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Talent Assessment | 3 Min Read

Coding Test Online: A Sure Way To Get The Right Coders

Introduction

Digital competences plus skills are some of the primary conditions for the success of the digital transformation of any firm. How should we assess programming skills? Asking candidates to write code in a traditional hand-written exam produces poor results. It is nearly impossible to grade such code meaningfully. With online coding tests, one can assess programming skills before making a hire.

Computer programming is the process of developing and implementing different sets of instructions to enable a computer. These allow it to perform a particular task, solve problems, and provide human interactivity. These source codes which are written in a programming language are considered computer programs and help the computer to operate smoothly.

The Need for Online Coding Assessments

Modern programming is an online process involving interaction between the programmer and the computer. Few candidates can get their code right on the first attempt since debugging and testing is an important aspect of the programming process. To assess programming skills, you need to provide candidates with an authentic programming environment in which to test their code.

Only then is it fair for you to run their code and use correctness tests as your measure of their ability? An online coding test is just one aspect of the assessment. It is an efficient and flexible way of testing one’s coding ability. It is particularly valued for immediate feedback. In a laboratory context, the instant grading of each question helps maintain motivation.

Candidates work very hard to pass a test and, it demotivates them to get marked wrong on a question. So, they do take the time to see that they get it right before moving on. Candidates love being able to keep track of their level of understanding throughout the test.

In any exam context, candidates find receiving immediate feedback good which is possible in online tests. This is helpful as it removes the uncertainty of not knowing how they’re performing. And, they appreciate leaving the test knowing their grade. You’ll also appreciate having to do less in assessing test results of many coders.

Having an online test rather than a hand-written one also yields some interesting insights. You can track how students perform on each question. So you can immediately spot topic areas that prove problematic and appear to discriminate against good candidates. The progress of individual coders during the test called a grade trajectory can be plotted. Therefore, you can see which candidates were close to their final mark a few minutes to the end of the test.

What to Look for in a Code Assessment Tool?

Does It Provide a Flexible Penalty Regime?

It needs to allow authors to tailor the grading to the context. Does it have some questions that apply a no resubmission penalty?  It has to be able to support any text-based programming language with built-in question types available for C, PHP, Java, JavaScript, Python,  and Octave Matlab.

Is It Highly Scalable?

An excellent tool has to be with questions that can from simple fill-in-the-blank coding questions through to fairly important assignments. Thus, the test quizzes have to mix with other computer-graded question types like numeric, short answer, multi-choice, or matching. You can seamlessly integrate essay questions gradable by humans.

To get the right people for your coding needs, you need to assess their skills. You need a reputable online firm to help you with this.

You may also like to read: When Quality Matters: Measuring Programmer Effectiveness with Online Coding Tests

Originally published March 27 2018, Updated June 26 2020

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