how to know that for processing the entire set of data how long it will take? Considering the processors and RAM configuration 6. How to deal with failures, is fault tolerance there or not?

Answer: Data Architect is the person for managing the data, especially when one is dealing with different numbers of a variety of data sources. Whereas a Data engineer help with installing data warehouse solutions, data modeling, development and testing of database architecture.

Not able to process unpredictable and unstructured data. It suffers from performance issue once a number of users increases. It is mainly used for Online transactional processing. Not only SQL. Cloud computing service provides below features like flexibility i.Software developers are technical people, so most interviewers tend to jump into the technical interview right away, but there are plenty of personality and ethics questions that you can ask to ensure the one you hire is the best fit for your project.

If you're hiring a senior software engineer, refer to this post instead. As with any interview, you need to know what you plan to ask before you start. Although the questions will depend on your software project, here are some general steps for your preparation:. You need a software engineer that understands your needs. The only way for the developer to understand what you need is for you to have clear project specifications in mind before the interview.

If you already have project documentation, review it and identify important components. Every software developer has their own rate. Most of the time, years of experience, tech stack, location, and project complexity determine what you'll pay a developer.

There is no need to interview a software engineer that is outside of your budget, so understand your budget constraints before you start an interview. Tip: If you're hiring a freelance software engineer, be sure you know your scopebudgetand design before you start interviewing developers! You need to set a realistic deadline, and a software developer will give you a general estimate based on project requirements. Some developers don't work well under pressure, so knowing your timeline and asking a developer for a time estimate helps identity the right candidate.

Behavioral Interviews for Software Engineers

Some interviewers ad-lib their questions, and many times the interview goes off course as conversation continues. Prepare to ask the developer questions that relate to both their technical and soft skills.

If you're not very technical, you can ask an experience engineer to help you. There are three main interview phases when working with any type of app or software developer.

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You may do only one or all of the following:. Phase I : This is the basic introduction phase and usually involves basic questions about previous employment and any previous projects the software developer has worked on. Phase II : This is the technical stage of the interview. If you're not a technical person, you might have another developer or project manager familiar with development ask these questions to evaluate the developer's skill. Usually, they result in pseudo-code or logic skills that show whether or not the developer understands the question.

Phase III : This is the final part of the interview where the developer can ask questions and clarify any confusion. Once you have a shortlist of software engineer candidates, below are the essential questions to ask them beyond questions about soft skills. Keep in mind that these questions are general software development questions that don't refer to any specific language. This is not a comprehensive list of questions, so be sure to prepare and ask questions that are relevant to the job that the engineer will be responsible for if hired.

Not only do these interview questions test the developer's knowledge of engineering and building software, these questions will help you understand whether or not the developer can communicate effectively with you. This question allows the engineer to openly discuss their previous project without getting too technical. There are several advantages with this discussion.Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory ORNL is the United States Department of Energy's largest science and energy laboratory tasked to provide the United States government agencies and departments with technology and expertise to support national and homeland security needs.

Our diverse capabilities span scientific and engineering disciplines, enabling the Laboratory to explore fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace.

The Initiative supports the mission of the Laboratory by creating a community for software professionals at the Laboratory to connect people, projects, and interested parties; by providing software engineering expertise for development, evaluation, quality assurance or other needs; by providing training and continuing education opportunities; by providing fair performance evaluation criteria; by recruiting new software engineering talent; and by mentoring students and early career scientists and engineers.

The Initiative currently contributes to scientific computing projects in advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and 3D printing, astrophysics, batteries, neutron science, nuclear energy, and quantum computing. It also contributes to pure computer science projects. Initiative members are active in the open source community, including the Eclipse Foundation, and most Initiative projects are available on GitHub.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:. Basic Requirements:. Preferred Requirements:. An open source code sample that may be used for evaluation purposes will be required later in the application process. Your code sample should be related in some way to the subject of this post.

Samples in Fortran are not acceptable. Ideally the code sample would be made available on GitHub or a similar sharing platform, although submissions by email are fine too. UT-Battelle is recognized by our employees and the community as an inclusive environment where diversity is valued, and individuals and teams are inspired to contribute fully to the organization's success. ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.

Benefits at ORNL:. UT Battelle offers a wide range of relocation benefits for individuals and families to make it easier to come and work here. We accept Word. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment. UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville. We noticed that you are already a member of our Talent Community. Please enter your password to continue. Not you? We take security seriously and need to verify your identity to synchronize your accounts.

The "reset password" link will open in a new browser window. Return to this page to enter your new password. Your accounts have been successfully synchronized. Use your new password when accessing our systems. Skip to content. Search by Keyword.We campaign for the recognition and adoption of the RSE role within academia along with the need for appropriate reward and career opportunities for RSEs.

We organise regular events to allow Research Software Engineers to meet, exchange knowledge and collaborate. Joining the RSE Community is easy.

Software Engineering Interview Questions

Sign up to our mailing list to receive notices about events, our campaign, job vacancies from other Research Software Groups and enquiries from other RSEs looking to get help or create new collaborations. A growing number of people in academia combine expertise in programming with an intricate understanding of research.

Although this combination of skills is extremely valuable, these people lack a formal place in the academic system. This means there is no easy way to recognise their contribution, to reward them, or to represent their views. Without a name, it is difficult for people to rally around a cause, so we created the term Research Software Engineer.

We are now working to raise awareness of the role and bring the community together. Some Research Software Engineers start off as researchers who spend time developing software to progress their research. Because they enjoy this work and have invested in developing specialist skills, they continue to focus on software and its use in research.

Others start off from a more conventional software-development background and are drawn to research by the challenge of using software to further research. The attraction of being a Research Software Engineer is similar to that of being a researcher: the role attracts people who want to know how the world works.

The Research Software Engineer works with researchers to gain an understanding of the problems they face, and then develops, maintains and extends software to provide the answers. Regardless of your formal job title, if you answer yes to many of the following questions, you are doing the work of a Research Software Engineer:.

Skip to content. Regardless of your formal job title, if you answer yes to many of the following questions, you are doing the work of a Research Software Engineer: Are you employed to develop software for research? Are you spending more time developing software than conducting research?

Are you employed as a postdoctoral researcher, even though you predominantly work on software development? Are you the person who does computers in your research group? Are you sometimes not named on research papers despite playing a fundamental part in developing the software used to create them?

Do you lack the metrics needed to progress your academic career, like papers and conference presentations, despite having made a significant contribution through software?Embarking on your career as an engineer can be intimidating and time-consuming. Many hours go into creating a great resume and cover letter and scanning job boards for opportunities. After all that time invested, make sure you spend sufficient time on your interview preparation as well.

Being prepared to answer these 10 essential engineering interview questions will give you a great head start. By asking this behavioral interview questionyour interviewer is trying to gain an understanding of your approach to problem-solving.

You should give her an example that demonstrates your ability to recover when things go wrong:. Around week four, we realized that one of the group members was not pulling his weight.

The work he agreed to do was not getting done. I took charge of the situation and scheduled a group meeting to discuss the issue. Ultimately, that person dropped the course, but by addressing the problem head-on, the group was able to divide up our work and complete the project on-time. In the future, I would make sure that the group has weekly meetings to assess our progress. That would make sure the project was on-track and that the work was getting done.

Your interviewer knows that not every job is perfect. The interviewer is asking this question to gauge your own initiative in keeping your knowledge and skills up-to-date. Engineers have to keep pace with changes in the industry and technological advances.

I have a basic knowledge of Civil 3D from school, but I thought upgrading my skills would be a valuable investment in my career as an engineer. Take a look at the company website and any recent press releases. As a minority, working for a company that values all types of people and experience is important to me.

Workplace safety is paramount in engineering organizations.

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Your answer to this behavioral interview question needs to assure your interviewer that you have a high level of respect for safe work practices:. It crossed a high-traffic hallway and posed a trip hazard.

They agreed, and I helped them secure it so it was no longer a hazard. There was a difficult client who kept pushing back on the contract terms, and this was delaying the project. After a few emails and phone calls were exchanged, I asked the client to come in and meet with the project team and me. I thought a face-to-face meeting would help diffuse the situation and reassure the client that we wanted to make them happy.

It worked, and we were able to move forward. Engineers juggle multiple projects. Keeping projects on time and on budget is critical. When I was in school, I also worked part-time and staying organized was critical to make sure I did well at school and met the commitments of my job. I like to use Excel to create project schedules, and my phone calendar keeps me on track. Your interviewer has probably seen at least a handful of candidates with the same qualifications as you.

Make sure to sell yourself and mention any special skills you bring to the table. The interviewer knows that everyone, including you, has a weakness —and probably more than one. To provide a good answer to this question, you should focus on a non-essential skill, highlight skills you have improved, and turn a negative into a positive:.

Interview questions for engineers vary based on your discipline, e. However, almost any interviewer will ask questions to assess your technical abilities and personal qualities. Be ready to ace your interview by having your answers prepared in advance.As in any interview, it's a good idea to review questions, and practice your response, in advance of the interview.

Being prepared will help you feel confident, and ensure you're hitting the right notes in your answers. Since hiring initiatives can be time-intensive and expensive, they also prefer to hire associates that they can trust will stick around for a while. Prepare for these questions by researching the firm ahead of time. Your interviewer may also inquire about your plans for the future and about information you may not have included on your resume.

Be ready to offer examples of a few of your most important engineering accomplishments that demanded deep analytical skills and a proactive trouble-shooting stance. In addition to job-specific interview questions, you will also be asked more general questions about your employment history, education, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, goals, and plans. Full Bio Follow Linkedin. Follow Twitter. Alison Doyle is the job search expert for The Balance Careers, and one of the industry's most highly-regarded job search and career experts.

Read The Balance's editorial policies. Tell me about the most challenging engineering project that you have been involved with during the past year. Describe the most challenging written technical report or presentation that you've had to complete. Describe an experience with a difficult client. How did you handle the situation?

What would you have done differently? Tell me about your greatest success in using logic to solve an engineering problem. Give me an example of a time when you applied your ability to use analytical techniques to define problems or design solutions. What checks and balances do you use to make sure that you don't make mistakes?

Do you have any patents? If so, tell me about them.

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If not, is that something you see yourself pursuing in the future? Why or why not? Which software packages are you familiar with?

research software engineer interview

What is the most interesting thing you know how to do with one of these packages? What are you doing to stay current with the latest technology? What appeals to you about working for our company? Why did you apply for this particular job? Why did you select civil engineering as your field or major? Describe a time when you questioned your choice of engineering as a career or major.


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