Some Thoughts on Testing Developers

Posted in Jobs and Recruitment on Sunday, the 10th of August, 2008.

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For reasons I can't quite fathom, I've been thinking a lot about testing developers recently. That's testing developers as part of the hiring process, as opposed to developer testing (which I do bang on about rather a lot, to be fair).

I say I can't fathom the reasons, because we're not actively recruiting right now, nor am I looking to be recruited (though if you have your air conditioning switched on you may be in luck).

So anyway, it's fair to say that before you hire a developer, you want to find out if they're any good at developing, right? And therein lies the problem: how on earth do you measure the candidate's skill level?

I've seen, and used, a few approaches myself, so I'll go over a few of them and see what drops out the other end.

Comments

Posted by Russell on Tuesday, the 12th of August, 2008.

This really struck a chord with me; not least because you hired me at PM but also because I have been through the Allegis / Brainbench machine.

Surely the best option is to use the recruitment process as an opportunity for a bit of developer laziness and either:
1. Get the applicant to complete a mundane & routine task you have done a thousand times before or
2. Ask them to solve an incredibly hard task and then pass it off as your own work to your boss.

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