Screening Exam Questions for Fall 2012


Question 1

You have been asked to design a database system for ConsultMatch, a company that wants to match consultants and clients via an online service.

 They have an existing list of 1500 consultants who have signed up so far. For each consultant, they need to display name, degrees/education, experience, expertise, rate, and previous clients.

Potential clients look for a consultant at ConsultMatch by browsing a free list of consultants or using the ConsultMatch search engine. Once they have found the person who meets their needs, they can sign in to provide an overview of their project via the website. The potential client needs to provide information about the project: customer name, address, project description, tasks for consultant, preferred starting time, a sample of the materials if available.

 ConsultMatch provides an opportunity for consultants to agree or disagree to a project after reading the description. They can also request more information from the potential client.

Design a database for this project.

 1)      Show the ER diagram for your database. There should be at least 4 entities with their relations. Clearly describe the symbols you use for your ER diagram (entities, relationships, etc)

2)      Describe at least one stored procedure for this project. Explain why using a stored procedure would be a good idea. Explain what the stored procedure would do (use pseudo-code).

3)      As a software designer, you already know that ConsultMatch will want to do data mining later on. What type of data would you recommend that ConsultMatch tracks and stores in a database? And why?


Question 2

Explain each of the following software development methods in terms of process, roles and responsibilities, practices, and scope of use.  Following this, compare and contrast them as “complete” agile methods.

  • a.       XP
  • b.      Scrum
  • c.       RUP
  • d.      Open Source


Question 3

 1a. What is the length of a bit in a channel with propagation speed of 2 x 108 m/s if the channel bandwidth is 10 Mbps?

 1b. How many bits can fit on a link with a 2 millisec delay if the bandwidth of the link is 100 Mbps?

 2. Explain the fundamental difference between circuit-switching and packet-switching technique? What switching does TCP use? Explain the rationale.

 3. Assume Bob and Alice are engaged in secure communications. They agree to use Public Key system. Show with diagrams how Bob can send confidential message to Alice and how Alice can authenticate herself (think digital signatures) by sending a document back to Bob.


 Question 4

 "We want to have a technology solution in hand before the business asks for it. We never want to be in a position where the business asks for a technology and we have to say “wait three months while we work up an answer.”

 Martin Kagan, Head of ExxonMobil’s IT Architecture Function

 You are required to advise Martin Kagan on the appropriate guiding principles of the IT architecture design, to support his vision to position IT as a responsive partner that can stay ahead of business changes and react in a timely manner.

 In your proposal, provide and apply the essential principles of the Dynamic Capabilities and IT Modularity theories. 



Question 5

 Most experts agree that the role of CIO has become much more complicated over the last decade. Today, IT leadership has become a balancing act, requiring the CIOs to make intelligent and efficient choices.

 The following list describes a set of dilemma preferences, which the CIO has to confront with and make the right managerial decisions, in line with the business goals.   

1.       Local Flexibility, Global Optimization

2.       IT Flexibility, IT Standardization

3.       Emerging Technologies, Legacy Systems (bold retreat)

4.       Make, Buy

5.       TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), TVO (Total Value of Opportunity)

6.       Long Term Vision, Quick Win

7.       Innovation In, Complexity Out

 You are required to choose 3 issues representing dilemmas from the above list and then put forward ideas and arguments involved in making these types of decisions.