Question: We don’t always make the right decision all the time. Tell me about a time when you made a bad decision? What was the impact?

Situation/task

The candidate discussed an issue with performance on a webpage built with angular; he was tasked by a senior architect to make any performance gains possible, overall there were a lot of options being discussed to address this performance problem. The candidate thought that the problem needed more analysis to solve for the actual root cause instead of the hasty “implement anything to make the site faster” approach that was directed to him, as he was aware of other possible improvements that could help.

Action

Angular template cache was not used, the candidate made a change to the code to make use of the default cache to improve resource loading. This implementation used keys with starting with slashes, which caused issues when using relative cache some templates. This resulted in some files not being loaded in webpack as expected.

Result

Deployments have high downtime, which was unacceptable to fix this issue, the candidate instead generated a list of affected resources so that when the resources requested incorrectly, the resources would still load correctly. This was a temporary fix that was successful until the root issue was solved. As the candidate theorized, the performance gains were minimal, and he suggested other improvements.

Q: What lessons did you learn?
A: Be especially careful with managing assets, caching wasn’t implemented properly. One thing the candidate said he would do differently is not to assume that the caching was fully and correctly implemented.

Analysis

Leadership principle asserted: Are right, A lot

Vote: 👍

The candidate described a scenario where he was tasked with improving performance on a set of pages. He knew that the task given to him would not address the performance sufficiently and had other suggestions – he disagreed and committed to implementing the performance fix as directed. He was ultimately correct in his theory that this was not the most important performance fix, and had other suggestions to implement the fix.

Lesson

Have you noticed anything about this example? It is very well structured. The interviewer was able to take proper notes as the candidate was telling his story. It comes down to using the STAR approach.

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