I bundled these up into groups and wrote some thoughts about why I ask them!
If these helped you, I'd love to hear about it!! I'm on twitter @vcarl_ or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Onboarding and the workplace
- How long will it take to deploy my first change? To become productive? To understand the codebase?
- What kind of equipment will I be provided? Will the company pay/reimburse me if I want something specific?
- How will you know if I’m doing a good job?
- How often do two developers work together on a single task? Three or more developers?
- How many of the developers have been here less than 6 months?
- How many developers have been here 2 years? 4 years?
Development and emergencies
- How long does it take to do a complete deployment?
- What is a big pull request, in lines of code or files affected? How long is it open?
- How many repositories would I touch to make routine changes?
- How often do developers have to make simultaneous changes across repositories?
- How often do you have major outages? What constitutes a major outage for you?
- Do you have a defined process for handling an outage?
- Would I be expected to be on-call?
- What does your on-call process look like?
- About what fraction of their time are developers given (implicitly or explicitly) the freedom to explore or learn?
- How do you define success and growth for developers?
- How often do you do lunch and learns, or other semi-formal knowledge sharing?
- How often would my manager have 1:1s with me?
- What kinds of topics are usually discussed in 1:1s?
- Do you pay for conferences?
Project management and prioritization
- How do you balance shipping new features and maintaining the codebase?
- What's the lifecycle of new development, from somebody's idea to deployment?
- How do you track tasks? How are those tasks created?
- Do you do agile/scrum?
- How do you decide what to build?
- Do you have "swimlanes" in your task tracking? What are they called?
- How do you know when something is done?
- What project management software do you use?
Living in Asia and experienced IT companies with people who have no clue as to what they are doing I know for a fact that many interviewers will hesitate to answer this. Because most of the time developers have left due to frustrations. And at times, the interviewers themselves are caught in this terrible experience.