Coding Tests to Use and Avoid When Hiring Developers

Coding skills tests are controversial because they're not very popular among software engineers. Many people dislike them because they think it forces engineers to do free work and because they don't believe it provides an accurate picture of a developer's skills. However, these tests can be useful if you use the right types of tests. In fact, some skills tests can improve the candidate's experience.

If you're looking to hire competent developers for your company, here are the tests we recommend using and avoiding for better results:

1. Avoid: Brain Teasers

These questions give you no insight into the candidate's ability to solve real-world problems. They also mislead you into thinking that you're hiring a developer who can outsmart their peers.

2. Use: Technical Problem Solving

Solving problems is what developers do every day. With this, you can see how the candidate approaches complex challenges and their thought patterns. This is helpful when you're evaluating a candidate's potential and will give you great insight into how well they can learn new things.

3. Avoid: Whiteboarding Tests

Whiteboarding tests are one of the most popular ways to evaluate a developer's technical ability. They don't provide an accurate picture of what a developer is capable of doing and can be very time-consuming for both parties. If you're looking for a way to evaluate written code, a better solution is to have the candidate submit a link to their code on GitHub or another open-source code repository.

4. Use: Pair Programming Tests

These tests force the candidate to work with you and your team and give insight into the candidate's real-life working style. These are a great way to test candidates' problem-solving abilities in a real-world environment. It also gives you a better picture of what the candidate will be like on your team.

5. Avoid: Screening Tests

Screening tests often include logic and math puzzles, similar to brain teasers. They're not very relevant to what a developer does on a day-to-day basis, and they don't provide any vital information about how a candidate will fit with your team. This is why these tests can be highly inaccurate and can result in you hiring the wrong person for the job.

6. Use: Take-Home Challenges

Take-home challenges are similar to problems you would have on a traditional coding test. They give you insight into a candidate's ability and provide them with time to solve a problem at their own pace. You can receive their solution as a link, as well as view their code on GitHub. This also includes your team's code review, which can be incredibly helpful to you.


Coding skills tests are a simple way to evaluate a candidate's technical ability. They can be helpful in finding the right developer for your team and provide insight into your candidates' real-life coding ability. These tests will help you find the best candidates while saving you time and money. If you're looking to hire engineers for your company, make the smarter choice by using the right type of coding skills tests.

Use different assessment test software to streamline your recruitment process. Adopt pre-employment skill testing with the help of our professionals at Kandio, and you’ll have an easier time finding qualified candidates for your team.

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