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Why coding simulators are key to recruiting the top coders

Talent Assessment | 3 Min Read

Why coding simulators are key to recruiting the top coders


The role of skilled coders has become increasingly vital in an ever-evolving technology landscape. Identifying the right coders for a team or project is often challenging for recruiters and managers. Mercer | Mettl’s coding simulators help address and solve this challenge by offering a multifaceted approach to assessing candidates, allowing recruiters to gauge their practical coding skills, problem-solving abilities, and adaptability to real-world scenarios.

By simulating actual real-world coding problems and providing an interactive platform for candidates to showcase their talents, these tools enable an accurate evaluation of their capabilities. Coding simulators have brought about a paradigm shift in tech recruitment. These innovative tools redefine the hiring process, enabling companies to identify top-tier coding talent with unmatched precision and efficiency and assemble a team of exceptional coders.




What are coding simulators?

Mercer | Mettl’s coding simulators check standard coding techniques and analytical, interpretational, and holistic thinking skills. Candidates write code from scratch and are evaluated on various parameters. Simulators create real-life environments to check the candidates’ capability to work on real-life projects. It provides insights into the candidate’s coding skills and problem-solving abilities, which are crucial to programming. Simulator-based tests enable testing candidates’ understanding of these concepts with practical applications.


Types of coding simulators

Mercer | Mettl provides various types of coding simulators that provide a comprehensive coding environment for developers, QA engineers, data scientists, and other roles.

The different types of coding simulators are:

  • Codelysis: It is a back-end development simulator that evaluates a candidate's experience and capability to solve a problem. It is an easy-to-use simulator supporting 30+ languages. It develops and codes the back-end business logic.
  • DBLysis: It refers to the database development simulator that evaluates database query writing capabilities supporting all major database languages, including MySQL, Oracle SQL, etc. It measures the candidate's ability to write correct and optimized SQL queries.
  • FES: It evaluates the candidate's capability to implement web designs and solve problems using front-end technologies. It refers to the front-end coding simulator that designs webpages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It also uses JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, React, and Vue.
  • I/O simulator: These are role-based coding simulators with a combination of multiple integrated development environments (IDEs) and tools and support software development, data science and machine learning. It creates a real-world coding experience.


Benefits of coding simulators

Mercer | Mettl’s coding simulators bring several benefits to the hiring process. These assessments provide a standardized way to evaluate candidates’ technical abilities, ensuring that the selected candidates are well-equipped to contribute effectively to their roles. Some of its benefits are:


Benefits of coding simulators

Quality hires:

Coding assessments are crucial in identifying candidates with optimum coding skills. This practical demonstration goes beyond what can be inferred from a resume or interview alone. Candidates performing well in these assessments are more likely to contribute meaningfully to the organization.

Reduced bias:

Coding assessments are objective and are focused on technical skills. All candidates are evaluated based on their coding abilities, regardless of personal characteristics. This uniform evaluation process reduces biases arising from subjective evaluations and contributes to diversity and equity in the recruitment process.


Mercer | Mettl’s coding simulator is characterized by flexibility. The user can utilize the pre-existing tests or customize their own as per the requirements.

Plagiarism check:

Mercer | Mettl’s coding simulators detect code similarity based on identical lines, code structure and other parameters via an automated system providing an effective plagiarism check.

Skill validation:

Coding assessments provide a practical and standardized way for hiring managers to verify candidates’ coding skills. Candidates completing coding tasks aligned with the job’s technical requirements display proficiency. This validation ensures that candidates have the skills required to fulfill the job responsibilities effectively, enhancing the accuracy of the hiring process.

Saved resources:

The recruitment process can be time-consuming and resource-intensive if a large number of candidates need to be evaluated. Coding assessments help filter candidates who meet the technical requirements early, promoting them to subsequent stages of recruitment.

Accurate reports:

Coding assessments generate real-time reports that offer insights into various aspects of the recruitment process. These reports highlight hiring patterns, helping organizations make better decisions about their hiring strategies and identify potential technical skill gaps. By evaluating candidates’ programming understanding and problem-solving skills, employers can better align candidates with the specific technical requirements of different job positions.

Code playback and custom scoring:

Mercer | Mettl provides a code playback feature that shares the full video of code recorded at each keystroke better to understand the candidates’ thoughts and program execution process. Code playback records the video of the evolution of code at each compilation.


Mercer | Mettl’s AI Sense

Mercer | Mettl’s AI Sense identifies the credibility of programming skills. AI Sense is a new code quality indicator combatting heightened concerns around candidates using Generative AI tools during coding tests.

The algorithm harnesses the power of Generative AI sensing and identifying instances of AI-generated code. Alongside the plagiarism score in code reports, the AI Sense score indicates the probability of a candidate utilizing AI tools such as ChatGPT, Bard or GitHub Copilot.





Coding simulators streamline the hiring process and provide a holistic view of a coder’s potential, paving the way for a dynamic and proficient coding workforce. Embracing these simulators has become a strategic necessity to stay ahead in a highly competitive tech landscape. By leveraging the power of Mercer | Mettl’s coding simulators, companies can hire the right coders and foster an environment of learning and growth.



What is a coding simulator?

How do you test coding online?

What is the use of a simulator? 

How do you choose the best coding simulator for hiring?

Originally published March 21 2018, Updated September 15 2023

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About This Topic

Online coding tests are used in the technical recruitment process to screen programmers and coders. Online programming tests usually consist of MCQs and simulators to test their knowledge and hands-on skills.

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