Tips to Ace Android Interview
Ryan Unger, co-founder and CTO of Punchkick Interactive, shared a few common interview questions for Android developers and the kind of answers he’s looking for. He also shared some general tips for mastering technical interviews.Here is an excerpt of it from Dice.
What‘s the Last Project you Worked on in Your Spare Time Without Pay ?
- What Most People Say: Um… I worked on one two years ago.
- What You Should Say: I was working on an open source app last night. Would you like to hear about it?
- Why You Should Say it: “The fact that you want to program in your spare time and voluntarily upgrade your skills communicates passion and hunger,”says Unger, who describes this as a black and white question with only one acceptable answer.
Why Does Every Fragment Need a Default Parameter-less Constructor?
- What Most People Say: I’ve always done it that way.
- What You Should Say: The FragmentManager uses the default constructor when recreating Fragments across orientation changes and also during other times, such as to support dynamic and flexible UI designs on large screens.
- Why You Should Say it: “This is a relatively easy question that illustrates if someone has table-stakes knowledge of Android,” Unger explains. “Your answer should show that you’re cognizant of the need and purpose of flexible layouts.”
“There are tons of screen sizes on the market, and flexing the size is more difficult,” Unger says. “You need to show that you understand how the language works. And you can’t do that by simply regurgitating canned answers or blindly following instructions.”
Do Multiple AsyncTasks Run in Parallel or Serially?
- What Most People Say: They run in parallel or they run serially (but they don’t explain why).
- What You Should Say: It depends. On early Android, AsyncTasks were run serially. Then in Donut, this changed to multiple threads running in parallel. But in Honeycomb, AsyncTasks run on a single thread by default, though they can be overridden using the special .executeOnExecuter() method.
- Why You Should Say it: Unger admits that this is a difficult question, as you need experience with several versions of Android to answer it. Most of today’s Android developers weren’t coding before Donut, he notes. Additionally, even an experienced Android developer could easily forget to mention the .executeOnExecuter() method.
More Tips from Ryan Unger:
- Any time the situation is grey or you don’t understand the question, ask for more specifics before providing an answer.
- Demonstrate your technical knowledge by providing several answers.
- “Flipping the script” on the interviewer shows hunger and drive.
- If you are not aware of the answer to a question, admit it. Just be sure to exhibit your professional curiosity by asking for the answer.
Words of Wisdom by Ryan Unger:
“The difference between an intermediate engineer and an advanced engineer is that, the advanced engineer can tell you why it’s done that way”
“They don’t simply copy and paste code from Stack Overflow when they’re stumped. They dig deeper to find out why the code is written that way.”
Go through out other posts on Android Interviews to ace the interview:
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