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Accela Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published January 15th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 27
Here at Accela, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?
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How to Answer
As an experience software testing engineer, quality assurance should be ingrained in your brain and your interviewer is looking to get a sense of your personal feelings towards it in your work with this question. In your answer, be sure to highlight QA's importance in reducing errors, maintaining specifications, testing failure parameters and preventing defects from occurring. In the end, make sure that quality is your mantra in the eyes of your interviewer by giving an example or two of how you put QA in the forefront of your work.
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Top 25 Accela, Inc. Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Here at Accela, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?
As an experience software testing engineer, quality assurance should be ingrained in your brain and your interviewer is looking to get a sense of your personal feelings towards it in your work with this question. In your answer, be sure to highlight QA's importance in reducing errors, maintaining specifications, testing failure parameters and preventing defects from occurring. In the end, make sure that quality is your mantra in the eyes of your interviewer by giving an example or two of how you put QA in the forefront of your work.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As a test engineer, I take great pride in my role of ensuring that systems go out to consumers as error free as possible. In my current role, I take the time to learn all of the system specifications that are laid out by our design engineers and customize my testing to follow those specifications."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my work throughout my career, quality assurance in my testing was an every minute of every day job on my part. While creating effective testing processes on new software is extremely important in following QA protocols, the recording of defects, issuing of reports and assisting the designers on fixing issues are equally important parts of the process that I'd love to let shine here at Accela."
2.
Our implementation consultants here at Accela often face conflicts with our customers while onsite during implementations. What interpersonal skills do you use to handle conflicts with clients?
In the software implementation process for large customers of Accela, you will be working with top level managers and key decision makers onsite and more often than not, issues can arise. In your role as the implementation consultant, these issues come directly to you and your interviewer will be looking to hear how you will handle these issues to maintain both a great relationship with the customer and honor to the Accela. In your answer, focus on finding solutions to issues that benefit both parties and talk about the important communication skills that you possess that will make this possible in any situation that you may face.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Any time that I face a conflict in the workplace, I maintain my own personal composure by not taking things personally and keeping a smile on my face. After setting myself, I look to gain insight into the potential conflict by using my reflective listening skills and then problem solve from there. In this role, I would listen to the needs of the client and be empathetic in my approach with them. My ability to creatively problem solve would take over from there to help find a solution for the client."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The biggest skill that I would bring to the team here at Accela as a consultant to clients would be my ability to express mutual respect to all that I work with. As an organization, Accela has their own goals that I will be vital in helping to achieve. Your clients also have their own goals that can offer different greatly from yours. A sense of mutual respect allows me to put myself in the shoes of all involved and that really helps me find solutions that work for everyone."
3.
When would you utilize a trigger within Oracle to execute a function automatically?
To answer this question, it is important to first have an understanding of what a trigger is within Oracle. Simply defined, a trigger is a named block stored within the database that executes on its own when a certain even takes place. While you talk about your understanding of what a trigger is, be sure that you explain that you understand how to create a trigger in Oracle and that you understand that proper situations to utilize them in.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In the current work that I do in Oracle, I utilize triggers to prevent invalid transactions within the software that I am working with. I have a full understanding of how to write create trigger statements using declaration statements, executable statements and exception handling statements to set the appropriate triggers. If hired for this role here at Accela, you could have full confidence in my ability to utilize triggers within Oracle."
Ryan's Answer #2
"With my two prior years spent working on Oracle, I have written database triggers using insert, update and delete statements that are issued against a table. These database triggers allow our end users to be able to reap the benefits of the triggers. The instances that I've utilized database triggers have been for pulling statistical information from the tables within the system."
4.
When do you consider a project to be finished?
When answering this question, be sure to understand what the employer is truly asking. They are looking to see where you think the project ends, whether that is when it's completed and all testing is done, or whether you think projects are ongoing and require constant work. It can be a trick question as many companies believe a project is never truly finished. Be sure to give an explanation with your answer to back up your belief.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my mind, a project is never truly finished. Once it's rolled out, upgrades will have to be performed, quality checks will have to be completed, and the product will inevitably change based on customer needs, new technologies, and trends in the market. We have to take that all into consideration when working on a project and while maintaining the product that was completed as a result of the project."
Ryan's Answer #2

"I should disclose to you that I have a mark on my criminal record. I have a DUI from 1998. Since then I have maintained a clean record and I am willing to comply with any form of background check that you require."
5.
In designing Android software, what is your experience using parcelable versus serializable within an app?
Because parcelable is optimized for Android to be faster and more customizable, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are willing to put in the extra work to utilize the parcelable method to achieve better performance within the software that you design. Give your interviewer your thoughts on the differences between the two methods of passing object references to activities within an app that you design and make sure that they understand that you are ready to perform the work to utilize the parcelable method when necessary.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having written code for Android apps for many years now, I am very familiar with both serializable and parcelable methods. In my first hand experience, parcelable provides a much faster and better user experience so I will always strive to take the time to write custom code for marhsaling and unmarshaling to create less garbage objects within an app."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Due to it being a standard Java interface and its ease of implementation, serializable interface is pretty commonly used. But, because it uses reflection, many temporary objects are created within Android apps and this creates a very poor user experience. When the parcelable interface was introduced for Android systems, I have extensively focused on its use and finished products have benefited greatly."
6.
As a consultant with Accela, your role will be vital in gather information from our customers in building new technology for them. What would be your goals in an initial consultation with a new or existing client?
Software consultants are the bridge between the end users and the development teams of new software to help come up with new and creative solutions for the business. In this role with Accela, you will be expected to live in two different worlds and this question focuses on how you will work with end users of the companies products. In an initial consultation, focus your efforts on how you will learn the business needs of the client, talk about what can potentially be offered and then how you will start the creative problem solving process with them.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As an experienced consultant looking to break into the technology field, I will break a lot of awesome client focused skills to your team. In an initial consultation, my number one goal is to learn the business of the client and listen to what they are looking for in my products. Once their need is known, I can knowledgeably speak to the products that I work with to help them create a custom solution to fit their needs. If hired for this position, my first order of business would be to work very closely with the design and engineering staff to know the possibilities of customization. From there, my natural ability to consult with clients would take over in a win-win situation for all involved."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In consulting with a new client or an existing client looking for system modifications, my number one goal in a first meeting with them would be to lay the framework for how we will move forward and to set expectations moving forward. I would look to understand their business needs and talk with them about all of the solutions possible for them with us as their software provider. From there, I have the ability to set expectations on a time frame for a solution proposal and we can move forward from there. At the end of a first meeting, I want to ensure that the key decision makers are comfortable with me and the business that I represent so they don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions or for clarification on items discussed."
7.
What do you consider to be a good litmus test for when you would automate a test process for a new system versus testing manually?
As your role with Accela will look to help further their automate testing processes for new systems, you will need to have a good sense for when automation makes sense and when it does not. Reiterate your sense for this to your interviewer by sticking to the high level response that repetitive tasks, as are common with large software companies, are prime candidates for automation whereas one time test cases are not.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having been in automation in both manufacturing for many years and now software for the last three years, a common misconception among people is that automation can help improve any situation and that couldn't be further from the truth. The amount of time, effort and resources that goes into an automation process makes it ideal for repetitive tasks and tests that have multiple data sets. If a testing process calls for unique and one time process, it would make the most sense to run that process manually."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I"n my current position, most of the automation testing that I design is in program sanity testing. These automated tests work great because they run on similar systems following changes in code to ensure that no bugs remain in the system. If our group of engineers are working on unique, one off type projects, my automation processes are not utilized."
8.
Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?
Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack Accela uses so you can best prepare and highlight your expertise. If you aren't as strong in one of the skills you feel is necessary, be sure to explain how you've used it and how you are growing your knowledge to become better. Be sure to be honest in your answer, as the company will likely test your strengths.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my last company, we had a bit of an outdated tech stack and used C# and .NET. I found myself fully immersed in those technologies, but had a strong desire to learn more and become more familiar with modern technologies and how I can apply that in my career. That's what has me so interested in this role. Over the last year, I've taken courses in Java and C++, which I noticed you prefer. I've become proficient in the skills and in side projects, applied my increasingly strong knowledge. I'm probably strongest professionally in C# as that has been where my experience lies, but my passion and dedication is on the Java and C++ side, as I feel that's the more modern alternative. I'm excited about the possibility of applying that knowledge in a role at Accela."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am motivated and excited about this new opportunity because it will challenge me to grow in my (X) skills. I love soccer and enjoy spending time with my teammates. I am interested in continuing my education by studying (Y) to further my career."
9.
How do you feel cloud computing has positively impacted the software industry?
While the reasons are plentiful as to how cloud computing has had a direct impact on developing and refining software for organizations, your interviewer is looking to hear which reasons you are willing to speak most passionately about. However you answer this question, try to either focus on the ease and accessibility for end users or cost savings for organizations in your answer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Being in the software industry for over 20 years, I feel like the biggest impact that the cloud has had reflects directly to our customers in the software industry. In days of yore, we spent years working through software updates and releases. And now, I look to how we are continuously rolling out small scale, yet impactful, updates through the cloud and end users are able to see that impact the next day!"
Ryan's Answer #2
"One commonly overlooked area where I feel cloud based systems have brought a major improvement is in analytics. Ten years ago, it took a lot of time and resources to pull relevant data to build analytics and visualization tools. Today, information can be automatically built to pull in the snap of a finger and that is something that I never take for granted in my work."
10.
If hired for this position here at Accela, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?
As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at Accela. This question is allowing your interviewer to get a better sense of your project management skills and people skills if you were to join the team at Accela. In your answer, talk about your ability to estimate the time and cost of a project, the staffing needed and the overall scope of planning for a particular project. If you have direct experience in being the lead on a large development project, be sure to discuss that experience with your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Looking to join the team here at Accela directly out of college, I feel very confident in my abilities to manage the entire scope of a new development project. I have leadership experience as my campus' president of the software engineering club. In that role, I developed skills that would help me utilize staff and resources in the best way possible. During my internship, I was exposed to the planning stages of new projects and I have a very good feel of estimating the budget and length of time needed to have a fully functional system."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would absolutely be comfortable if tasked with project manager duties here at Accela. In my last two roles, I have led successful projects that started with great planning and budgeting process and went through to completion with great people and processes in place under my leadership. While it's not a regular duty for me in my current role, I always welcome leadership duties."
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