On iOS interview exercises

Today I saw this Tweet:

It spawned a great discussion on Twitter and thought I’d share my perspective on this.

Although this may seem like a dull exercise to ask an interviewee to do, in my experience I’ve found it to provide a great amount of insight into how the one doing it thinks about solving a problem.

By revieweing this exercise’s deliverable, I can know…

  • How they think about data modeling
    • Are the models structs or classes?
  • How they reason about data flow
    • Did they create a manager for the data layer?
    • Whose responsability is to download the data and parse it?
    • How should changes be bubbled up to the UI?
  • How they feel about using dependencies
    • Did they use Alamofire to consume the API?
    • Did they use a library to parse JSON?
  • How they approach API design
    • Are closures used intellengtly, or at all, where they would become handy?
    • What’s the “no-data” state, nil or []?

I could go on.

What’s best, is that many interesting conversations that provide even more useful information can be spun-off from any of those questions above.

In my experience, I’ve found this very exercise to have a different outcome every time I use it to interview someone.

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