MicroStrategy Interview Test for Developers

Author: Bit Software
Date: 22- 09- 2011
Hiring resources is easy. Hiring good resources is hard, especially when you need to make that determination by asking general questions. With the cost of a bad hire so high, many groups or organizations can't risk a bad hire, though many don't set themselves up for success. They ask generic or pointed questions that are often definition driven or to tell stories about their past. A candidate's charisma usually shows through more than anything, and while that's an important quality, it's not the only quality. More often than we'd like, the person we hire isn't the person we thought were were getting.

While the Interview Questions I've posted before are more geared towards finding the qualities I'm interested in (hint: textbook MicroStrategy recitation isn't one of them), this post is geared towards actually testing an individual. Ideally, you'd still do the face to face question based interview and if you feel good about the candidate, you can give them this hands on test. Just setup a machine with the Tutorial project loaded on a local or development IServer. There are a few places where you'll need to do some initial setup before you introduce the candidate, and I've outlined those. I've also broken it out into three posts depending on what level of skills you're interested in: Developer, Admin, Architect. You would sit down with the candidate, explain the requirement, and watch them work. You'll get more information form a few minutes of one of these sessions than from days of face to face interviews.

If you are in a position where you need to perform this interview test remotely, I've got you covered. You can create a free account at LogMeIn.com and install the client on the test machine. Give the login/password (should probably change the password for each candidate, like their name or something) and all they have to do is install a browser plugin. They can then remote control the computer and you can still watch their actions locally. Over the phone, you can describe the requirements and still watch their actions and how they solve problems.

One of the keys to this test is going to be guiding them into an "optimum" solution, and then invalidating that solution by additional requirements. If they choose a solution that would satisfy multiple steps of a question, ask them why they chose it. There's many ways to solve a problem, and sometimes they come down to personal preference. If someone can explain a case why they prefer to use a Metric over a Derived Metric and vice versas, then that's good to me.


by Bryan Brandow

(This article was first published on Bryan`s MicroStrategy Blog)