Full Stack Coding Challenge: Pedigree vs. Potential

Analyze a full stack developer with a full stack coding challenge

The retention of talent is vital to a company's survival. Despite the industry, many companies base their hiring decisions on pedigree. While status is important, a hiring decision should not be made entirely based on pedigree. Candidates with potential are what keep companies thriving and long-lasting. Analyzing an applicant's skill set and potential to adapt to the tech industry is crucial before offering a full-time or part-time position. One of the ways you can analyze a developer's potential is to use full stack coding challenges.

The Importance of Analyzing a Candidate's Potential

Developers are shaping our futures. The person you hire to create your code base can change the way your company does business. This change can be good or bad. That is why it is so important to evaluate a developer before letting them access your company's information. 

Many companies hire entirely on pedigree, which doesn’t have to be bad if those candidates' potential is also evaluated. The following is an example of a common scenario:

A large fortune 500 hires directly from a specific ivy league school because the founder graduated from there. They find their candidates by giving presentations and handing out cards on campus. Students have someone propose their name to a hiring manager, and they set up an interview. The interviewer gives recommendations and does a face-to-face interview where the candidate does well. They seem charismatic, smart, patient, and understanding. They are hired and then put to the test after they are given the job. 

The problem with this scenario is that recommendations and word-of-mouth can only go so far. This student may have passed every one of their classes with flying colors but never once applied any of the knowledge to real-world scenarios. Therefore they aren’t truly eligible for the position. It’s great if the student knows how to learn on the job, as that is a skill set worthy of hiring, but this isn’t always the case. Real-world situations will hit them hard, and they may realize they are not fit for the position and move on, using your company as padding for a resume. 

There is another downside to hiring directly from a pedigree. Especially in the technology industry, not all of the best applicants will be learning from prestigious schools and spending a lot of money on higher education. Many full stack developers come from smaller schools and a mostly self-taught discipline. These are the candidates that will transform your company.     

Evaluations: Using Full Stack Coding Challenges

The best way to truly evaluate a candidate's skill sets is by creating a challenge and setting up an environment where someone's pedigree won’t get in the way. This way, your company doesn’t just end up being a name on a resume without receiving anything in return. Full stack coding challenges can give you the insight you need. Although, when giving a full stack coding challenge, you must define what you are seeking. Analyze the skills needed for the position and look for them during the challenge. Here are a few to take into consideration:

Skills To Evaluate 

  • Communication Skills
  • Patience
  • Practical Data Analysis
  • Abstract Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Knowledge of:
    - Algorithms
    - Debugging
    - IDEs
    - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Git, PHP, etc.

While coming up with a challenge may seem difficult, it’s quite simple. Verify with the development team what type of daily activities they run through and where there is a lack of knowledge on the team. After determining this information, you can guide your scenarios to emphasize different skill sets. 

It’s also important to facilitate the use of a shared environment in which candidates can share their expertise. If the hiring process is virtual, this can be done with a virtual meeting environment with screen-sharing features. It’s also beneficial to have an environment where the coder can create diagrams. A lot of coding comes down to planning and analysis. Have candidates create diagrams of a planning procedure for the lifecycle of specific software in real-time to better understand their thought processes. 

During the full stack coding challenge, encourage explanation with thought-provoking questions. One of the best traits a developer can have is curiosity. Developers are meant to ask questions about an application's creation and come up with innovative answers themselves. Access and assess candidates globally, all with great potential using full stack coding challenges and Filtered. 

Filtered is a leader in skills-based hiring. Our end-to-end technical hiring platform enables you to spend time reviewing only the most qualified candidates, putting skills and aptitude at the forefront of your decisions. We’ll help you automate hiring while applying objective, data-driven techniques to consistently and confidently select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo.