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Pentaho Corporation Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published February 25th, 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 Pentaho, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?
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How to Answer
In the industries that Pentaho works in, updates to software are vital to end users for them to stay at the forefront of their business. To ensure that updates happen as quick and smoothly as possible, Pentaho utilizes continuous delivery and continuous deployment for their customers. For this question, talk about what you know about these processes as a software architect, why they are important and what experience you have with them.
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Top 25 Pentaho Corporation Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Here at Pentaho, we strive for continuous delivery and continuous deployment with our software. Are you familiar with these processes in your current work?
In the industries that Pentaho works in, updates to software are vital to end users for them to stay at the forefront of their business. To ensure that updates happen as quick and smoothly as possible, Pentaho utilizes continuous delivery and continuous deployment for their customers. For this question, talk about what you know about these processes as a software architect, why they are important and what experience you have with them.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, we utilize a 100% continuous deployment process with our end users when we role out new changes to existing software. We use automated testing in our process to validate that code changes are correct and able to be deployed without issue. Once validated, changes are automatically rolled out to our end users. Having once utilized a continuous delivery system, I am very appreciative of working in an environment utilizing continuous deployment as it negates any need for human intervention in the roll out."
Ryan's Answer #2
"In my current position, we've slowly grown from a continuous integration process to a continuous delivery process. I love the automated testing process when we are looking at rolling out new changes to existing software and my role as the architect for our projects puts me in the drivers seat for sending out these changes. If hired for this role here at Pentaho, I'd be very intrigued at learning and working with continuous deployment practices as well."
2.
In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?
Depending on your training and your past roles prior to interviewing at Pentaho, you may be familiar with one or two of the many trains of though regarding the steps of a data validation. Whatever formal process you are familiar with, be sure to check the boxes of discussing data screening and data verification as part of your process. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you check those boxes as they are imperative in the software field.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I embark on a data validation process in my current role, my first step is to roadmap a detailed plan to keep on task. I utilize benchmarks and the expectations of key stakeholders as my guide. Once underway, I validate the database and the data formatting to ensure that data is properly screened for its overall health. Then, by finishing with sampling, tests are performed to hopefully show that the data is useful within the system."
Ryan's Answer #2
"The most important steps in a data validation process are determining the data to sample, scouring the existing database and validating the final data format. My first step is to use my best judgment to determine if I will validate a sample or the entire data set. This determination is based on overall size of the set and the timeframe that I have to work on the project. Then, I take the time to screen data in the existing database to calculate the number of unique ID's and records to come into the system. Last, I have to verify that the source data matches the schema within the targe"
3.
How do you stay organized and on track when working on multiple projects or duties at the same time?
In this role with Pentaho, you will likely be expected to manage multiple projects at the same time. Your ability to plan, manage deadlines and handle high needs items that come up on a regular basis will be essential to your success in this role and your interviewer is looking to hear how you plan for success. Whether you utilize an electronic tool or a written list, there are no right or wrong answers as long as you can prove in your answer that this method works out great for you.

Ryan's Answer #1
"With any project that I am working on, I make sure to set benchmarks to meet deadlines ahead of time and set early personal deadlines to allow for some wiggle room. To do this, I am a proponent of using the Microsoft Outlook calendar and tasks functions to help keep me organized. I find that this method helps me stay on track with multiple projects while also leaving me wiggle room each day to fight the high needs fires that do come up in this job."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For me to stay on track, I make sure to take ten minutes at the end of each day to recap what was accomplished, what new came up on my task list and re-prioritizing my work for the next day. Then, upon arriving the next day and working through emails from the previous evening, I can adjust my task list for the day if needed. I tend to set aside two hours per day to work on long-term project needs while focusing a majority of my time on the short-term needs."
4.
What data cleaning methods are you familiar with and comfortable using if hired for this role at Pentaho?
To improve data quality and increase overall productivity of a system, Pentaho relies on their data analysts to use data cleansing methods to ensure quality data exists in their software. Be open and honest with the ways that you've helped ensure quality and accurate data in the systems that you've worked with while also showing that you have an open mind to learning and utilizing more methods if hired for this position.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current work, I use a very methodical fashion in cleaning data for finished systems. My first step is to remove duplicate and irrelevant observations within the data. Then I scan the data to remove extra spaces, convert numbers stored as text into numbers and remove duplicate data. These steps help ensure clean and accurate data and I never overlook them. If hired for this position, what methods does the current data analyst team her at Pentaho utilize?"
Ryan's Answer #2
"I am familiar with many methods used in the cleansing of data. The initial monitoring of errors within a system is very important to identifying where errors occur and give insight into how to fix corrupt data. I have utilized the tools within Domo software to validate data accuracy and scrub for duplicate data in my processes as well. Being very proficient in data analysis, I'm very open to learning new methods as well if hired for this position."
5.
What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?
As a software engineer for Pentaho, your interviewer wants to hear that you have experience in utilizing tools that you make you more proficient in your work. Dig back on your past experiences and talk openly about your experiences with the different analysis and design tools that are available to help you be better in the work that you do. In the end, make sure that your interviewer understands that you are proficient in the use of these tools and open to learning and using new tools as well.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As my career and experience in software engineering has grown over the years, I've come to really appreciate and utilize these tools that are available. A great example of this would be my recent education and use of Structured English for designing insurance claim software for a large auto insurer. The simplicity of the structured decisions in the program were a perfect example of a program that could utilize the tool and the end product ended up very functional for our customer."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I have great working knowledge in creating and reading data flow diagrams. To help with both our own sales staff and with customers, DFD's have been super helpful and I consider myself very proficient in creating them. I've also recently been introduced to decision tables to aid in product testing. I was working on a new system that involved some very complicated business rules and the decision table helped outline everything perfectly for our testing."
6.
Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?
Software developers spend a great deal of time debugging programs. It is essential for Pentaho to have someone experienced in quickly identifying problems and responsive in providing solutions. The interviewer would also like to gauge how you work with internal and external customers when problem-solving.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my last development position, I was responsible for front-line communications with end users. Third tier helpdesk staff would contact me with software bugs, and I was able to quickly and professionally respond to problems. I was able to reduce the bug backlog by 70%."
Ryan's Answer #2
"If you did not have a good relationship with your previous boss: "I have had healthier relationships in the past with previous employers, but we did the best that we could. Our communication styles were very different which made it challenging at times."
7.
As you reflect back on your career to this point in your search for a new position, what would you say is your ideal work environment or culture?
While using this question as a key indicator on how you'll fit with the team and the organization at Pentaho, it will be very important for you to research as much as you can on the work environment at Pentaho so you can match your priorities to that environment. If you have the opportunity to speak with an employee at Pentaho prior to your interview, that can shed valuable information. In the end, the culture and value of an organization are often a key indicator of long-term success in a job, so make sure that you reflect your values into what the company values.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I begin this job search now 15 years out of college, I'm looking for an employer that promotes and encourages innovation, new ideas and collaboration among all members of the team. From what I know about Pentaho from speaking with others, you sound like a perfect match for what I am looking for in a career."
Ryan's Answer #2
"With all of the companies that I have both worked for and consulted with in the past, I realize that a company culture is basically the personality of the company and I am looking for a new organization that really meshes well with my personality. I am a casual person that believes in hard work, teamwork and having fun on the job. As I embarked on a job search, I was so happy to see that Pentaho was hiring because I believe our styles will fit perfectly together."
8.
What would you say is your top non-technical skill that will help you succeed in this role here at Pentaho?
As a software architect at Pentaho, you will be relied upon to be the bridge to between the business and technical side of the organization. Your work my be relied upon to work within many silos of the organization. Because of this need, your interviewer is asking you to dig deep inside of yourself and talk about what you feel is your greatest skill to help you do this that is outside of your technical ability. As you prepare for this question, there are many ways that you can answer. No matter how you answer, be sure that your answer relates to your ability to work with other people in some way, shape or form.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I grew in the software development field over my career, I was best suited to be a architect because of my ability to be a great project manager. If hired for this role here at Pentaho, you'll quickly find that I have the ability to lead others, negotiate, budget and oversee a project from idea to final delivery."
Ryan's Answer #2
"From a self introspection point of view, I think that my ability to be empathetic towards others that I work with has led to a huge amount of my success in the software architecture field. While I do have the technical skills to do great things here at Pentaho, my ability to learn from others, see their point of view and become a great teach to them when needed will really set me apart from others that you are interviewing for this position. If given the opportunity to work here, this skills will greatly improve the team atmosphere."
9.
Do you have experience working with data in a cloud computing environment?
Over recent years, more and more companies are converting to cloud based computing services because the conversion allows them to save money and have better auditing trails. As a prospective data engineer with Pentaho, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are at least familiar with the concepts of working with cloud based data. Talk in details about the experiences you have while keeping your mind open to working with more in the future if hired with Pentaho.

Ryan's Answer
"My current organization has been using Apprenda, a PaaS, that allows us to develop, test and maintain our software projects. I also have experience mining and converting data off of public, community and private cloud networks. If hired here at Pentaho, I think I would bring a wealth of cloud based experience to the data engineering team."
10.
Would you say that you are a goal oriented on the job? What would I be able to do as your manager to help you achieve your goals if hired here at Pentaho?
At the heart of this question lies your interviewers desire to see what motivates you as a potential employee at Pentaho. Make it clear to your interviewer that you certainly are motivated by on the job goals and do this by using an example of a time where you were motivated by and achieved a goal. Then, think deeply about the type of manager that you like to work for in terms of goal setting and helping our achieve your goals. Let your interviewer know what type of management styles you appreciate the most while being open to any style.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I would definitely say that I am goal oriented on the job in wanting to contribute any way that I can to the overall benefit of the organization. In my current organization, our leadership focuses on overall sales numbers at the end of the year. To help achieve these goals, our department creates our own goals to help achieve the sales numbers needed to succeed. Last year, one of those goals was to be as creative as possible in our user experience design processes. With the launch of an exciting new app midyear, sales numbers skyrocketed and our department was instrumental in that. For me, it was important that we determined our goals as a team with the final stamp of approval from our manager. While this style of management really helped motivate me, I can thrive under any management style as long as expectations and goals for my work are clearly set."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For me, my day to day work is much more meaningful when I have goals to work for. In my current role, we have set timelines for our projects and this helps lay the framework for our goals. If hired for this position, my expectations of you as my manager would be to have goals clearly defined and a supportive atmosphere to be provided to work within."
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