Reading to complete before a technical interview (CSS, JS, HTML)?
March 22, 2013 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm scheduled for a technical interview after the weekend for a front-end development position. I'd like to spend some intensive time beforehand reading relevant blogs and books to prime the ol' noodle and supplement my existing knowledge. Could you recommend some resources? Are there questions you would ask an applicant in this situation, or that you have been asked?

The interview will, in particular, cover "HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery." The company in question runs on WordPress, so items at the intersection of any and all of those technologies might be particularly helpful. Code will be discussed and produced as part of it.
posted by jsturgill to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Is the product/website the company makes publicly accessible? Go to the page, view source and poke around how they do their html, css and js: that should give you a good idea of what sort of level they're at.

Then try to google up on any bits that the website does and you don't understand!
posted by Wysawyg at 2:33 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Great idea and definitely part of the gameplan.
posted by jsturgill at 2:44 PM on March 22, 2013

Go pick up some ebooks from A Book Apart, especially the ones on CSS3, HTML5, and perhaps even Responsive Design. They're short books and great reads.
posted by o2b at 2:57 PM on March 22, 2013

I'm one of those who thinks there's no way to cram for a technical interview, so there's no point, but I do a lot of front-end work these days and this book has helped opened my eyes to JS. It assumes you know the basics already:

Javascript: The Good Parts

I would definitely polish up on knowing what the pitfalls of CSS are (which selectors are slow, common bugs, etc.).
posted by nakedsushi at 3:11 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love this reference site for JS.

Here are some more:
posted by pyro979 at 3:30 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

SuperheroJS is a great collection of resources for JS development. I'd also say you could significantly differentiate yourself if you familiarize yourself with a build and deployment tool like GruntJS. If you know how to concat files and build a deployment tarball, you'll be well ahead of the competition.

Here's some questions:
  • How would you optimize a collection of css files for deployment?
  • Are you familiar with LESS or Sass?
  • What's the benefit of rendering html in a detached dom node and then inserting this into a page?
  • How would you optimize image files for deployment? (PngCrush and such)
  • Have you ever run an A/B test?
  • How would you clear a floated element?
  • Explain GET, POST, PUT in relation to Ajax calls.
  • What's the difference between visibility: hidden and display: none?
  • In JS, what the difference between == and ===
  • Describe event bubbling and a common problem you might find with it.
  • What's the reason for the popularity of css resets?
  • What's the benefit of using a CDN for resource delivery?

posted by tumble at 4:01 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

People having been talking about Effective Javascript in the community lately. It was released in December, so it isn't too out of date yet. I'm about halfway through it. I write javascript every day, and it's about 2/5 "I already do that and knew why", 2/5 "I do that but I wasn't sure why it was a good idea and now I am" and 1/5 "I didn't know I was supposed to do that so I'll start"
posted by Kwine at 4:05 PM on March 22, 2013

One of the best web development tech interview questions I have ever seen asked is insidious in its simplicity:

"Explain, in as much detail as possible, exactly what happens between the time you hit 'enter' in your browser's address bar, and when the requested URL is fully loaded."

Bonus points for explaining salient differences on mobile devices.
posted by homotopy at 4:58 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Review stuff you've made and be ready to talk about decisions you made with those projects that show you know your stuff.
posted by victory_laser at 7:47 PM on March 22, 2013

This is a great, very in-depth, kept-updated list of Front-end-Developer-Interview-Questions I use to revise before interviews for front-end contract work.

You could pick up some bits you need from there (no Wordpress stuff, unfortunately).

homotopy's question is also a brilliant one.

Good luck!
posted by symphonicknot at 1:02 PM on March 23, 2013

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