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Coding Challenges

To Challenge or Not To Challenge? That is the question.

Joshua Coleman F Xls T Vemno Unsplash

Article posted by Ashley Davis

Interview coding challenges. Are they an industry taboo or a hiring process necessity? It splits opinions across candidates and companies alike.

David Jackson, CEO of FullStack Labs is very clear that they do not require take home coding challenges when hiring. However other companies put coding challenges at the core of their recruitment process. To help understand this polarizing approach to hiring we asked four Hiring Managers and Team Leads to understand what they thought were the pros and cons of using coding challenges.

The Pros

  • Gives employers the ability to filter out good clean coders.

  • Allows candidates to show off their technical ability from technical questioning.

  • Ensures equal opportunities for all candidates.

  • Allows poor interviewees the opportunity to demonstrate their coding talents.

  • Shows commitment from the candidate.

The Cons

  • Not a true representation of a candidate’s ability.

  • Good candidates do not want to take part in time consuming coding challenges, that they are not going to be paid for.

  • Possibility of hiring the wrong candidate, based only on answering technical questions.

  • Not all technical tests are representation of day to day work.

  • It prolongs the recruitment process.

The Hiring Managers we interviewed mostly agreed coding challenges are only relevant for candidates that want to experience the type of code required in a role, assuming the test is based on day to day working environments.

That being said some of the Hiring Managers said there are many examples where a coding challenge is irrelevant, and the key is understanding what hiring process will attract the desired candidates. ​