Company Coding Challenge Update

Published Jul 06, 2017Last updated Jul 07, 2017
Company Coding Challenge Update

This post is an update to my original post: I Just Finished a Company’s Coding Challenge, and Here’s What I Learned

See the challenge on Github

Did you get the job?

No.

In fact, I haven’t heard anything, at all.

Lessons Learned

If I were to do this again, I’d do it differently:

  • the challenge should be no more than a couple hours
  • I would want to speak with a hiring manager first (not just a recruiter)
  • I would make really sure I wanted to work for the company

Not having any communication with someone in a hiring position before or after completing the challenge was pretty naive on my part.

Do you still think it was worth the time?

Yes, but only because I’ve been able to get some use out of what I did.

As I had hoped, I have taken my experience and turned it into something that new (or experienced) developers can learn from.

Further, I’ve put my finished challenge on Github as an example of what I can do when forced to use nothing but jQuery and a PHP framework that I’ve never used before.

It’s not a masterpiece, but I’d consider it a pretty good prototype.

Some Great Advice From Others

After sharing this story, a lot of great developers weighed in with their thoughts, and I got a lot out of their perspectives:

  • I could have used that time to build a more exciting and challenging app that would better showcase my abilities.
  • The restrictions on the challenge forced me into a position where I couldn’t do my best work.
  • The dynamic of the exercise encouraged the perspective that I was the only one that stood to gain something from a working relationship.

Found this interesting / helpful?

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Comments, questions and constructive feedback are always welcome.


My name is Patrick O’Dacre, and I’m a software developer currently available for new opportunities.

It has been my pleasure to create ground-breaking e-commerce order systems, beautiful sales dashboards, and complex data grids with some incredibly talented people that made sure work never felt like work.

Some of my favorite tools include Vue.js, React.js, Node.js and Laravel, and I’m always excited to learn new things.

I love building great things with great people. Let’s build something great together.

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Esteban Negri
2 months ago

The fact that they did not reply you after all this time shows how little companies care about potential employers. I think they are losing great employees for silly biased stuff.

I’m looking for a job as well and I had many different types of interviews, I’m ok with almost all of them, except the ones that you have to solve some kind of tricky code puzzle in 30 mins (CodementorX does it btw).

Interviews are becoming a hassle and I’m at a point where I have to decide between continuing looking for a job or build a team and find clients myself.

Patrick O'Dacre
2 months ago

Interviews are becoming a hassle. I completely agree.

There’s a reason why many prominent developers say interviewing is largely broken in the industry.

If, as a candidate, I’m not given the chance to pair program with a potential teammate and discuss coding decisions and problems, I don’t see how either party can get a clear picture of what working together will actually be like.

James
2 months ago

Good point! Whenever I’m asked to do coding challenges, I just grumble for about 15 minutes, and then build something for my portfolio and push it to GitHub instead.

Patrick O'Dacre
2 months ago

Definitely seems like the better way to go. And you know, had I been more diligent to push regularly to my github, I would be in a stronger position to decline challenges and suggest a pair programming session instead. A company’s reaction to that suggestion would be very telling, too.

After all, I’m interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing me.

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