All Things Techie With Huge, Unstructured, Intuitive Leaps

Want a Software Job? Finish This Test .... Part 2

In yesterday's blog entry, I detailed a new paradigm where developers and coders who applied for a job, were sent back a programming test by email, without any personal contact at all. One developer that I know, took umbrage to the system and sent back the following response:

I was dismayed at your hiring process. I don't think that I am interested in your company based on this approach. It reminds me of outsourcing to India, where software tests are sent to coding monkeys without any personal contact first to determine if the person is a fit.

I submitted a resume that was incredibly deep in rich, eclectic experience and was asked to submit a trivial poker game example of code before any face-to-face discussions ever take place. So much for putting the personal element first.

Based on this formulaic, lazy way of recruiting, I don't think that your company culture is for me. It reminds me of a burn and churn outfit.

He didn't think that he would get a response. He was truly surprised that he did get a response. Here it is:

Thank you for your reply and your candid comments. We apologize for the impression that we have given you by sending you a coding exercise before contacting you. We understand that the personal element is important and this is why we contact candidates after they have submitted the coding exercise, however I can certainly see your excellent point of engaging candidates before that step.

Just this week one of our developers - Allan - said that he thinks it might be best for us to contact impressive candidates directly prior to the coding exercise to add in a more personal element (and to allow the candidate the chance to ask technical questions right off the bat). You have proven that Allan is right and that candidates need to have that personal contact before committing to a coding exercise.

I am going to pass this along to Allan for follow up and I want to thank you again for your valuable insight.

Thanks again,

And the head of programming did send back a response, which I will post tomorrow. I will also post a solution of testing programmer applicants that truly exercises their thinking ability, not their ability to remember syntax.

It may be that skilled knowledge workers have more power over the hiring process than they think.

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