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I came across a job posting for a senior web developer position. The posting said that the development will be done using Ruby on Rails, but no prior knowledge is required.

I confirmed with a contact in that company that a PHP web developer can apply for it or even an ASP.Net developer. I also confirmed that the interview won't contain any questions specific to PHP or Ruby on Rails.

Can anyone please provide a good list of questions for a senior web developer that isn't specific to a certain language?


This question isn't a duplicate for similar posts asking for questions relating to PHP, .Net or Ruby.

Also, I'm not looking for topics to learn as a web developer, but rather interesting questions for a technical interview given the former conditions.

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closed as not constructive by gnat, Walter, Thomas Owens Aug 29 '12 at 13:48

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This sounds like the role was a general "Senior Web Developer" and using Ruby on Rails daily isn't required. Although I don't understand the purpose of the question. Why are you looking for a list of questions, if you are the one that found a job posting, you clearly are not looking to actually fill said position. –  Ramhound Aug 29 '12 at 11:24
@Ramhound sorry, but I don't understand what you want to say. I'm want to know how would you interview a web developer without asking him questions about one language specifically. Most technical interviews have question relating to a specific technology, so you would prepare yourself accordingly. However, how do you prepare for a non-language specific interview? –  Songo Aug 29 '12 at 12:00
And would the downvoters please explain "why", so I can improve the question? –  Songo Aug 29 '12 at 13:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

For a senior role I would expect questions around:

  • Version control management
  • Team mentoring and knowledge share
  • Project flow (SCRUM, agile or whatever)
  • Unit Testing implementation (where appropriate)
  • Previous experience of project successes/fails

ie, things that are a bit more than just the actual coding.

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Short Answer: Fundamentals of software development and SDLC, as well as (design and planning, version control, etc.) and how web works

Basically, i would expect questions on my previous projects as well as my proficiency with web-development, understanding on how web works, and how software is build.

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One of my favorite questions (well not a question exactly, but a bit of role-playing) from a past interview was non-language specific and would be perfectly appropriate for this role: You are the development lead and I am a client coming to you. I want a website for a ping-pong tournament.

This response involved requirements gathering (Is this website for an existing ping-pong tournament in the real world or do you mean a tournament of a ping-pong videogame played through the website? etc), software design (I went to the whiteboard to diagram the components I would develop, etc), and process planning (how big is my team, etc). These are the sorts of things an employer would want to know about a potential web developer.

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Senior developer is a role that often involves managing other people (junior and "intermediate" developers). You can expect questions from the management field. You can also expect that you will be asked about thorough knowledge on software design, development lifecycle, change management, team motivation, problem solving, etc.

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