Programming Interview Questions

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We plan to perform a couple of interviews to:

  1. learn more about programming and pedagogy
  2. give students a chance to listen to hackers and possible get tips and inspiration

We publish our interviews on our podcast at Check our list of Performed Interviews.

Written questions

These questions are used to give an introduction to the interviewee, typically used to introduce the full audio and/or video interview.

  • Name
  • Age
  • Education
  • Funniest moment in your carrier
  • Main programming language
  • Favorite editor
  • Favorite datatype
  • Favorite annoyance
  • Wish I knew how to...
  • OO, functional, imperative... or?

Interview questions


  • How did you get in contact with computers?
  • How did you get in contact with programming?
  • Can you sum up your carrier?


  • What education have you attended?
  • How important do you think programing education is?
  • How important do you think university education is?
  • What would you say makes a good teacher?
  • What would you say makes a good material/book?
  • What would you say makes a good course?
  • How should programming be taught?
  • Do you have any tip to hackers-to-be?

Learning to hack

  • An important thing for your carrier?
  • An important person for your carrier?
  • Do you have any programming idols?
  • What is the most valuable thing you've learned, that schools don't teach?
  • What enabled your learning the past years?

Myths about programmers

We're going to quickly go through a couple of ideas people seem to have about programmers. We want you to answer if they apply to you:

  • solitary
  • big belly
  • drinks energy drinks
  • eats junk food
  • lives with your mother
  • has special interests such as obscure board games)
  • detest light/sun
  • smells bad
  • night owl
  • timid
  • no life

In movies hackers are portrayed as semi nutcases. How do you see your self?


  • Can you define FOSS?
  • Is FOSS important to you?
  • How did you get introcued to FOSS?
  • What's the motivation behind your engagement in FOSS?


  • What tools do you consider vital for a programmer?
  • What's your favorite editor? Why?
  • Is there a language that solves all problems?
  • If you should write a small program/software to solve a small problem, think batch-job, what is your prefered language?
  • What's your main programming language?
  • Name a tool/technique/language you wish you knew.
    • what keeps you from learning it?


  • Any tip to aspiring programmers?
  • There's a couple of myths about programmers. Can you
    • name and describe one that you believe is true
    • name and describe one that you believe is false
  • How do you look at research on computer science/programming..?
    • who's leading the development of programming?
    • last time a scientific article saved your day?


  • Do you have any stupid things you do or require?


Daniel Stenberg

  • If there's any update on the ESTA weirdness? It's just sooo strange (from @therealboto via twitter)
  • Is there a backdoor in Curl. You wrote a blog post, THE BACKDOOR THREAT, the other day, why did you feel you had to write that?

Magnus Hagander

  • Jag är intresserad av att veta hur ungefär man skall tänka i ett arkitektstadie av databasen när man modellerar hur den skall vara uppbyggd, framförallt hur man undviker dum design! (from Bellak via email)
  • Hur får ni bug-rapporter, hur rättar ni dessa, vilka och hur meddelar ni? Har ni täta samarbeten med communitites/företag? Hur hanterar ni att ni (eventuellt) får skit för fel som egentligen beror på användarna av P.

Patrik Willard

  • Vad gör en testare?
  • Vilka språk används på Ericsson?
  • Vad skall man tänka på när man skall lära sig programmera?
  • Vad ser du som viktiga kompetenser hos kollegor?
  • Hur ser du på noggrannhet?