Go development is becoming more popular because of simplicity and rich programming opportunities of the language. Many programmers choose it instead of Python, PHP, Java, use its easy tools, and enjoy the results they get. On the other hand, when you are looking for a Go developer, the task can be quite difficult, and the search may take too long. Especially if your project is large, complicated and involves teamwork.
At Surf we regularly hire in-house specialists, grow with them, and perform various tasks—back end development, mobile apps, and industry-specific solutions. That’s why we know how to be successful in this field. What to ask in each step of the interview and what else you should know about the process, read in our article. In the end you’ll find stories about how our best hiring practices helped in two large projects and what came of it.
The article will be useful to employers and business owners: here we show examples of Go developers interview questions and give some tips based on our 12 years’ experience in IT.
Top 30 questions to ask Go developer
You shouldn’t expect that the developer interview process will be quick. In fact, the less time it takes, the more you spend on searching for a good programmer in total. We learned it by our own experience.
Initially, we believed that a short video conference with Surf technical specialists is enough to understand if a candidate matches our team. But it led to many difficulties: our best programmers wasted their time on exhausting conversations with candidates and tried to avoid interviews in the future. At the same time, the majority of candidates got rejected in spite of their persuading resumes—so we couldn’t find programmers who met our expectations for months and felt really disappointed.
Оne day we decided to build a hiring system where candidates with low or unsuitable qualifications are filtered out at the beginning, and only the strongest programmers reach the face-to-face interview with the technical specialist. We have successfully used it for years and are ready to share the approach with you. To be effective, an interview in our company is divided into three logical steps. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Step 1. Technical screening
Technical screening is a kind of online-test, which a recruiter gives to a candidate having checked their resume. It includes questions about technologies, approaches the person prefers in Go-programming, ways to solve tasks, and so on.
Here are some interview questions to ask Go developers at this prod.
- What Go tools do you usually use for web development?
- Could you describe a preferable development environment?
- What specific coding languages do you work with?
- How would you test a teammate’s code for bugs?
- What principles of security do you consider while developing a web application and how do you realize them with Go?
- When you’re building a web application, how do you take into account code maintainability, UX design, performance?
- Please, describe which difficulties a developer can meet while developing an API in Go and how to find a solution to them.
- Please show us an example of a web application that you don’t like. How would you improve it?
- Explain this code.
- Have you already worked with Go 2? Did you like it?
After the candidate has answered all the questions, the Technical Specialist checks it and decides if the programmer moves on to the next step of the interview.
Step 2. Soft-skills interview
In this prod we filter out candidates who have poor experience as members of an IT-team or aren’t ready to work in collaboration with other people. The questions refer to tasks the candidates faced at the previous job, team they worked with, and their role in it. Also in this prod we can see whether the candidate’s decision to choose the profession was informed and deliberate. It helps to find and hire reliable and enthusiastic programmers.
This is a Recruiter who usually asks the soft skills-related questions. Here are some of them.
- Why did you choose Go and preferred it to other programming languages?
- Describe the most interesting task you solved for a company or within your pet-project.
- Have you already had experience of working in a team? How many developers worked with you and what they did?
- Have you ever faced a problem not related to coding while working in the team? Tell me about it.
- Can you recall any problem you solved that didn’t involve coding?
- How do you communicate your progress to clients?
- Give me an example of how you would describe and define web development to someone who is completely new to tech.
- When you’re coding, do you enjoy working as part of the team? What do you think contributes to the successful project team?
- Tell me about a project you’re particularly proud of. What did you and your teammates do that worked out well?
- Have you ever had conflicts at work? How did you find a solution and what you learned from this experience?
The more detailed, exact, and reasoned answers candidates give during the developer interview, the more chances they have to go to the next step. If candidates cannot answer the questions or have difficulties with the answers, they cannot go to the next step.
Step 3. Technical interview
It is the longest and the most complicated prod of a Go developer hiring process. The part of an interview should be led by a member of a team who has sufficient experience in managing developers’ activities. As a rule, it is a Team Lead or Senior Developer. The interview covers both theoretical and practical questions, and not all of them are about Go. Databases, object-oriented programming and other fundamentals are important, too. So, a Go developer interview takes us about 2 hours.
Here are some questions to ask Go developers.
- What are the advantages of Go over the older programming languages and why is it so popular?
- Is Go an object-oriented programming language? Explain your answer.
- What is a goroutine and how can a programmer stop it?
- What types of channels are there? Tell me about their differences.
- How to optimize fields?
- How much does an empty structure weigh?
- What do you know about the GMP pattern?
- How many queues are in the pattern? Tell me more about them.
- What types of transaction isolation are there in Go?
- There is a function and a code. Can we make a block with curly brackets? Explain your answer.
To make the interview effective and psychologically comfortable for the candidate, the technical specialist communicates with them one-to-one. Other team members can observe the process in the background, but they don’t interfere.
After our Technical Specialists have finished the part of the developer interview, it’s time to discuss results with a Recruiter and evaluate the candidates together. The Recruiter can summarize information about the developers’ soft skills, and the technical specialist evaluates knowledge and background. If the candidates match the requirements, they start to work in the Surf team on a test project.
What else you should do before the Go developer joins your team
Before any new developers start working with real tasks and projects, it’s important to test their adaptation skills and see their approach to the work in practice. For example, at Surf, after the developers have successfully passed three steps of the interview, they work under the guidance of an experienced mentor for two weeks. We give them a task that could potentially arise in a future project. The mentor evaluates the candidates’ ability to adapt to a new environment and team quickly and to take initiative. If at this prod a person does not show himself, we part. The mentor is usually a Team Lead.
Why does the Golang developer interview take so long and does it pay?
If you are looking for a developer who will work at your company for a long-term period, it’s really important to pay much attention to the choice of specialist. At Surf we have already checked how the approach works. Only about 3% of candidates join our team after 2+ hours of interviews and adaptation period, but they become true members of our big IT-family.
Developers stay with us for years, they are free to choose a direction to grow and easily collaborate with each other while working on projects — even in stressful circumstances. We know how to motivate our team and provide an opportunity to work with large projects, top clients, and our specialists appreciate it. Here are some results of our approach to forming high-performing teams and proof that a well-defined developer hiring process is worth your time and resources.
Task for the Surf team: a custom YouTube-like video streaming service
A producer of online content with 20+ millions of YouTube subscribers addressed Surf because he wanted to launch his own video streaming platform. So we had a task to develop:
- A complicated infrastructure: powerful backend to function under peak load, CDN for fast load, and up-to-date admin web interface to download videos and have quick access to statistics.
- A mobile app with convenient tools and UX that would make the users prefer the platform to YouTube.
We had successfully completed the task. Now the platform attracts loyal and new users, works uninterruptedly, and the Client is really happy to have chosen us. Read our case studies “Video Streaming Platform” to know more about our IT-solutions and results in the project.
One more challenge for Surf: a custom ERP system for over 600 KFC restaurants
KFC addressed us as they needed an all-in-one system to manage business processes — from financial analytics to restaurant activities. Here are some results achieved by our team. We developed:
- automatized scheduling,
- face-recognition system for employees with a tamper-proof 3D ToF camera—it can find differences between a live person and a photo,
- digital checklists for employees—they can fill it out using mobile phones,
- list of pending tasks with a function to plan them and mark as completed,
- various team management tools,
and that’s not all we did for the project. If you want to know the whole story, read our case studies “KFC DSR”.
In this article we showed you how to find a Go developer. If you want to learn about the mobile app developers hiring process at our company, read one more article.
To sum up
- According to our experience, we recommend you to divide Go developers interview into three parts: technical screening, soft-skills interview and technical interview.
- Questions for junior, middle, and senior developers don’t differ a lot. All the developers shall be well-skilled in clean code writing, but the level of responsibility they can take is not the same.
- During an interview a technical specialist on your part should check screening test answers, and ask some questions about programming. While a recruiter is better to ask a candidate soft skill-related interview questions.
- After candidates pass all the prods of the interview and join the team, under a mentor’s guidance they solve tasks typical for most projects. The adaptation period lasts for two weeks, and if the programmer succeeds, he can continue working.
- It’s important to find not only a skillful specialist, but a teammate who is close in spirit. It will help you build a stable IT-team or department with a strong engineering culture.
Proper Golang developer interview questions can help you find a skilled specialist to work with a new and prospective programming language. Of course, you should be ready to spend enough time and resources: it’s difficult to find Go developers with all the necessary skills. In Surf we regularly hire developers to work in-house, help them grow and develop projects we are really proud of. Strong, stable team, and people-oriented approach make us great experts in Go development and many other fields of IT-industry.