Coding challenges are tests sent to potential employees by a company. They are typically served as a first-round interview to get an initial technical/coding signal on candidates.
There are three typical formats of a coding challenge:
1. Take-home test: This is the most basic format. You will be sent the description of the coding challenge via email and asks you to solve it on your own, from home. With this approach, they don’t require you to solve it in a certain time. Usually, the company will give you at least 3 days to finish and submit the test. It will have 2 parts: multiple choice (optional) and coding session (compulsory)
*Pros: No timing pressure, comfortable space
*Cons: hard to evaluate the potential ability of candidates or control cheating problems, waste time for both company and candidates
2. Coding test with time limitation: this one is similar to the take-home test except for the time limitation. Usually, they expect the coding challenge would take to be solved within 1 hour. It will also have 2 parts: multiple choice (optional) and coding session (compulsory)
*Pros: save time for both candidates and recruiters
*Cons: a short period of time, too much pressure leading to mistakes and bad performance, do not have chance to think outside the box and go the extra mile (this will be a very good point in the perspective of recruiters), hard to control cheating problems
3. Live coding challenge: This format has become very common these days. You will be invited to have the coding challenge in front of some other developers in their office and then come up with solutions right away. Some companies even ask candidates to address coding challenges on papers:) However, basically, the recruiters will mostly care about how you approach solving the problem, more than your final solution.
*Pro: Getting many golden opportunities to apply for famous companies
*Cons: Timing pressure, feel less confident since you are expected to think on the spot and find out a solution for the coding challenge with the presence of many experienced developers.
1. Host your final work on a website. Nowadays, most of the dev teams are relying on git for managing their code. For example, it is not so hard to push your coding challenge code to a Github repository with a nice read.me file and clear commit messages. This shows professionalism and helps the recruitment team review your work easier, especially if you were asked to solve the coding challenge from home.
2. Go the extra mile. First of all, you should have a fixed and clean code structure. This will show your logical way of thinking when approaching issues. Writing test is also a good action to prove that you care about the maintainability of your code. The recruitment team would more appreciate it if you thought outside of the box and did some sort of improvement to the original requirement of the coding challenge. For example, they might have asked you to build a simple to-do list; but you could go the extra mile and add some nice icons and fonts and spend a bit of time styling it for a more appealing look.
3. Stay calm. As the name says “challenge”, just remind yourself that doing poorly on the coding challenge doesn’t automatically mean you don’t have the ability. If you don’t perform well on the coding test, you can still make it through the interview process thanks to other good performances. So be patient, be calm down and you can make it!
4. Be honest. Candidates should do the tests themselves instead of asking other people to do them. Remember that the interviewers might ask you to explain it in detail in the next rounds.
5. Practice makes perfect. The candidates should spend time practicing on what they are not confident in like Data Structures, Algorithms, Database, System Design… before doing the real test
6. Good time management skills. Time is always the biggest challenge for candidates when solving coding challenges. You need to know how to arrange the time logically so that you won’t skip any parts and show your best performance.
Thus, the coding challenge has always been an important part of recruiting process and helps many IT companies to hire talented developers. So if you wanna challenge yourself and get your code mood on during this quarantine time, join the Coding challenge with NFQ Asia now to get chances to win our attractive prizes costing up to VND 10,000,000!
Register form: https://forms.gle/VV53fR9U9eG3sZ4x9