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Software Developer Interview Questions

Last Updated on:

23 November 2022
Software Developer Interview Questions

Are you a software developer or a soon-to-be software developer prepping for an interview? I am here to help you by giving you an overall view and some insight into software developer interview questions.

What is a Software Developer?

Software developers are strategic and imaginative problem solvers responsible for creating new computer applications. Some software developers may choose to concentrate on a single app or program, while others may prefer to create massive networks and support systems that serve as the engines that drive and activate those apps. Because of this, application developers and systems software developers make up the bulk of the industry.

Compilers, network distribution software, and operating system-level software are the primary areas of interest for professionals in this field. This role's primary responsibility is to design solutions for large businesses. In addition to communications, aerospace, and military computing, this field also encompasses software development for use in more general business, scientific, military, medical, industrial, and government settings.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

Programming, testing at several stages, designing the software's architecture, creating visual representations of the final product, and planning for future updates are all tasks that fall under the purview of a software developer's job title.

Most software companies place software developers in a middle ground between management and hands-on labor. They evaluate code for flaws and find places it could be improved, albeit they are not likely to be engaged in regular everyday coding, especially in the case of big firms. Developers typically start their careers as software programmers.

After the software has been released into production, the developer's work is far from over. For the time being, they will keep an eye out for any problems or defects that end users may find. When an issue has been identified, they collaborate with a smaller group of developers to fix the issue and roll out an update. In the case that the software's interface (UI) becomes antiquated or its purpose shifts, they will also provide upgrades to the form and functionality of the software.

Here are some responsibilities of software developers:

  • Work together with project members to understand and deliver client requirements and maintain industry standards.
  • Create user-friendly software that goes above and beyond what the customer needs.
  • Maintain all software with care, and provide upgrades often to meet consumer and business problems.
  • Evaluate and bug-test before launch.
  • Ensure a productive workplace, swiftly and effectively troubleshooting coding issues.
  • Ensure software security by creating software that actively tracks the exchange of sensitive data.
  • Actively look for methods to enhance corporate software interfaces and processes.
  • To ensure that all team members are competent, assist and support the mentoring and training of other team members.
  • Work together to create systems and collect data on project constraints, features, performance parameters, and interfaces with system developers, engineers, programmers, and others.
  • Modify current software to fix bugs, make it easier for it to adapt to new systems, and boost its overall effectiveness.
  • To establish the viability of a design within the constraints of time and money, analyze user requirements and software specifications.
  • Meet with clients to talk about the creation and upkeep of software systems.
  • Organize the deployment of systems and keep a close eye on the necessary hardware to make sure it is operating as intended.
  • Design, create, and alter software systems while combining mathematical models and scientific analyses to gauge the effects of those designs.
  • Create and oversee testing, validation, programming, and documentation processes for software systems.
  • Determine, suggest, and arrange computer specs, layouts, and adjustments to additional devices using information analysis.
  • To decide on technical specifications, get and assess the necessary documentation, associated expenses, and safety requirements.
  • Establish performance criteria for the system.
  • Provide instruction on the usage of new or updated equipment.
  • To assess the functionality of the software and its needs, store, retrieve, and modify data.
  • Provide any setups and needs for the power supply.
  • Provide environmental control equipment recommendations for system installation, such as dust control, temperature control, and humidity levels.

Basic Skills Needed for a Software Developer Job

Since writing code is such an integral part of building software applications, it is the responsibility of software engineers to monitor this procedure. The software developer, depending on the company they work for, will analyze the needs of the user in order to design, code, and test an application that will either solve a problem for its intended audience, entertain that audience, or make their lives easier in some way.

Developers will make diagrams and models following the creation of sketches, flowcharts, and detailed descriptions of each phase in the process. Application-specific code will be written based on these guidelines for developers.

Developers also need to work with other computer professionals and conduct thorough tests to make sure the program is up to par and performing as expected. You'll want to document the product's layout for future upgrades and modifications.

They also need to have the following:

1. Ability to handle problems and solve them

The life of a software developer is full of obstacles, whether they come in the form of poor programming or a line of code that isn't working as intended.

Your competency, intuition, and experience will help you recognize problems of this or any other nature and develop workable solutions to those problems.

2. Ability to think critically

Analysis of Critical Thinking and problem-solving are two processes that go hand in hand with each other. If you have good critical thinking abilities, you can assess a subject from every viewpoint and come up with a number of different solutions to the problem.

3. Ability to communicate

Communication is an integral part of the work of software developers. Therefore, effective communication skills are absolutely necessary. For you to interact efficiently, you need to be clear when you speak and listen attentively to what others have to say.

4. Being Flexible

Engineers who are flexible in their thinking and open to new concepts and ideas are always willing to take them on board. They are aware that even if a unique method is unsuccessful, there is still the opportunity to gain knowledge from experience. 

Being adaptable can help you develop your analytical and problem-solving skills, especially if you already have those skills. In addition to this, it will enhance your capacity to work well with other people, make you a more valuable colleague, and provide you with other employment opportunities.

5. Being Patient

Your capacity to examine critically and find solutions to issues will improve to the extent that you are patient with yourself. If you learn patience, you will improve as a colleague, speaker, and partner. 

Getting impatient with other people or with oneself is a surefire way to provoke anger, hostility, or anxiety, all of which will lead to careless behavior and increased stress. Always make an effort to practice patience to avoid becoming caught in the negative feedback cycle.

6. Educational Qualifications

Survey data show that certain software developers can find work with no need for a bachelor's degree. This is increasingly the exception rather than the rule. In a recent study, surveys also revealed that most software development businesses choose to recruit applicants with at least a Bachelor's degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms, stating that almost all software developers own a four-year education in CS or in a relevant subject.

Although a degree is not essential if you plan on working in a sector that allows you to demonstrate your competence with little trouble, many employers nonetheless rely on it as a screening device to eliminate unqualified applicants. The best way to get hired as a software developer would be to demonstrate to hiring managers that you possess the drive, dedication, and knowledge necessary to succeed in the field by earning a Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field and gaining relevant work experience.

7. Software Developer Skills

  • Utilizing software fundamentals in software architecture, developing, debugging, and including the research.
  • Enhancing the functionality of current applications.
  • Giving other engineers instruction or mentoring.
  • Maintenance and improvement of existing software
  • Promoting innovation that can enhance and boost output.
  • Controlling and monitoring a team's different components of tasks.
  • Assessing issues involving software and implementing the required changes to provide the best possible software functioning.
  • Attending team meetings frequently to talk about projects, generate ideas, and present solutions to any problems.
  • Understanding and flexibility to adjust to shifting company goals.

Software developer stuck in his work

Common Questions Asked in Software Developer Interviews

Question#1: Please describe the steps from start to finish for any software or project and your part in it.

(When interviewing for a position in software development, questions on your approach to problem-solving and workflow are an excellent way to show what kind of impression you make. Do not skimp on specifics when outlining how you got something done.)

Sample answer: The first step of developing apps and software is to outline and brainstorm solutions to achieve what the client is looking for. In this phase, I establish the program's goals and capabilities. The following step is an in-depth examination of the project's parameters by the group as a whole. 

First, a group of software developers will conceptualize an idea for a project and then go on to the designing phase. I am brought in when the development has begun to translate the concept and idea into a usable program. 

The product is subsequently sent to quality control to be checked for flaws. The program is then launched after it is fully operational and tested one last time for any bugs and to see if it is meeting the client's expectations.

Question#2: What was the best project you were ever a part of? What were your responsibilities on that project?

(For more seasoned software engineers, interview questions will go further into the projects you've completed successfully to offer you the chance to describe your method in greater detail.)

Sample answer: My previous employer, a software company, specialized in creating human resources (HR) applications for a wide range of businesses. My most notable project to date was there; we were tasked to design an HR system for them. Their existing HR platform at that time was tedious and inefficient. 

We designed a new platform that consolidated HR functions like employee payment management, benefits administration, leave management,  recruitment and training features, and much more. It was quite comprehensive. 

I was tasked with taking care of the coding part. I used languages like Java, Python, and C++. In addition, I was involved in quality assurance and bug fixing. In the end, we managed to create a well-designed HR platform for them that allowed the company to perform three times more efficiently, and they thanked us again after a month of using it.

Question#3: If you join our company, tell me how you will deal with bugs and QA.

(Bugs and errors frequently occur during the development of software. Applicants need strong QA skills if they want to get hired. As software developers, their problem-solving skills will be tested by the quality assurance questions asked during the interview.)

Sample answer: Code-based testing is often the method I use when I locate and repair bugs. When I was helping out with the testing of the HR software, I asked a colleague to go through my code and verify that it was error-free. They identified one logical weakness that led to unexpected findings. Following the discovery and correction of the coding error, I performed a set of Dynamic Analyses on the software to validate that it was still operating in an expected manner. At that moment, everything appeared to operate as it was supposed to.

Question#4: What languages have you used throughout the years?

(A developer's skill set is not complete without the ability to work with several programming languages. Related questions regarding an applicant's knowledge and experience of coding are a regular element of any interview process.)

Sample answer: My initial experience with markup languages like CSS, JS, and HTML was during my time spent pursuing a degree in computer science. They were the major languages I used while supporting a close relative with building a business's website and smartphone app. 

However, to successfully finish that project, I was introduced to languages like PHP and Python and had to learn them. In my previous role, I was responsible for developing management software which required me to use Java and C++.

Question#5: During your journey as a developer, have you made any mistakes? How did you solve that mistake?

Sample answer: I once approved a project without verifying to see if it included all of the features that the client had specifically requested. The team had left as their shift had ended, and I knew there wasn't enough time left to add the missing functions to the project as it had to be sent off to the client the following day.

I sent the client a quick message explaining the situation, and I called them afterward to tell them that we would be able to deliver the bulk of the program the following day. I explained that we would need to spend some more time to add some of the missing features and double-check it so that it meets their expectations and requirements perfectly. Thankfully, they were understanding after I owned up as well as providing a discount.

After that, I made it a habit to check in with my developers midway through each project to ensure we were on track to complete everything on the client's to-do list.

Question#6: What is the difference between a bug and an error?

Sample answer: When there are problems with software before it has been shipped to the client, then it is called a bug. That is why developers perform bug-fixing processes to ensure the software is performing as expected and intended.

An error, on the other hand, is a problem in software after it has been shipped to the client.

Question#7: What is software re-engineering?

Sample answer: Renovating the underlying technology on which the software is based is referred to as software re-engineering. The operation of the program won't be hampered in any way by this. This keeps the program functional and up to date with new technological developments.

Question#8: What is inheritance?

Sample answer: In programming, inheritance is an instance when an element, such as a class or an object, is inherited from a parent class. For example, if there is a parent class called Dairy, a class called Cheese and Yogurt can be achild class that inherits from the Dairy class.

Question#9: What SDLC model is the best??

Sample answer: Agile is currently one of the most popular and frequently used SDLC methodologies due to its high quality and adaptability. The reason for this is that the method is a combination of gradual and iterative methods and thrives in a dynamic setting. 

Question#10: What is adaptive maintenance?

Sample answer: Adaptive maintenance is used when clients request to make the product compatible and be able to run on new platforms and operating systems. Making alterations and improvements are part of adaptive maintenance.

Now, practice all of the above questions and prepare yourself to ace your next interview for a software developer.

The Career Path of Software Developers

The career path of software developers may go as follows:

1. Junior Developer

This is an entry-level role for a developer who has recently graduated from college or an equivalent program. The basic qualifications for a junior programmer consist of:

  • The skill to create basic programs or scripts.
  • Familiarity with the typical development of an application.
  • Familiarity with fundamental databases and software, including caches and queues.

Junior developers may feel overwhelmed if they're tasked with creating a particularly difficult application. Some days you'll wonder why you're still working under the senior developers when you've done the same amount of work. That's completely typical, by the way! However, senior developers have more experience than their inexperienced counterparts and that is their 

main difference.

2. Senior Developer

To be a senior software developer, applicants are required to have mastered the process of developing full software programs. A software developer's career path typically involves significant time spent in the role of senior developer.

Essential qualifications include:

  • Experienced programmer who has worked in the field for a while.
  • Capability to write intricate programs.
  • Having a solid foundation in database theory and practice, application development best practices, and the full application lifecycle.

If you're the type of person who gets a rush out of solving complex programming puzzles but cringes at the thought of being promoted to manager, you might spend your entire profession in the role of senior developer. However, this role can also serve as a stepping stone to more senior roles, such as a lead developer or chief technology officer of a firm.

3. Lead Developer

To be a lead software developer, applicants need to have lots of experience under their proverbial belts. It is because in order to be a lead developer, one must first be an expert in the field, which is only achievable through years of experience. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Experience working as a part of a team of developers.
  • Lead, supervise and manage projects.
  • Planning and improvising.

Lead developers are mainly focused on handling the business side of the project and their key responsibilities also include taking care of the management side of the project. 

Team talk in front of white board


The average salary of a software developer lies anywhere between 50 to 115k USD yearly. However, there are other additional payments like bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing on top of the base salary.

Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way. We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.

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