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ESRI / GIS Technical Consultant Questions

Had to do an ESRI / GIS technical consultant interview today, and had to rustle up some questions.
Thanks to this post, which gave me a few starting points. I tried to keep the questions specific enough to require some actual knowledge but generic enough to encourage a fireside chat about the topic. The hope is that a question should elicit some sort of conversation based upon experiences etc. If you want to contribute more, send me another question @ppenn on twitter.

ESRI / GIS Technical Questions

  • What is the difference between projected coordinated system and geographic coordinate systems? When have you used either?
  • What are the limitations of Shapefile format?
  • What are the building blocks of a geodatabase?
  • What are the types of GeoDatabase? When would you use each?
  • What’s reverse Geocoding? What are the key challenges you have faced when Geocoding?
  • You want to automate a Geodatabase process (e.g. nightly compression). How do you go about that? (Geoprocessing tool)
  • How do you customize ArcMap & pros/cons of each? (commands/addins, latter can be in python/c# and “drops in”, no COM)
  • What types of domain are there?
  • Describe Versioning workflow (If two persons updating the particular row of the table in database, how does the system work?.)
  • How do you load data into ArcSDE? (bulk/simple vs object)
  • How do you create a view in ArcSDE?
  • How do you make edits to ArcSDE using native SQL? Any issues? (Multiversioned-views/VersionedViews. Speed)
  • How would you handle dealing with a more sophisticated editing model including supervisors & approval?
  • How do you communicate your geodatabase model with business users?
  • You have a desktop with a performance problem (e.g. a Search is taking 2 minutes to complete). How do you go about diagnosing it?
  • You suspect there is a bug in core ESRI/ArcFM software. What is the process you typically follow?

  • You have a sluggish Web API (SL/Flex/JSAPI) application. How do you diagnose it? (Looking for Fiddler or equivalent for diagnosis).
  • How do you reproduce an issue with ArcGIS Server? (Looking for reproducing via REST, not Web Application or Load Testing software)
  • What are the limitations with ESRI’s versioning system and how are they typically overcome? (Looking for GDBM knowledge, issues of single-threaded posting)
  • Have you designed an Enterprise GDB model? If so, what & what did you use?
  • Have you adapted an ESRI industry model? Issues / Experience?
  • Describe the main classes in an (Electric/Gas/Water) model
  • What types of Geometry have you worked with in the geodatabase? Pros & Cons?
  • You want to store average current speeds along segments of a road. How would you model that?
  • Your model includes county polygons. How do you ensure that counties do not overlap? What are the issues?
  • Your model includes connected features such as pipes or conductors. How do build the model so that you can trace upstream/downstream? What are the issues?
  • What are the issues with relating features from an external system (e.g. CIS, Billing) with features in the Geodatabase?
  • How would you model the following related objects in the geodatabase; buildings, rooms, doors, elevators?
  • Your model includes buildings with address attribution (e.g. street number/name/town/zip), but is incomplete. How do you provide an address geocoding solution which caters for that?
  • You want to display data from an aspatial table on the map. What are the options?
  • Can you give an example of when you would want to use a representation in the Geodatabase?
  • A customer reports sluggish performance during peak traffic times and suspects the hardware is underpowered. How do you investigate that (capacity planning tool)
  • When do you recommend non-versioned editing over versioned editing? Issues? (undo/redo, issues are geometric network doesn’t support)
  • When do you recommend _not_ using Citrix/RDP for editing? (3d)
  • How would you implement featureclass-specific rules in the geodatabase at the field or feature level?
  • What are the web APIs & strengths/weaknesses of each?
  • How do you debug a web API-based application?
  • How do you design a jsapi app (frameworks)?
  • How do you handle unit testing your custom code (frameworks, approach etc)? Any difficulties? (Mocking, Test Databases)
  • You want to provide an external system the ability to execute some GIS-based functionality in the Geodatabase (e.g. retrieve list of service points on a secondary overhead). What are the options for architecting that, including pros/cons?
  • You have built a fully-featured end-to-end geodatabase and front-end (e.g. ArcMap/WebAPI/Mobile) application. But it is slower than sludge. What steps do you take to address this? Where do you look for issues? How do you resolve issues if you need to take it to ESRI?
  • How do you secure ArcGIS Server e.g. for internet access? Issues?
  • Why would you want to cache services in ArcGIS Server? What issues are there?
  • What are the options for serving rasters? Issues? (Raster Catalog vs Mosaic Dataset, pre-built pyramid vs on-the-fly)
  • Your geodatabase contains data you want to display in Google Earth, what do you use to achieve that?
  • How would you go about exporting to / importing from another format e.g. AutoCAD? What are the issues? (OOTB GP tool doesn’t expose all AutoCAD attributes, FME is a stronger solution)
  • When would you use ArcObjects instead of ArcPy? What are the weaknesses of ArcObjects?
  • You want to make some edits to featureclass in ArcSDE. Which object model & objects do you need to work with?
  • When and why would you create a ServerObjectExtension?
  • You have a 40 data editors maintaining a Geodatabase. You decide to create a read-only web application using jsapi. How would you architect that? (Replication)
  • ArcFM: When do you use Field Model names vs Object Model Names? How do you define them?
  • ArcFM: What are the different types of AU?
  • ArcFM: Difference between Validation Rules and AUs — when to use each?
  • ArcFM: How do you test Feeder Manager is configured correctly (TAF/Stored Displays)
  • ArcFM: What’s Geodatabase Manager?
  • ArcFM: What’s Network Adapter?

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