Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Last active February 19, 2024 17:02
Show Gist options
  • Save vcarl/14275c72baf976ff1665392e14225dcc to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
Save vcarl/14275c72baf976ff1665392e14225dcc to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.

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

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?
Copy link


Copy link

Here's my smarmy list when I start getting that toxic feeling from the interviewer

  • How many people have held this position before me? Am I here for growth or attrition?
  • If I'm here because of attrition, why did my successor(s) leave? Can I get references from former employees?
  • How much did you pay my successor? I'll need to see proof before I'll consider an offer
  • How exciting are your on-call rotations?
  • Does on-call get any extra compensation for interrupting their personal lives for work?
  • What support does on-call get from other teams? Will they be there with us in the trenches or is it "Tag, you're it!" ?
  • How much time do you spend in meetings?
  • What's your vacation culture like? Do employees actually take vacations? How much do they take? Is there a mandatory minimum?
  • Have any of the managers or c-levels made it a point to call the team "a family"?

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment