Coding · Full-time programmer

How to Effectively Test a Coder/Developer For a Job

World Changer & Ninja Marketeer Improving everything one day at a time...

May 18th, 2017

We know resumes, references and "previous work" are all part of the hiring process. But like the Facebook guy's "competition" you see to get the right guys, as a non-programmer how do you create an organic test that you cannot "study for" and offer it to potentials to see how they do under pressure and also their actual competency? It is a big risk to start paying someone for 3 months only to realize they did not use best practice and used code that now needs to be rewritten for future purposes. Now you are $$$ and 3 months behind and investors blame you.

I am not averted to combining "standard" tests with this, but I am looking for the best way to create a CUSTOM test. Thanks!

Guy Brockless Head of Growth Marketing

Last updated on November 7th, 2018

Great question, when hiring developers (something we do very often) we follow this format once the developer has passed the interview stage:

  • Complete 2 challenges on CodePen
    • Challenge 1 - Creating a responsive form
    • Challenge 2 - Finding and fixing bugs in code
    • Example feedback
      • 9.5/10 (+) Overall working solution
        (+) Really unique and clean styling
        (+) Event optimization
        (+) Query optimization
        (+) Documented code
        (-) Minor issues with memory optimization (uneeded data attributes)
        (-) He could apply a little cleaning in his code but nothing major
      • 2/10 (+) Working Solution
        (+) Unique styling
        (+) Optimized events
        (-) Didn't follow the no globals rule resulting in a simplified solution that we can't review all aspects of his skills
        (-) No comments
        (-) Copies complete form and appends multiple forms to the dom
  • Complete a testing task from one of our live projects
    • Usually a feature that is fairly standalone and doesn't require huge knowledge of existing project.

We keep detailed notes in a spreadsheet regarding each developer, their progress in testing periods and even beyond that once they are hired. This is to make sure we are investing time and effort in growing our talent.

As a non-technical person I wouldn't risk it. You may end up with a working prototype but if the developer made the wrong choice of technologies, didn't annotate the code or provide good documentation then you could find yourself with something you'll have to scrap completely and have rebuilt from scratch.

Pratik Upadhyay I help startups to convert their idea to a self sustainable product.

May 19th, 2017

what @Guy has said makes most sense. HackerRank is another similar website where you can ask candidate to perform.

Aslo, we have our Custom Tests/Training Tasks which we can share with you. Just drop me a PM (or write me at and will share it with you.

This is little away from what you have asked but i think it is important for you. Apart of HARD(Programming) SKILLS, i think more important things are ETHICAL VALUES and SOFT SKILLS. For example, when you go for a haircut, you ask the artist about what suits the best on me? Now even if artist has great skills, he should UNDERSTAND YOU first without any SELF INTEREST. Not only that, he also needs to COMMUNICATE IN SIMPLE TERMS (not technical terms) so that you know what to expect at the end. Here, "without self interest" is an Ethical value and "communicate in simple terms" is soft skill. This applies to every corner in service industry but often disregarded while hiring Programming team. It is not about the sharp sword they carry, it is about how and when they use it (can be destructive or productive equally).

Our experience working with hundreds of programmers says, when you trust a reasonably experienced team member and keep things simple, they don't disappoint you. After all, being human works.

Feel free to touch base for any further assistance.

Dan Mocanu Entrepreneur & Value Innovation Architect

Last updated on May 19th, 2017

If you look at the music industry how an orchestra hire a violin player ? If you don't know anything about violin playing then maybe finding someone who does may be helpful ?