IEEE defines Software Engineering as an approach to software development, operation, and maintenance that is systematic, disciplined, and quantifiable. Software engineering is an approach to software development that is systematic and well-defined. For easy understanding, we will cover the most commonly asked Software Engineer interview questions and answers in this content.
1. What Is SDLC, And Why Is It Important?
The Software Development Life Cycle is abbreviated as SDLC. Software development is described step by step in this document. Phases of SDLC include Gathering Requirements, Design, System Analysis, Coding, Maintenance, Documentation, and Testing.
It is a structured process for producing high-quality, low-cost software as quickly as possible. The SDLC aims to produce superior software that meets and exceeds all customer expectations. SDLC defines and outlines a detailed plan that includes stages, or phases, each encompassing a process and deliverables. In contrast to alternative production methods, adhering to the SDLC enhances development speed and minimizes project risks.
- Activities and deliverables are defined in a standardized framework.
- Using it helps plan, estimate, and schedule projects.
- Tracking and controlling projects are easier with it.
- All stakeholders involved in the development process have more visibility into all life cycle aspects.
- The development process is speeded up.
- Client relations are improved.
- Risks associated with projects are reduced.
- In addition to reducing project management expenses, it also reduces production costs.
2. Mention The Various Models Available In SDLC.
SDLC offers several models for executing software development efficiently. Waterfall, V-Model, and Agile models are some of the models available.
3. Explain The Term Baseline.
In most cases, the project manager defines a baseline as a milestone on the project. From time to time, baselines are used to assess the project’s overall health.
4. What Are The Responsibilities Of Software Project Managers Concerning Software Engineering?
A Software Project Manager’s responsibility is to drive the project to a successful conclusion. In the software engineering field, when you work as an SPM, you ensure that the entire team adheres to a well-defined and systematic approach to software development.
Software project managers are also responsible for the following tasks:
- Project planning tasks
- Project status tracking phases
- Resource management tasks
- Risk management
- Project delivery within time and defined budgets.
5. What Is Cohesion?
A module’s cohesion is determined by how closely related its elements are. A module’s elements are likened to glue internally. High levels of cohesion are characteristic of good software.
6. What Is Coupling? Mention Its Types.
Coupling is the maximum degree of interdependence between the modules. Good software has low levels of coupling.
- Data Coupling: The modules are said to be data coupled if they communicate only by passing data between themselves. Data coupling involves components that are independent and communicate through data. Tramp data is not included in module communications. The system for billing customers is a very good example.
- Stamp Coupling: The complete data structure is passed between modules in stamp coupling. Therefore, tramp data is involved. An insightful designer, not a lazy programmer, made this choice due to efficiency factors.
- Control Coupling: Control coupling occurs when the modules communicate by passing control information. Parameters can indicate completely different behavior or enable factoring and reusing functionality. An example can be a sort function that takes a comparison function as an argument.
- External Coupling: External coupling refers to a module’s dependence on another module external to the software or hardware being developed. Examples include protocols, external files, device formats, etc.
- Common Coupling: Global data structures are shared between modules. All modules that access that data must be traced back to evaluate the effect of global data changes. Due to these disadvantages, it is difficult to reuse modules, it is difficult to control data access, and it is difficult to maintain.
- Content Coupling: The data of one module can be modified by another, or the control flow can be passed between the modules in a content coupling. Avoid this type of coupling at all costs.
7. Explain The Concept Of Modularization.
The software can be modularized by dividing it into multiple components or modules. Independent teams develop and test each module. Ultimately, multiple modules would be combined into a single component.
8. What Is Software Configuration Management?
During the software development lifecycle, software configuration management tracks and controls changes. A well-defined and controlled process must be followed during software development.
During software development, configuration management ensures that all changes are controlled in a well-defined manner.
9. What Are The Various Phases Of SDLC?
Below mentioned are the most common phases of SDLC.
10. Provide Examples Of Project Management Tools.
Let us look at the industry’s most commonly used project management tools available today.
- Gantt Chart
- Status Reports
- Microsoft Project
11. What Are Case Tools?
Software Development Lifecycle activities are supported and accelerated by CASE, which stands for Computer-Aided Software Engineering tools.
12. What Is Black Box Testing?
The application is tested without knowledge of its internal structure or code implementation in black box testing. Black box testing focuses only on the functionality of the software rather than data flow and code execution.
13. What Is White Box Testing?
White box testing involves testing the application with knowledge of its internal structure and code implementation. Unit tests are normally written by the developer who wrote the code.
14. What Is A Feasibility Study?
A feasibility study assesses whether software product development is practical and beneficial to the organization. A software product is thoroughly analyzed to understand its economic and technical aspects.
15. How Can You Measure Project Execution?
Project execution status can be perfectly monitored using the below-mentioned techniques.
- Status Reports
- Milestone checklists
- Activity Monitoring
16. What Are The Functional Requirements?
Functional requirements describe what a developed software product should be able to do. An e-commerce website, for instance, will require a payment option.
17. What Are Non-Functional Requirements?
The non-functional requirements measure aspects such as the look and feel of the User Interface, the security of the application, its performance, its interoperability, and its reliability.
18. How Do You Determine A Project’s Success?
Metrics are laid out before a project even begins. To formulate ideas, I will identify the key performance indicator (KPI) we hope to impact. The ideas are presented as falsifiable hypotheses. For example, the reduction of checkout steps is believed to increase the sales conversion rate. To keep the team focused on our projects’ impact on the business, an increase of 2% will be considered a positive signal.
19. What Aspect Of Our Company, Product, Or Team Interests You Most?
Some day, I watched an interview with your CEO about your product that aims to disrupt the lending industry. Loan applications can be streamlined to make life easier. Over the last year, this sector has experienced significant growth. Furthermore, I am excited about the potential of blockchain technology that you have recently decided to incorporate. Due to the verifiable auditability, your company will have a competitive advantage in this market.
20. Are Software Products Required To Follow A Specific SDLC Model?
Software products cannot be required to follow a specific SDLC model. Software projects and company policies and procedures differ depending on the nature of the project.
21. Describe A Difficult Bug You Were Tasked With Fixing In A Large Application. How Did You Debug The Issue?
Rather than an occasional call from a lesser-used feature, the offending method was being called on every page. Upon reviewing the commit I identified earlier, I found no changes to the method. A reference to it that had been “commented out” about three years ago was the only approximate change I found. Having identified the method correctly, I deployed some distinct logging statements. Logging confirmed the connection. A few additional rounds of logging led me to discover that CoffeeScript had an unfortunate bug where a tweak and another piece of code from another developer merged into master minutes earlier were aligned. Therefore the code that had been commented out years ago was included in the minified production code.
22. How Do You Explain Technical Challenges To Stakeholders Who Do Not Have Technical Knowledge Or Backgrounds?
In the face of obstacles, I don’t feel it is my responsibility to unilaterally alter the scope or tell stakeholders that something cannot be done. Software quality is often determined by balancing scope, cost, and time. Business decisions override technical ones when it comes to that balance. Rather, I present some potential alternatives and how they might affect that balance. I may propose an alternative to meet the current timeline, but it will likely compromise the quality and degrade the user experience if an impediment significantly delays delivery.
Maybe we can lower the priority of certain features related to the obstacle, allowing us to deliver some of the original feature set within the planned delivery window. The stakeholder’s questions about what can and cannot be done are often the starting point of the conversation. Collaboration ensures that all parties confidently make the final decision.
23. What Do You Think Is The Best SDLC Model?
The answer to the question, i.e., “which SDLC model is the best?” is Agile. It combines incremental and iterative approaches and fits well with flexible requirements thanks to its incremental and iterative approach.
It is one of the best SDLC methodologies for businesses because project requirements and solutions constantly evolve throughout development.
Agile software development emphasizes incremental delivery by the entire team. We were quite successful at adopting the sprint approach in my previous role. Projects are broken up into small chunks that can be completed within a certain timeframe. We used two-week sprints to address questions and concerns and held many face-to-face discussions.
Furthermore, we held daily standup meetings to keep everyone updated on team progress. I would have only adjusted our standup meetings in the process. Standing meetings are called ‘standups’ to encourage focus and brevity. The meetings typically turned into standard status meetings for our team leader rather than a time for our team to sync. Despite this, the process enabled us to deliver higher quality software on a more predictable schedule.
As per the annual State of Agile report, Agile is the best SDLC methodology and one of the most widely used SDLCs in the tech industry. Software development life cycle models such as Agile are the most popular. Listed below are the reasons why.
- Agile differs from all other SDLCs because it is extremely adaptable. In other SDLCs, implementing changes is difficult since they are predictive and depend on proper planning, requirements, and analysis.
- Changes must able to be made instantly in modern software development. Unlike other predictive methodologies, the adaptive agile model does not require detailed planning. During the sprint, one can make changes if necessary.
- A feature-driven development team can adapt dynamically to changes in requirements. Additionally, Agile minimizes the risk of major failures by performing frequent tests.
- For Agile to work properly, there must be a lot of client and user interaction. Final project requirements are determined by the user’s needs, not the client’s.
24. Explain The Waterfall Model In Detail.
Waterfall models are sequential in that the next phase starts after the first phase is complete. When the development phase has been completed, the testing phase will begin, and the maintenance phase will follow.
The waterfall model consists of various phases. Every project may have a different number of phases and sequence of phases. Let’s discuss the most common ones.
- Requirements: In this phase, the system that has to be developed is perfectly documented in the SRS document (Software Requirement Specification). This is the most important SDLC phase because there has to be a clear and proper understanding of the client’s requirements, which reduces the rework in the following phases.
- Design: In this phase, the system’s architecture has to be finalized. This architecture can be in the form of any design, which can be a high-level design or maybe a low-level design. Architectures must also include the hardware and software specifications of the system to be developed.
- Coding: In this phase, the system’s code must be written. The developers must perform integration and Unit Testing at this stage before deploying the code for testing.
- Testing: In this phase, the product to be developed must be tested by an independent testing team for effective validation. It must be checked if the same meets the requirements in the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) or not. Any defects raised at this phase must be fixed before signing off on the product.
- Maintenance: As soon as the testing phase completes, this phase begins. After the product’s delivery to the customer, it takes care of any production issues. Projects and organizations differ in the duration of the maintenance phase.
25. Explain V-Model Briefly
Verification and validation are the purposes of the V-Model. In addition to waterfalls, V-models are sequential models as well. Testing phases are associated with each phase of development in the V-model.
26. What Programming Languages Are You, Familiar, With?
27. Mention The Last Project You Worked On, Including Any Obstacles And Your Contributions To Its Success.
I was responsible for creating an internal online training and learning program for employees at a previous employer. Several topics were covered: customer service, legal compliance, and workplace ethics. I researched other similar training systems to figure out what worked and what didn’t. After coding a simple Java program, I uploaded training courses using the program.
28. What Are Your Thoughts On Declarative Vs. Imperative Paradigms Such As Functional And Object-Oriented Programming?
We had to redesign the browser client application as part of a project. Many custom controls were derived from an inheritance hierarchy using an imperative, object-oriented approach. A declarative approach was adopted as a result. Since we no longer manually updated the interface in response to events, we saw a dramatic decline in state-related bugs. Before this, this was the most commonly reported type of bug by users.
Some key adjustments had to be made, however. We implemented caching mechanisms to prevent excessive recalculation in dynamic, performance-sensitive parts of the application. We switched to an imperative approach to updating the component to simplify this process.
29. What Are Your Most Used Design Patterns, And In What Contexts Do You Use Them?
I usually implement level state and player character in gaming projects as singletons. I’ll use a factory to create different enemies based on some inputs. The bullets will be implemented in an object pool to avoid excessive instantiation and garbage collection. A compositional model such as Entity-Component-System may be used if the game is more complex. Using dependency injection would allow the game logic to be better separated and tested.
30. What Are Your Thoughts On Software Testing?
To produce high-quality software for our users, we must test it. Generally, though, I won’t lead with them in a new project. The purpose of tests is to lock down mature functionality. As we collect usage metrics and feedback, the project concept differs considerably from the final product. As a result, I will start with simple manual testing. Once the feature set has stabilized, I will begin implementing tests. Most of my test suites will consist of unit tests that target key areas of the application.
A narrow set of integration tests will also be performed using Selenium. I will ensure execution time is not excessive by focusing on the most crucial user interactions. To ensure any impact of missed bugs is limited, we will leverage a canary deployment for each release, provided the DevOps team provides the infrastructure.
Software engineering is a vast area. Questions and answers surely will vary depending on the nature of the job plus the interviewer’s type. We have mentioned the most common ones.