In an software developer interview you are asked - we have lots of projects, I need you to deliver software from scratch, is that a problem? Some suggested answers:

  1. no problem at all
  2. If the spec is perfect
  3. It depends
  4. what dev environment and tools are you offering?

What type of dev answers map to their level of skill and experience ie low, mid, senior.... A high level of confidence may not predict a good performance of course and how realistic do you need to be without appearing negative?

  • Voting to close the question as too vague. In your case, your question is eligible for closing on several counts, each of which is a subset of the word "vague": i.e. too broad, unclear and requesting an answer that is subjective, that is, opinion based. – Vietnhi Phuvan Sep 29 '14 at 14:02
  • Just tell the truth: "It depends.." – Johannesberg Oct 11 '14 at 0:02

Run away because that is a terrible questions.

"I need you to deliver software from scratch, is that a problem?" should tell you a couple of things. It should tell you that for whatever reason the interviewer expects that there might be problems with you delivering an application. HOWEVER unless they know you how could they have doubts about you(let's ignore the silliness of trusting a 'yes' here.) The first thing this would make me think is that other devs have failed this 'requirement' in this company before and I would be wondering why. I would be guessing that they throw some mediocre 'specs' at a dev and expect them to poop out a fully functioning, polished app in a couple weeks. Probably with some awesome last minute modifications in the middle as well.

Developers, regardless of how little we like to admit it, do not work in a vacuum. Even an amazing developer should be part of a larger team in order to succeed. A question like the one posed above primes me, as a developer, to worry that any delays(even legitimate ones like "Technology doesn't work like that" or "You went from wanting a music playing software to wanting a robot controlling software in the middle of development") will be pinned on the dev teams and not owned by management/other teams.

A more legitimate question would be "We expect our developers to work from soup to nuts on applications. This means being highly involved with the planning, architecture, implementation and release of these softwares. Can you give me an example of a time you took a solution from drawing board to release?"

Promises like the one you describe are a terrible interview technique and I would consider them a red flag for working at that company.

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Software is developed according to a set of needs. The probability of success is proportional to how well defined these needs are. If you are given a set of fuzzy requirements, anything you create will be correct until someone says otherwise by either changing their mind or making these requirements less fuzzy.

The loop will exist and will be as tight or as large as the requirement's precision. On a large loop, a system may go into production and then someone realizes that it is not really what is needed. Sometimes that may even be necessary and as long as the involved parties agree there should be no problem.

Just don't promise what you can't deliver, and don't try to keep other people's promises.

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The key to answering a question like this (and I do agree with others who've commented that it is a bad question) is by talking about how you would work with relevant stakeholders to accomplish it. A yes or no answer isn't going to help you either way.

If the question was merely poorly worded, they'll appreciate you bringing up this aspect. If they insist you do the work without input from others, you may wish to end the interview right there and walk away.

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The naive way to interpret this question is that it asks if you are specialized on one area or if you are a full stack developer that can handle everything from analysis to deployment.

I would explain the question how I understood it and then answer which of the neccessary skills I have, which I can learn and which will probably be a waste of time.

Ofc, if they meant something different like the other answers here suggest, run and don't look back! :)

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