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Trimble Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 28

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?

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Trimble Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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 Trimble 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."

  2. 2.

    In SQL, how do you explain the differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes? Can you name a time that you used each?

      Trimble uses indexes to improve query performances within their software and for this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have a basic understanding of both clustered and non-clustered indexes. Explain the differences between the two types of indexes and be sure you can either speak to relevant times that you've used each or when would be the appropriate application to use each.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In the simplest of terms, a clustered index order records in a table the way that they are physically stored. There can only be one clustered index per table. Non-clustered indexes do not store data to match the physical order that it is stored. Rather, it can hold up to 249 indexes per table. Both types come with their own benefits over the other. In my experience, clustered indexes are suited best for programs that use primary key as an identity integer column. On the other hand, non-clustered make the most sense for programs that need JOIN and WHERE clauses within them."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my experience, clustered indexes are faster to read but very slow when it comes to update data within. Non-clustered indexes are just the opposite in that they are slower to read but much fast to insert new data into them. In my current role, I mostly use clustered indexes when large numbers of rows need to be retreived and when insert operations are important. Most other times, I will use non-clustered as the standard."

  3. 3.

    Software technology continually changes. How do you stay current on new technologies and sharpen your skills?

      As technology needs rapidly change for each company, the interviewer would like to know how you adapt to new technologies. This question also gives the interviewer an opportunity to hear more about your learning style and how you take the initiative to learn new things. Interviewers like to hear about specific courses or training, but try to keep them as recent and relevant as possible.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I enjoy learning about new technologies in the software space both personally and professionally. I like to read software and data related articles, and I recently completed an 'Introduction to Python for Data Science' course to help build my skills, even though my current employer didn't require it."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I define success by what we achieve as a team. The project, as a whole, needs to deliver on expectations before I consider the job a success."

  4. 4.

    Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?

      The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer aided software engineering tools. Because Trimble is at the forefront of the industry, your interviewer will be looking to hear which tools you have experience with. Make sure not to concern yourself with providing a correct answer here, but rather focus on your flexibility to learn new aides when needed while explaining what you have experience with.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role, I regularly utilize both diagramming and web development tools. The diagram tools assist our software projects by outlining the system data and components in a graphical form for us and this saves us a great amount of time while also being very reliable. The web development tools greatly help me visualize site changes that I am making because I don't have a deep background in web development. If hired for this position, I'd look forward to learning other CASE tools for prototyping, quality assurance and maintenance."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "During my career and in my experience with CASE tools, most of my experience is in the lower CASE elements that focus on coding and testing the software after initial development. CASE tools have certainly made life as a software engineer more efficient and effective and I'd look forward to learn any new CASE tools if hired for this position here at Trimble."

  5. 5.

    If you can, please provide your thoughts on the function of managed object context in developing iOS apps and software.

      While the core data framework and the managed object context may seem pretty easy to comprehend and simple from a first look, a deeper look into managed object context shows that it can be misused to the point where obscure bugs can enter the system. Give your interviewer your own personal insight into the purpose of managed object context and how it works behind the scenes to help an app properly run.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current work, I work with both main queue and private queue manged object contexts. It is important that I avoid non user related data processing on the main queue of an app that I am developing. In times where this has happened in the past, the user interface becomes unresponsive and crashes. As well, I work to avoid instances passing between the main and private queues to avoid corruption of data within the app."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Knowing that a managed object context's job is to manage a number of records within an app, my job is to successfully manage each object within the app and assign it to a correlating context within the app. I have to consider the persistent store coordinator and code the app to fetch requests from the correct one."

  6. 6.

    If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?

      For this question, your interviewer will obviously be looking to hear that you have adequate knowledge when it comes to coding processes. But most importantly, your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to be a team player and focus on the bigger picture when working on a project. In your answer, focus on your attention to detail and your ability to help others when needed.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As an experienced software engineer, I fully expect my colleagues to reach out to me for my insight and I never hesitate to provide open and honest feedback. When asked to do this, my main focus is ensuring that the code is readable and functional. If there are lines of code that need to be removed, I don't hesitate to let my colleague know that while also giving them feedback on why I feel it is unnecessary."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "When I'm asked to do this in my current position, my main focus is on regulatory requirements that were put in place for the project and security issues. I work with a team of great engineers that are very efficient coders and these two areas are most often overlooked."

  7. 7.

    Give an example of a time that you used a universal design practice in your work as a UI or UX designer. Why was it important to do this?

      In the technology, software and mobile app fields today, accessibility is a huge topic. As a designer with Trimble, you will be expected to help create products that are as accessible as possible to as many end users as possible. In this two part question, talk about why you feel that universal design is important in the work that you will be doing with Trimble and then really sell your ability to do this by giving an example of a time you used a universal design in your previous work.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "From a very high level, the business success of a program really relies on being universally designed. If we pigeon hole ourselves, a product will only reach a very limited group of end users. But taking that a step further, universal design is the morally right thing to do to help reach people that may not have access to the average program design. Last year, I was part of a project that utilized a voice user interface for users that were deaf or hard of hearing. This simple yet effective design was a huge win for our current customers and in helping drive new business with our groundbreaking software."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Early in my career, the best piece of advice that I receive was from an experience designer and she said that when UX doesn't consider all potential users, we are no longer working on the user experience. We live in a very diverse world and the programs that I've designed for in the past have certainly had the goal to reach a wide audience. With your financial products here at Trimble, this same philosophy applies. Last year, based on some feedback from current customers, we switched our design to include a strong color contract to make the system much more user friendly to color blind users. This was both a simple and very effective change to enhance the look of the program."

  8. 8.

    If hired for this position here at Trimble, 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 Trimble. 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 Trimble. 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 Trimble 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 Trimble. 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."

  9. 9.

    What is one unique personality trait you possess that would help you be successful in this role with Trimble?

      This question is allowing you to have the floor during your interview to wow your interviewer with something they might not know about you yet from your resume or time so far during the interview. Think about a strong, unique trait that you have that has led to prior success in your field and explain in detail how this will help further you in your career with Trimble. If possible, be very unique in your answer to draw a direct line between your personality and success in this role.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "From what my parents have told me about me as a young child, passion has been a personality trait that has driven me my whole life. When I tackle something in life, I need to be passionate about it for it to be a success. From my time as a young child up to today, I have been passionate about physical fitness and this has driven me to participate in running and biking races across the country. This same passion in the pursuit of excellence has translated into my career as a software engineer. From tinkering with computer hardware at a young age and learning the internal components of a system to learning how to create and design software, you'll quickly find that my passion to engineer the most unique software here at Trimble will be extremely beneficial to your team."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I would have to say that my humility has been instrumental in getting me to where I am at today in my career. Having worked with one of the largest software companies in the world, egos were certainly high with a lot of my teammates and I have always used my humility to let my work do my talking for me while remaining a friendly and curious colleague to all."

  10. 10.

    Tell me about a time that there was a delay in the project and how did you handle that delay?

      In your answer, be sure to tell your prospective employer why there was a delay, but most importantly, how you handled it and got back on track. It's important to use the STAR format for questions like these: situation, task, action, result. Situation: the delay. Task: resolving it quickly and getting back on track. Action: how you went about executing the task. Result: how the steps you took to resolve it led to the effective and successful resolution of that delay.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I was working with my team on the configuration of the new HR system we were rolling out and the HR team asked for a new module that we thought would significantly delay the launch. In order to meet our internal client's needs, we offered to add the new module, but to avoid delays to the project, we reallocated a resource to work exclusively on the module. We all chipped in extra effort on the major project parts to make up for our coworkers' absence as he was working on the module. The coworker who did the module did a fantastic job which didn't require many changes from the group. Through all this, we were able to roll the product out on time and within budget."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am motivated by knowing something about the end customer and being able to relate to them as a person. A personal touch is always helpful for me."

  11. 11.

    If hired here at Trimble, what do you feel would be the biggest hurdle for you to overcome from the start?

      The key to answering this question with confidence starts with understanding that you are interviewing with Trimble because your interviewer feels that you are a strong candidate for this position. What your interviewer is focusing on with this question is how they could be of most help to you if hired for the job. So, take the time prior to your interview to think about an aspect of the position that would be the most difficult for you to overcome to be up and running at full speed and then take time to explain how you would plan to overcome that hurdle if hired. This structured answer will tell your interviewer that you have put thought to your potential shortcoming with a plan of action.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my resume, I don't have any direct working experience with the financial industry and I would see that as my largest learning opportunity if offered this position. Like I did with my current job in the healthcare industry, I would take the time to learn the basics of the industry that would help me design the most intuitive user interfaces in the products here at Trimble."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Being a team player by nature, I've always considered my first challenge at any new company to be the task of getting to know my colleagues, their work preferences and their work styles. In the same breath, I want them to know who I am and how I best work as part of a team with them. To accomplish this, I would take the initiative to set one on one meetings with individuals that I didn't get to touch base with during my orientation process to get to know them better."

  12. 12.

    Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.

      Talking about your most significant accomplishment will give the interviewer a firm idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working full time in a related field. I was top of my class, and working full time. This accomplishment showed me that I could dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My greatest work-related accomplishment was the management promotion I received at Company X after just one year. I worked very hard for that promotion and was so happy when my work and dedication was rewarded. It kick-started my career."

  13. 13.

    What do you feel are the primary features and benefits of the Java programming language?

      As a company that utilizes Java, Trimble and your interviewer want to make sure that you have an understanding of the Java programming language and they do so by asking this question. Obviously a language packed with unique features, talk about the features that you can speak the most knowledgeably about and tie your direct experience to.

      Ryan's Answer

      "When I started working with Java three years ago, the first huge benefit was the fact that the Java syntax was based on C++. At that time, I had a great working knowledge of C++ and my transition to Java was absolutely seamless. The other amazing feature that I've come to appreciate with Java is how robust the memory management is in exception handling and automatic garbage collection."

  14. 14.

    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."

  15. 15.

    What SDLC models are you familiar in working with?

      As a software engineer, you are very familiar with the software development life cycle. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear what models you have worked on in the past. While there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question, try to show your flexibility to working with different SDLC models by bringing up your past experiences. Then, show you have knowledge of different models like the waterfall model or agile model. It is also a good idea to use this question as an opportunity for you to learn more about Trimble by asking your interviewer which model they work off of.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "During my training in software engineering and in my early career, the waterfall model was the standard. In this model, each phase of the development process happens in a set order and projects using this model are easily managed. But over time, as the development projects that I have led have become more complicated and intricate, I have implemented the spiral model. This model has allowed the ability of end users to give feedback early on and often during development and helps to build a more customized product to our customers."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "In my current position with XYZ Company, my department utilizes the agile model in development life cycle. Since our products are so tailored to the needs of our customers, we get a working product very early on in the process and then I work hand in hand with customers to fine tune the software moving forward. It is a very effective model that has built a great reputation for our software among customers. I also have familiarity working with the iterative model and it has similar advantages to the agile model. If I were hired here at Trimble, can you expand on what models you use here in your software development life cycle?"

  16. 16.

    Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?

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  17. 17.

    A huge part of our business here at Trimble is designing software for iOS. In this role, how would you steer away from retain cycles when using closures in Swift programming language?

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  18. 18.

    What software analysis and design tools do you have familiarity working with?

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  19. 19.

    What skills do you use to cope with the day to day stress and pressure on the job?

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  20. 20.

    In your current work, what are the important steps you take in the data validation process?

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  21. 21.

    How would you handle a situation where a colleague was being very difficult to work with?

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  22. 22.

    What unique values can you bring to Trimble in your user experience design skills?

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  23. 23.

    In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?

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  24. 24.

    The next cloud engineer that we hire here at Trimble needs to be able build a system that can handle a high amount of traffic. How would you test our system's ability to handle large amounts of traffic?

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  25. 25.

    How do you ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance in your career?

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  26. 26.

    Trimble embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.

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  27. 27.

    If hired for this position at Trimble, what leadership skills would you bring to our team?

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  28. 28.

    Do you have any unique skills or past work experiences that we can't see on your resume that would benefit the team here at Trimble?

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