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Talent Assessment | 8 Min Read

Mercer | Mettl I/O: Best Role-Based Assessment Platform to Find & Develop Good Coders

Introduction

There is no single way of measuring the skills of a programmer. A good programmer doesn’t only mean having good coding skills. There are other aspects too that make a coder adept at dealing with programming challenges.

Larry Wall, who invented the pearl programming language, described three qualities of a good programmer – laziness, impatience and hubris. However, these qualities eventually converge at a programmer’s continuous learning capabilities and skills, leading to innovation.

Coding is a domain where new technologies and ideas surface continually. Good coders should grasp new things and hone their skills continuously. It is cumbersome to conduct a coder’s programming skill assessment as it involves different roles that analyze their specific abilities.

In this context, a role-based coding assessment platform works best in evaluating a coder’s skills. It provides a coding environment with real-life projects to assess the broader coding skills for specific roles. It offers tools and processes needed to develop software. A coder is given an interface to undertake a simulation exercise and perform a task within a specified time.

Mercer | Mettl I/O is a unique software solution equipped with the most sophisticated features to make a comprehensive assessment of the coders to ensure successful learning & development initiatives and recruitment drives.

A programmer can be easily evaluated on specific skills using a role-based coding assessment platform, but it doesn’t measure a coder’s laziness and impatience, as suggested by Larry Wall. However, the comprehensiveness of the analytical results assures concrete results. Let’s understand why a role-based coding assessment platform enables careful analysis of software development abilities.

What Is Programming Skill Assessment?

It’s about making individuals undergo various tests and processes to evaluate their coding skills. These assessments are done using a real-life, hands-on project in a coding environment that provides a comprehensive overview of a coder’s skills and prowess. Such coding environments offer detailed reports and analysis of a coder’s thinking process.

Challenges in Programming Skill Assessment

The assessment of coding skills involves applying concepts and the thinking process of an individual while writing a code based on a given challenge. Several challenges emerge while assessing coders.

They are as follows:

Lack of a Comprehensive Method:

There is no holistic approach to coding skill assessment. Therefore, companies miss out on the right methodology to assess the candidates. Excellent coding skills depend on how aptly an individual applies knowledge while programming.

Lack of Industry-Standard Assessment Projects:

It is essential to evaluate the candidates on real-life problems in programming. Similarly, in the corporate scenario, the upskilling of the employees can not be completed without giving them a platform to work on real-life projects.

Lack of Analytical Capabilities:

The candidates’ final assessment depends on the analytical results that comprise statistics and insights from their overall performance. However, the lack of reliable and insightful analytics lead to dissatisfactory candidature.

The purpose of the role-based coding assessment is to use a comprehensive means of giving coders a research-based methodology to apply their coding and problem-solving abilities.

Why Is Mercer | Mettl I/O the Answer to Every Role-Based Coding Assessment Problems?

Mercer | Mettl I/O is a well-crafted tool. But let us first understand the software development roles for which it has been designed. In the domain of software development, various roles decide the entire coding and development process. Mercer| Mettl I/O has been designed as an assessment platform covering every function under coding.

The Mercer | Mettl I/O is a role-based coding assessment platform that provides a combination of multiple integrated development environments and tools. You can give a real-world, hands-on project to evaluate a candidate. Such coding assessment software is equally equipped for various other aspects, such as software development, testing and data sciences. It provides an industry-standard interface that offers customizable features that can be configured based on the specific needs during learning and development and recruitment processes.

Let’s look into various above mentioned software development roles that need a coding environment for testing the skills of a programmer.

Front-End Development

While the user is navigating through the website, their entire visual experiences come under front-end development. All the interactive features on a website, including the menu, font, color scheme, animation and other aspects, are considered the front-end of a website.

 

  • The front-end developer should be able to design a website by using languages, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • The coder should also be well-versed with various frameworks, such as Foundation, Backbone, EmberJS and AngularJS. Knowing these frameworks ensure seamless navigation and visual experience of the content across all devices.
  • They should be aware of various libraries, such as jQuery and LESS.
  • Front-end development also requires using RESTful services and APIs, along with various techniques to dynamically load the web pages.
  • Testing and debugging skills of front-end codes are the unavoidable essentials for a front-end developer.

Back-End Development

The user-facing side of the website uses various types of stored data in a server. Back-end development is used to build and maintain the technology needed to bring all the elements together to support the visual experience.

 

  • A back-end developer should have a good knowledge of Java, C#, Python, PHP, Express, Ruby, Spring, .Net, Django, Laravel, Rails.
  • A back-end developer makes a framework to ensure a smooth interaction between the server, the database and the application.
  • Knowledge of MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server is essential, whereas the development and deployment system comes easy to coders if they are also familiar with PHP frameworks.
  • A well-documented code can only be written if a coder can use these tools efficiently. A back-end developer should possess the skills of implementing different algorithms and data structures.
  • Designing and optimizing various database queries and implementing different programming paradigms make a back-end coder more proficient.

Full-stack development

A full-stack developer should have all the knowledge of front-end and back-end software development. The knowledge related to all the layers in software development is equally necessary for a full-stack developer. In a way, a full-stack developer can work on an idea towards the final product.

 

  • The knowledge of Java, C#, Python, PHP, JavaScript, SQL, Angular, React is essential for a full-stack developer.
  • The full-stack developer should be equally proficient in the front-end and back-end coding techniques.
  • As mentioned in the above section, the knowledge of different frameworks and languages helps a full-stack developer execute a simple idea from start to finish.
  • They should have the ability to work on the clients’ and the server’s applications.
  • Additionally, a full-stack developer should be well-acquainted with SQL/NoSQL databases and various architectures, such as MVC. A full-stack developer is a complete package for software development.

Data Scientist

Data scientists are responsible for gathering structures and unstructured data and analyze them using various tools by implementing analytics for specific business results. Data scientists use the analytics and reporting tools to detect patterns, trends and relationships in the data sets.

 

  • Data scientists should understand various technologies, such as Python, R, SQL, Scala, Apache Spark.
  • The data scientist should be able to extract meaningful insights by comprehensively analyzing the data by using these technologies.
  • These data insights can be turned into some actionable plans for business purposes. Determining patterns and predicting future trends are additional skills for a data scientist.

DevOps Engineer

DevOps engineers support the IT infrastructure for releasing the codes and its deployments. They work with software developers and system operators. They should have a good knowledge of different languages used for development. They should be able to create new codes and also maintain the source code.

 

  • DevOps engineers should be well-acquainted with the operating systems and have a good knowledge of Linux and Windows.
  • They should be aware of the automation and configuration management tools, such as Puppet and Chef and coding with Pearl, PHP, Ruby and Python.
  • A DevOps engineer needs to perform continuous integration and testing.

Quality Assurance Engineer

QA engineers are responsible for ensuring the flawless functioning on the final developed product. They should be able to monitor every phase of software development and maintain the company’s standard while designing and developing them.

  • The QA engineer should be able to document test cases, perform and document risk analysis.
  • Recording test progress and results further assure the best possible results. The QA engineer should have the proper skills to debug and determine product quality.
  • They should be proficient in manual and automated testing and be able to identify potential issues encountered by the users.

How Can Mercer | Mettl I/O Address Your Organizational Needs?

Coding is a vast domain and assessing someone for their particular skills is a time-consuming affair. Creating a coding environment helps in such specific purposes where you have to zero in on an individual or help your employees learn and upskill in a particular software development area.

The unique coding assessment platform – Mercer | Mettl I/O comprises all the needed features and options to comprehensively assess a coder. It is web-based and factors in everything that impacts the candidate’s assessment.

It helps in making the cognitive knowledge easily comprehensible and real for the users. Working on this coding interface makes it much easier to train a candidate for the relevant skills. Mercer | Mettl’s I/O coding assessment platform is easy to use and can be easily customized for various assignments, respective to different software development roles.

 

As the above image suggests, hiring and skilling programs involve 4 steps that encompass important ideas related to software programming.

  • Configure the coding environment– It’s about giving the software developer the complete interface to develop a program. Depending on different software roles, the user is provided with the essential software, packages, libraries and tools.
  • Create real-world challenges– Create a challenge and frame a problem related to a specific domain of software development. Ensure to give the candidate the right set of questions for a comprehensive assessment. Customize these real-world, hands-on problems as learning and development needs.
  • Auto-graded reports- There is no need for human intervention to undertake the final evaluation of the candidates. The assessment is auto-graded and involves all the necessary analytics and coding steps undertaken by the candidate. During learning and development, these auto-graded reports assess the upskilling process fairly.
  • Holistic assessment– You get the best possible results in making a holistic assessment of the candidates’ coding skills. The Mercer | Mettl I/O has been designed to provide comprehensive results considering every detail and step in the software development process.

Upskilling and hiring are the most important domains that seek such coding environments. And every organization looks for some promising ways to cover both the domains for better results. Mercer | Mettl I/O is equipped with all the essential features that support coding skill assessment and the learning & development process, using crucial insights and analytics.

Upskilling

A role-based coding assessment platform works efficiently for learning and development. For example, in your organization, some people may wish to upskill or learn and understand the advancements in the software development domain. Make a comprehensive assessment of the candidates and analyze the essential technical competencies needed to be acquired by the employees for enhanced efficiency.

  • Well-designed coding simulation exercises to enable them to hone their skills periodically by putting efforts in the right direction.
  • Mercer | Mettl I/O coding assessment tool helps empower employees by giving them a real-life scenario for various areas of software development.
  • It provides detailed reports and clear insights. These results are auto-graded and there is no need for any invigilation.
  • Get proper feedback on the skills of every employee and assess their progress in technical knowledge.
  • It is also beneficial to measure the technical standing of your team.

Hiring

Consider a scenario where a candidate applies for a developer’s role and you, as a business owner, want to be sure about the candidate’s skills. You can frame a set of questions related to the job profile and let the candidate work on it. The candidate may answer those questions well. However, such evaluations don’t depict a clear picture, as applying the same knowledge can be different for different individuals. The practical aspect of knowledge lends more transparency.

  • Mercer | Mettl I/O creates the needed coding environment while recruiting the right candidates for various profiles in software development.
  • You can customize and create a coding environment to check the specific skills of a developer.
  • Give the candidate a real-life, hands-on project and evaluate the coding and debugging skills.
  • Optimize the hiring process using data-driven insights and automated evaluation.

How Mercer | Mettl I/O Can Help?

The role-based coding assessment platform from Mercer | Mettl is a highly sophisticated tool with essential features that easily create a coding environment. It works on cloud technology and the portal can be accessed from anywhere.

  • It includes all the globally used coding languages.
  •  Using these simulation coding techniques allows you to give a real-life project to a coder from a specific domain of software development
  • It is easily customizable and you can choose features and applications based on particular needs. 
  • It provides comprehensive reports that are fully auto-graded
  • There is no need for human intervention to create detailed reports. You can view the reports on the particular skills of a coder. 
  • It also includes contextual code completion and parameter information. Debugging is easy and you can easily view the state of code variables.

We collaborated with a renowned insurance company from Europe that wanted to reskill 12,000+ employees across 15+ geographies. It was a cumbersome task that required strategic execution. The key challenges were:

  • The insurance industry is changing gradually, so skill development programs were needed for employees to enhance their efficiency. 
  • Impact analysis of learning and development programs for the next three years.
  • Assess the employees’ technical proficiency in the domain of relevant skills.

Mercer | Mettl did an extensive study of the insurance industry and categorized the overall strategy into three steps.

Identification-

It involved understanding the client’s needs and skill mapping. Clustering of the candidates for further assessment based on their needs in skill development.

Assessment-

Putting employees through various web-based assessment tools to understand their personality and functional knowledge.

Analysis-

It is the analysis of the extensive reports that feature deep analytics and data-driven insights, depicting a clearer picture of the learning and development program.

With such extensive analysis, the company got a fair idea of its prospects and how it should go about reskilling its employees with concrete steps. The insights helped the company to have a fair idea of the impact of automation, understand the need for an on-demand workforce and the need and methodology of upskilling its employees.

The Mercer | Mettl I/O is a complete role-based coding assessment platform that helps in learning & development and recruitment of the skillful coders. You can use it to hire an Avant-grade coder and for your internal training purposes or internal projects. We at Mercer | Mettl provide full support so that your experience while using our solution remains seamless.

Originally published July 6 2020, Updated August 13 2020

Vipul Srivastav

Written by

Vipul Srivastav is a seasoned marketing professional with expertise in branding and communication. He writes on numerous web platforms to share his views and experiences on various topics. In his free time, he does photography, reads fiction, listens to U2, and stays curious about the outer space.

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