Are you looking for a job in coding and programming?
According to recent studies, the most desirable programming jobs are in high demand, with new graduates and experienced coders flocking to some positions.
There are steps you can take to position yourself for success in the job hunt. There are skills that employers are looking for in a new hire. With a little study and preparation, you can get an edge over the competition for a new job.
One skill that companies are looking for, but many candidates don’t consider, is the architectural pattern Model View Controller (MVC).
We’ll study MVC and then look at the interview questions and concepts you might be expected to understand during an interview. In each section, we’ll provide you with some of the top MVC interview questions so you can be prepared. Consider this the edge you need for the job you want.
What Is MVC?
MVC isn’t a programming language. Instead, it is a way of modeling development work.
Model View Controller divides an application into three connected parts. It looks at how information moves through an application, and how a user will interact with it.
Using this model, MVC breaks down software and programming into tasks. This is another way of looking at the work necessary for a successful programming. MVC promotes code reuse and enables development teams to work in parallel. It provides a better way of managing work.
A History of MVC
MVC began more than 40 years ago when Trygve Reenskaug included the concept of Model View Controller in the programming language Smalltalk-76 while he was at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
Reenskaug’s goal was to bridge the gap between a mental and a digital model of complex systems, especially for graphical user interfaces. He wanted to help users manage the computer system in a more visual and intuitive way. MVC promoted that goal during the development process.
Other developers continued to refine the MVC model with later versions of Smalltalk. MVC wasn’t presented as a general concept to the public until a 1988 article in The Journal of Object Technology.
Since that article, MVC has found a place in coding and development. New variants like the Hierarchical Model View Controller (HMVC) and the Model View Presenter (MVP) have been developed. MVC has become an important tool for Java Developers, especially when NeXT’s WebObjects, which used MVC, was ported to Java.
Today, MVC is utilized in the architecture of web applications across the internet. Many of the programming languages in use today, like Java, Ruby, Python, Spring, and Rails incorporate the concepts of MVC.
Top MVC Interview Questions
- What does MVC stand for? Model – View – Controller.
- What programming language originally incorporated the concepts of MVC? Smalltalk.
- What other languages in use today incorporate the concepts of MVC? A sampling of languages includes Java, Ruby, Python, Rails, and Spring.
- What are some variant models of the MVC architecture pattern? HMVC or Hierarchical Model View Controller. MVP or Model View Presenter. MVA or Model View Adapter.
- Where is MVC used in programming, development, and coding? It is the basis of many web applications. You can also find the concepts of MVC in desktop programs and mobile applications.
How MVC Works
The basic concepts presented here are a rich area for many MVC interview questions.
Like other architecture patterns used in software development, MVC outlines a solution to a problem. It offers an answer that can be adapted for every system. This means there are differences between specific MVC architectures. There isn’t a single, accepted definition of MVC. There are core fundamentals which we describe here.
MVC divides software concepts into their separate development tasks – Model, View, and Controller. These concepts define the fundamental structure of a web application, as well as many mobile apps and software programs. It models how a user will interact with the system, providing methods of control over the application.
The tasks include:
- Model: This is the dynamic data structure of the application. It manages the information and logic within the application. This is the data the user intends to manipulate and control.
- View: This is the output of the data. Consider it a visual depiction of the model. It may be a chart or a graph presented by the application. The View highlights some qualities while suppressing others using a presentation filter.
- Controller: This is the link between the user and the system. The Controller accepts input from the user and passes it to the model.
There is a pattern to how the three components of MVC will interact. MVC defines these interactions:
- The Controller receives input. If necessary, the Controller will validate the input and then pass it to the Model.
- The Model will manage the data in the system. It takes the input from the Controller as direction for the data management. Once the data is ready, it will send the result to the view.
- The View will receive the result and then present the data in the necessary format.
This cyclical model has become the basis of most web applications.
Top MVC Interview Questions
- How does the Model work in the MVC architecture pattern? Model is the data structure in MVC and an application.
- How does the Controller work in the MVC architecture pattern? The Controller receives the input from a user in MVC and an application.
- How does the View work in the MVC architecture pattern? View formats the data and then presents it in a graph, chart, or other presentation.
- How does the Model, Controller, and View interact in the MVC architecture pattern? It is a cyclical model. The Controller receives input and sends it to the model. The Model receives input and manages the data before sending it to the View. The View formats the data and presents it to the end user. The end user receives the View and sends input back to the Controller.
- What does MVC model in a software system? The MVC will model user interaction with an application.
Advantages and Disadvantages of MVC
As popular as MVC has become, it is not the only architecture pattern used in development. Just like any other skill covered in an interview, employers want to know that you are well-versed in the advantages and limitations of MVC.
The advantages of MVC for software development and programming include:
- Using the MVC model, multiple developers can work at the same time on an application. Work can be divided across the components, allowing for parallel work. This means faster development.
- Thanks to the division of labor, new developments or modifications are easier to make. Making a change to the development plan won’t impact the entire project. Instead, change can be better managed with the results organized across the MVC components.
- With MVC, you can develop multiple views of a model. This gives you new approaches for accessing and developing an application.
- With multiple models, you can reduce code duplication since business logic and data is separated from the display.
- MVC promotes and supports asynchronous programming. This means code can be written to eliminate “blocking” in an application. The application can manage multiple actions at the same time, without waiting for a previous action to finish. Applications work much faster with asynchronous programming.
- The MVC model allows data to be returned without formatting. A model can be used in different applications and with different interfaces. It can be reused with minimal changes or adaptation.
As powerful as MVC has become for developers, there are disadvantages to using it. These include:
- Developers need to be proficient in multiple technologies in order to manage and coordinate the teams working simultaneously on a project. This could include the client-side code and HTML.
- Using MVC to model a project will increase the complexity of the work. This doesn’t mean the project will be more difficult, but it does require a deeper understanding of user interaction than some development teams are willing to accept. Often, a team will need to use additional architectural patterns and models than MVC, leading to additional complexity.
- You need to ensure consistency across multiple representations of the development model. Changes made to the View may impact the Model, for example. Changes to the Model may require adaptations to the Controller and the View. This will require coordination between the teams to manage.
- Isolated development teams can sometimes lead to delays in the development process. The work of one team may be delayed by the actions and decisions of another team. Again, this can be mitigated with coordinated work and management of the project.
When using MVC for a development project, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the model. Focus on the strengths of MVC, and then address the disadvantages.
Top MVC Interview Questions
- What is a primary advantage of MVC, and how can you maximize this advantage on a project? MVC allows multiple project teams to work simultaneously on a project. This enables rapid software development. Having the resources to support multiple teams, with skill in multiple technologies, is critical for a successful MVC project.
- What is the connection between MVC and asynchronous programming? MVC supports asynchronous programming. This allows multiple actions to occur simultaneously in an application without the blocking that can delay results.
- How does MVC reduce code duplication in development? MVC separates business logic and data into separate project components. This reduces code duplication.
Using MVC in Development
An important part of any interview is identifying how you will use a skill for practical applications. Are you able to incorporate MVC concepts in programming and development?
In this section, we’ll look at how MVC works in day-to-day development tasks.
1. Problem Solving
Many companies find MVC critical for breaking down the user interface of an application. It looks at each component of an application separately, allowing a team to look at the individual parts. Many developers report that problems are easier to solve when you look at the pieces rather than the whole.
2. Improving Productivity
MVC is a clear advantage to rapid software development and increased productivity. Allowing work to be completed on an application using multiple teams can accelerate progress. It also allows work to be completed in parallel. Managing the teams and coordinating the work is important to consider before implementing MVC.
3. Decision-Making Process
MVC promotes multiple views of an application and the user interface. As each component of the user interface model is considered, you can evaluate the advantages and disadvantage of each before selecting the model that delivers the most benefit for the application and users.
4. Strengthens Teamwork
While MVC is a software architecture pattern, it is also a way of building and creating a team focused on a single goal – delivering the best application possible. Consider how to manage the work between teams. The individual work of teams and mismanagement of changes in a project can lead to delays. Consider how you can use MVC to promote teamwork and reduce the complexities and delay associated with MVC.
Top MVC Interview Questions
- How can you use MVC to manage the work and teams during the development process? MVC separates the application into component parts that can be used to delegate work to teams. Coordinating the work between teams is the responsibility of project leadership.
- How can MVC promote problem-solving during development? By looking at the individual components that make up a user interface, it is easier to identify the solutions to a problem. You will also have multiple views of a model when seeking a solution.
A Final Word on MVC Interview Questions
MVC has been a powerful tool for developing and building web applications. Many programs rely on the graphical user interfaces (GUI) that are shaped and improved using the MVC architecture pattern.
If you are looking for a job with many of the top software and technology companies in the world, MVC will likely be a critical skill the business will look for in candidates. Take the time to understand how MVC works, and what the top MVC interview questions might be before you interview.