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Coding Assessment: How to Test a Candidate’s Skills?

Coding assessment for developers

In a recruitment process, performing a technical skills test is a fundamental step, even more so when we talk about hiring programmers, which requires coding assessment.

Developers are multitasking beings: they seek, investigate, plan and build outputs and, finally, devise solutions.

How to decide for the best, within this complex scenario, just checking the CV? It’s really hard! The best option is by testing the developers’ technical skills with coding assessment tools.

You are probably asking: what is the best type of test? What are the main testing platforms? The answers to these and other related questions can be found in this article.

Coding assessment in developer recruitment

Testing in developer recruitment is essential. Assessing the result is quite a challenge. There are many variables – language chosen, speed of solution, and so on.

In addition to helping with technical selection, technology saves money and time in the arduous IT recruitment process.

That’s where powerful features like online testing for developers come in.

Let the developer who never got lost in his own code throw the first monitor!

Especially when the art of coding is challenged during a technical job evaluation.

Yes, developers also get nervous, feel butterflies in the stomach, and go blank when it’s time to be tested. But there’s no way we can get away from it, developer recruitment should involve online programming testing.

What Developer Testing Forums Reveal

In the discussion forums – and those who follow us here on the blog know that we are confessed fans of them – it is very interesting to see the position of the crowd in relation to being evaluated as a developer. We pinched a response from a developer to a distressed colleague about the difference between a full and senior test roadmap:

“Actually, I believe that as a full or senior we find out on a day-to-day basis. Nothing better than a nice chat to assess the candidate’s level. A full person must know some designer patterns, must have created some projects from scratch, and also know some (at least 2) frameworks. A senior must know how to abstract a problem well and solve it with class!

Message from a developer

The hard part is not losing your class during a test, even though you’re a senior…

And, it’s not just us at Geekhunter who love digging through forums. A report from Exame magazine was checking out the Quora question and answer site for clues about developer testing.

And it brought the following gems: one user says that the best questions for programmers are those that bring several approaches with different trade-offs.

Conflict of choices

The example given by the internet user was the following: “Let’s say you have a list of N+1 integers between 1 and N.

You know there is at least one duplicate number, but there could be others. For example, if N = 3, your list could be 3, 1, 1, 3 or 1, 3, 2, 2. Print the number that appears in the list more than once. Problem resolution

Another example from Quora, one of the methods used by Joseph Wang, chief scientist at Bitquant Research, is to print a 10-page system code and pass it on to the respondent. What about?

How to reveal the difference between an experienced dev and a novice
That’s because, following his reasoning, a candidate with less experience would usually start looking at the code line by line.

A more advanced programmer would take a quick look and then flip through the pages to understand the high-level design of the system.

This is when the objective is really to hire a more experienced professional in the area.

Key benefits of coding assessment

Key benefits of coding assessment

Today, we have several developer testing platforms available, which allow us, among other things, to perform:

  • Online developer tests;
  • Python knowledge tests;
  • PHP practical tests;
  • Programming logic test;
  • Java knowledge tests, among many others.

It is important to emphasize that, in addition to identifying technical knowledge, applying online programming tests during the selection process helps HR identify other important characteristics of candidates.

By applying a practical developer test, it is possible to identify how the candidate solves a problem, and how he faces a challenge, in addition to helping to recognize experienced and novice professionals.

In most cases, it is also possible to measure the time that this professional takes to solve simple or more complex problems,

Now, if your HR team doesn’t have professionals with technical experience in the programming area, testing platforms are even more beneficial.

It is that, in addition to the application of the test, some of these solutions already deliver the results of the tests and an analysis of the candidates’ performance.

Fake developer detector

Another relevant point that the developer test is able to offer is the ability to detect “false qualifications” for the vacancy.

How to be sure that the candidate is not a fake, especially when programming is not the recruiter’s beach?

There are a few tips to identify who is notably not going to deliver what is expected:

Ask for something implementable

Tip number one is the obvious one: ask the developer to get down to business and program (give him some time), but… the art of programming has to be more than art.

It has to serve a real purpose. There’s no use in something super that doesn’t fulfill its objective; if all theoretical knowledge is not reflected in solutions that work in practice, it is useless.

Ask how they would use the features to improve a system or framework, for example.

Assess team spirit

Programming is often a solitary activity, but that doesn’t mean you can alleviate a candidate’s lack of team spirit.

Good developers write code in a clear and understandable way so that others on the team can adjust it without much effort.

Ask the candidate for the position what it’s like for him to work in a group and the effort so that the code doesn’t result in something unnecessarily complex.

Beware of the “gurus”

There are those who do it and there are those who talk more than they do.

Lead those who throw a lot of confetti at themselves to focus on the skills and challenges that make them so confident in their professional quality.

It is encouraging to exemplify in a practical way this advertised talent.

Passion for what he/she does: really?

Saying you love what you do is the cliché of clichés. Go deeper!

Ask what inspires the candidate to code and what he imagines for himself, in the medium and long term.

You will have access to a lot of cool experiences, while you will see that the fakes will go off on tangents with general answers.

He/she masters all programming languages. Hmmm… 🤔

The person claims to be a beast in an infinity of languages. It may even be but insist on testing to prove it.

A resume that lists familiarity with most languages ​​can be an indication of a certain exaggeration of a more self-confident professional or even a sham.

The technical challenge in HR with testing for developers

As I said, there are recruiters having a hard time hiring due to an absolute lack of familiarity with the IT area, but that’s okay!

Shaz Amin, a specialist in customer acquisition from Texas (USA), is one of those who confess that they resent not having a better understanding of programming and, therefore, made many wrong choices.

He blamed himself a lot for the “failure”, until the moment when, after buying so much pig in a poke – once, twice, three times – he noticed that there was something wrong not only with him but also with the candidates.

Things that his untrained eyes to the area couldn’t identify. And he decided that he should ask for help from those who understand the subject.

It was time to see, among friends, who knew a recruiter experienced in the selection of programmers. From there, everything changed. Technical knowledge was the missing piece in the game.

Share your doubts

Colleagues will help to identify symptoms of debatable choices by the candidate, and points to be reinforced.

If you’re still in doubt during the hiring and don’t have anyone in the company to help, we’ve already talked about it here on another occasion: consider looking for an external consultant for the task.

By the way, if you don’t have someone more technical, like another programmer, to do the recruitment, you can count on GeekHunter.

Top developer for coding assessment

Now that you know the benefits of developer testing platforms when hiring, learn about some of the best solutions available on the market.

GeekHunter

GeekHunter goes far beyond developer testing, Geek’s platform offers a complete solution for recruiting and selecting online developers.

Known for delivering one of the most complete IT hunting portfolios, the platform captures professionals in the sector and presents them in a dynamic and highly qualified way to companies.

With GeekHunter, a complete and 100% online platform, you go far beyond testing for programmers and guarantee savings in time, money, and access to the best programming talent.

That is, in addition to a pre-selection and follow-up, GeekHunter assists your recruitment and selection process in a personalized way, with a team of experts who guide you on the best path to follow according to your needs.

Now, if you are not looking for a tailor-made solution and give up a specialized team to guide your recruitment and selection process from start to finish and a platform capable of providing the perfect match between company and candidate, you can count on solutions that only offer developer tests in isolation, such as the following examples.

FizzBuzz

FizzBuzz is a coding assessment platform that involves designing an interview designed to filter out 99.5% of applicants for programmer jobs.

The definition of the programming problem is as follows:

“Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print ‘Fizz’ instead of the number and for multiples of five print ‘Buzz’.

For numbers that are multiples of three and five print ‘FizzBuzz’”.

HackerRank

The HackerRank platform is one of the best known for testing developers.

HackerRank offers more than a thousand challenges, in 35 programming languages ​​and in 6 areas of computer science.

Another differential of the platform is the possibility for the recruiter to select a Code Challenge or create their own tests or questions.

Furthermore, it is possible to send the invitation to candidates directly through HackerRank or through integrated ATS platforms.

At HackerRank, tests are automatically corrected, and recruiters receive a report along with the score achieved.

Another solution offered by the platform is CodePair, which allows you to see the code in real-time during interviews and engage up to 25 candidates at once.

Codility

The English platform Codility has already been used by more than 1,200 companies in 120 countries around the world. One of these companies is LinkedIn, the most famous social network for professionals in the world.

The coding assessment platform offers a hundred tests, of different types and levels. As soon as the interested company chooses the type of test they want to apply, the candidate’s data is uploaded and the test is sent directly to him.

The test asks the candidate to do an online coding, check out the demo test, and then a detailed report is sent to the recruiter.

Testdome

Testdome is an English platform used by large organizations such as Paypal and eBay for testing programmers.

The solution, considered quite assertive, recommends that recruiters ask candidates to “really code” before being called for an interview.

The platform argues that the best way to select a developer is to give him the challenge of a real project and, thus, evaluate his technical skills, execution speed, and memory consumption.

Testdome.com provides testing for any language and technology.

Interviewmocha

The Interviewmocha platform meets the diverse needs of organizations looking for developers.

The platform offers more than a thousand ready-made tests, with constant updates and also customized tests for recruiters looking for professionals with special skills.

Talview

With offices all over the world, Talview.com is a specialized testing platform for developers.

Its great differential is the possibility of expanding the geographic reach of access to development professionals and also guarantees a 40% reduction in the time spent in the interview stage.

This last feature makes Talview.com known as one of the fastest ways to hire corporate employers worldwide.

Now that you know the best options for testing developers, it’s time to assess your organization’s needs and select the one that best serves the team responsible for recruiting and selection!

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