A representative of an organization called TestDome Ltd contacted me a couple days ago. Today, they pinged me again, asking “Any thoughts on this?”. What they wanted my thoughts on was whether I could use their service of automating using programming quizzes to filter out folks in the (often long-winding) hiring process. My answer was as follows:
My thought is that this type of automation cannot solve the type of hiring problems we have at Netflix. Programming tests embody an extremely poor evaluation of senior programmers. Senior programmers leverage their past experience to effectively combine the best existing solutions in such a way that they’ve created some new, maintainable and sustainable. Senior programmers are good at working with others. They conform to, while incrementally improving, coding style and standards. The only way to pre-suppose about these things is looking through open source contributions, Stack Overflow answers, behavior on Twitter and then pair programming with them. An automated programming quiz merely tests how long they’ve spent doing automated programming quizzes.