Developers who are familiar with Agile have seen their stock rise. That’s because CIOs view the framework as a way to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of owners and a welcome alternative to traditional methodologies.
The approach fosters incremental software development by replacing silos with svelte cross-functional teams and emphasizing communication and collaboration over documentation and meetings. Daryl Kulak, a vice president at consulting firm Pillar Technology Group, likes to mirror Agile’s collaborative spirit during interviews. Here are some of the questions he asks.
How long is your typical sprint?
- What Most People Say: “Most of my sprints last one month or longer.”
- What You Should Say: “My sprints last one week, two weeks max.”
- Why You Should Say It: Agile requires frequent feedback from project owners. Short sprints give the owner a chance to make adjustments and developers a chance to react throughout the development cycle. Collectively, short sprints give the entire team a chance to nip coding or quality issues in the bud.
What’s your definition of Test-Driven Development?
- What Most People Say: “TDD refers to unit testing on a completed section of code.”
- What You Should Say: “TDD in an Agile environment refers to the testing cycle. First, I write the test. Then, I write the code to pass the test. Finally, I run the test and refactor the code as necessary.”
- Why You Should Say It: TDD is better than unit testing because it facilitates quick identification and resolution of coding problems. “It’s better to write the test before you write the code,” Kulak says. “It forces you to think through the specification and code with the test in mind.” In addition, the tests replace documentation, which rarely gets amended as the code changes.
How does Agile impact the design process?
- What Most People Say: “It doesn’t. Designers or architects produce the design. They give the software design documents to developers like me, who interpret the design and write the code.”
- What You Should Say: “In Agile, the design and development process are intertwined. Developers are also designers and team members alternate between designing, developing and testing throughout the entire development process.”
- Why You Should Say It: Consolidated development and design is the hallmark of Agile. It reduces errors and improves productivity because developers don’t have to interpret designs or seek clarification from designers before they write the code.
What is the ideal length of a method?
- What Most People Say: “There’s no ideal length. I’ve written methods containing five to 100 lines of code.”
- What You Should Say: “Ten to 20 lines of code is my personal rule of thumb.”
- Why You Should Say It: A method should only accomplish one thing, Kulak says. “If your code exceeds 20 lines, you’re trying to do too much,” he believes. “It’s hard to read, decipher and maintain lengthy code segments. Methods should be simple and small.”
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