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Engineering a better way to hire programmers


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Success in coding tests does not correlate with coding skill.

Triplebyte looked at the correlation between the correctness and quality of a candidate’s solution to a FizzBuzz-type test and his or her success in the 45-minute coding interview. According to Harj Taggar, candidates are given a score for the latter that “looks at a number of factors e.g. progress made on the problem, cleanliness of code, depth of understanding of concepts behind the problem.” The correlation between solving the FizzBuzz-like test correctly and scoring well in the coding interview was less than 20%.

Sounding knowledgable about past technical projects is a poor indicator of coding ability.

Triplebyte found that a candidate’s ability to speak intelligently about past technical projects, even complex ones, was a weak predictor of coding skill. Specifically, the company only found a 20% correlation between a candidate being rated as impressive based on discussing past experiences and doing well in the 45-minute coding session.

Discerning between sounding knowledgeable and actually being knowledgeable is tough, especially when hiring managers and recruiters aren't always subject matter experts.  It will be interesting to see how Triplebyte does with a larger more diverse sample. 

Agreed. This is why a reference from someone they've worked with is usually helpful.

What is interesting, does those statistics questions the usefulness of "speaking about past technical projects" and "Fizz-Buzz type tests", or "coding sessions"? And what was the correlation with the quality of work of those who ended up being hired?

Unclear but I would imagine it does not correlate as well as they think. 

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