Operating System - OpenVMS
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

VMS Interview questions and answers

 
SOLVED
Go to solution
Steve ward_3
Advisor

VMS Interview questions and answers

Do anyone of you VMS experts know some VMS related interview questions? Are there any posted? How can I find them?

10 REPLIES 10
Ken Robinson
Valued Contributor
Solution

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

Are you looking to interview for a VMS position? Or are you interviewing prospective candidates?

Ken
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

Some added details, here?

First, assuming interviewer and not inverviewee...

If the position you are looking to hire for is important enough, consider bringing in an outside interviewer either as part of the process, or to write you a short and targeted test. Particularly, to write a test that is specifically targeting the level of employee you are seeking here.

Key here is what level staffer you're looking for.

That, and that you're almost certainly interested in what else this person can do for you beyond the specific job opening you're considering. Technologies and tools come and go, after all.

If you are the interviewee and not the interviewer...

Look to whether you even want the job, how you approach problems, how you code or manage or maintain or research or (whatever) with OpenVMS, and what benefit hiring you can provide the employer.

Most any decent interviewer will spot any "smoke" being blown around. So don't.

No one knows all of OpenVMS, and there will always be areas that you are unfamiliar with.

And many of the standardized test questions are surprisingly often either entirely wrong, or ambiguous. (That folks can easily read your question here as "interviewer" or "interviewee" should be recognized as an example of this relative difficulty.)

--

This is take IV on trying to post this reply. ITRC is failing with some regularity (again) today. Trying one of the other ITRC servers this time.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

Some added details, here?

First, assuming interviewer and not inverviewee...

If the position you are looking to hire for is important enough, consider bringing in an outside interviewer either as part of the process, or to write you a short and targeted test. Particularly, to write a test that is specifically targeting the level of employee you are seeking here.

Key here is what level staffer you're looking for.

That, and that you're almost certainly interested in what else this person can do for you beyond the specific job opening you're considering. Technologies and tools come and go, after all.

If you are the interviewee and not the interviewer...

Look to whether you even want the job, how you approach problems, how you code or manage or maintain or research or (whatever) with OpenVMS, and what benefit hiring you can provide the employer.

Most any decent interviewer will spot any "smoke" being blown around. So don't.

No one knows all of OpenVMS, and there will always be areas that you are unfamiliar with.

And many of the standardized test questions are surprisingly often either entirely wrong, or ambiguous. (That I can easily read your question here as "interviewer" or "interviewee" should be recognized as an example of this difficulty.)

Steve ward_3
Advisor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

Okay, How about in general? What type of questions would anyone of you ask if you were to hire a candidate or what kind of questions would you all expect if you were interviewed?

Jon Pinkley
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

I don't know about other people, but usually give a hypothetical situation and ask how they would approach the problem. Then based on their response ask other questions.

It is pretty easy to find out if someone knows what they are talking about or if they are trying to recall answers from a "cheat sheet".

Jon
it depends
Art Wiens
Respected Contributor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

Some basic questions (and possible answers) to see where they're at:

1. Can you describe the main difference between VAX and Alpha?
a. VAX is 32 bit architecture â Alpha is 64 bit.

2. Can you describe some of the most important features they share?
a. They both run the OpenVMS operating system.
b. Compatible (the same) communications protocols.
c. Compatible (the same) file system.
d. Compatible (the same) commands.
e. Ie. VMS is VMS !

3. How can different VMS systems communicate with each other?
a. Decnet or TCPIP would be the most prevalent protocols.
b. They can be setup to participate in a cluster â SCS protocol.

4. What benefits does clustering bring?
a. Less maintenance.
b. Sharing of resources.
c. Same hardware (VAX or Alpha) can share one copy of the system disk.
d. Common user database.
e. Common queue database.
f. Disk access.

5. Do they all need their own system disk or can they share one?
a. Same hardware can share one.
b. Specific directories per system and a common area they share â [SYS0], [SYS1] and [VMS$COMMON] or [SYSx.SYSCOMMON].
c. SYS$SYSROOT and SYS$COMMON .

6. What command would you use to see all the members of a cluster?
a. SHOW CLUSTER

7. How would you add a new user to the system?
a. The system AUTHORIZE utility.
b. Determine what group the new user should be in.
c. Ask requestor if there is a similar account you can copy.

8. What is the most powerful privilege a user can have?
a. BYPASS
b. Overrides all file system security.

9. What are the different ways a program can be executed on a VMS system?
a. INTERACTIVEâ ly from a terminal session or submit to BATCH.

10. How would you determine whatâ s running on a particular system?
a. SHOW SYSTEM â lists all processes executing.
b. MONITOR utility â ability to continuously monitor various aspects of the OS.
c. SHOW QUEUE/ALL â shows all batch and print jobs executing.

11. How do you stop a BATCH or PRINT job?
a. Find itâ s entry number with a SHOW QUEUE/ALL command.
b. DELETE/ENTRY=entrynumber.

12. How does BACKUP save files?
a. As individual files or packed together in a â SAVESETâ .

13. The worst happens, your system disk has crashed. How do you restore if the system is a VAX, how do you restore if itâ s an Alpha?
a. VAX: has to mention STANDALONE BACKUP utility and using it to restore an IMAGE backup from tape.
b. Alpha: has to mention booting from the VMS distribution CD and choosing the option to run DCL commands.

Cheers,
Art
Robert_Boyd
Respected Contributor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

I've done a bit of interviewing on both sides of the table in the OpenVMS environment over the last 25 years. I like to find out how a person works and how they see themselves as part of the team they're working with. Also how they relate to the users they're supporting. I prefer to start off with functional role situational targeted to the type of work the person might be required to do.

Here are a couple of sample questions. I can come up with a laundry list of these depending on what the scope of the job might be over time. I find that it's quite telling how an interviewee approaches answering these kinds of questions. The story they tell and the things they highlight have helped me immensely in sorting the well qualified from the possibly qualified.

--------------------------------------------

Have you ever had to install & configure OpenVMS from scratch? Describe the steps you went through and problems you had to solve, along with how you managed to solve them.

What's the worst disaster you've ever had to deal with in an OpenVMS environment? How did you deal with it? What role did you play in the recovery? Describe what challenges you faced and the actions you took to work through them.
Master you were right about 1 thing -- the negotiations were SHORT!
Steve ward_3
Advisor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

Thanks to all!
Robert Brooks_1
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

The problem with this exercise is that if you are looking to hire someone, yet have no more knowledge of VMS than the questions posted here, and expect to see the answers given to those questions, you could easily miss out on a candidate whose knowledge and experience is greater than that of the person who constructed those questions.

I'm not casting aspersions at the set of questions/answers -- it's a decent start, but
you've asked a way too open-ended question for a detailed answer, I think.

If you are truly looking to hire someone for the VMS space, but have no knowledge yourself, you'd be better off "outsourcing" the technical aspects of the interview to someone who does.

-- Rob
Steve ward_3
Advisor

Re: VMS Interview questions and answers

Thanks all!