Anyone else had to do a Codility test?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by bulldoze, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. bulldoze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #1
    So I applied for a Test engineer job last week and the company insisted I do a online Codility programming test. I have just completed this and feel fairly sure I submitted reasonably good solutions for 2 of the 3 tests but I ran out of time on the third one and had to submit a solution that did not work.

    Now this is the first time I have ever heard of these tests and it was a bit of a shock to have to do one as although I do a bit of basic scripting I don't really touch any programming in day to day work.

    A few questions for next time:

    I did all three tests in Python, would it have been advisable to do each test in a different language to show flexibility?

    I did not write or submit any test cases for the code that I wrote. I simply tested the code in another IDE with variable prints and then copy and pasted the solution into the Codility web interface - would I be marked down for this? the Codility FAQ seemed to suggest that this was fine but as the test time line is recorded I am not so sure.

    Once submitted I did not receive any feedback on my code - is this usual?

    Thanks.
     
  2. cqexbesd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #2
    It really depends on the job you are going for and what they asked for - if the only language they are interested in is Python then its probably fine. If the job ad said something about other languages being required then maybe it would be different. As some languages lend themselves to certain problems and with the time constraints inherent in the system, I, personally, would expect someone to use a high level language more often than not.

    Again it depends on the job and what the interviewers are looking for. Presumably you get to speak to them as well as having done the test, either by attaching notes or in person and I expect they will ask you how you found the test. That will give you an opportunity to explain your methodology. I would be suspicious of someone who didn't test but unless specified that you should attach test cases in Codility I don't think there is any problem in having done them separately.

    Yes, I don't think Codility give you any - you need to wait for your interviewers.

    HTH,

    Andrew
     
  3. bulldoze thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
  4. spiffers Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #4
    When I was interviewed for my current job, I just said: I don't do tests. You wanted me, sign the dotted line, if not, stop wasting my time.
     
  5. danmart macrumors 6502a

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #5
    That's your right and privilege. As a person who regularly recruits technical people, I would decline your offer.
     
  6. spiffers Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #6
    There is a big difference between an potential employee applying for a job, and a recruiter contacting a candidate for a job offer. For the first case, I guess testing is in its place, but not in the second. If the recruiter needs to test a candidate, then my claim is that there has not been adequate research. Most recruiters are just sending emails to StackOverflow users, as well as contributors on GitHub, without actually analyzing the contributions or the answers. It looks like they are casting a pretty narrow meshed net in a wide arch, and then sifting out the talent by testing them. Thats just lazy, disrespectful and a waste of time for all the involved parties.
     
  7. danmart macrumors 6502a

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #7
    Fair enough, but the OP said they applied for a job, not that they were head-hunted.
     
  8. cqexbesd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #8
    Mostly from watching my partner do endless tests while looking for work I have an objection to these kinds of tests. They usually take an undue amount of time from the candidate and are required too early in the process. The tests often seem irrelevant to the job in question as well.

    In my career I think I have only done such a test once. Perhaps not entirely coincidently the company that required it were so disorganised that by the time they offered me the job I had already taken another. Every other job has relied purely on interviews, technical or otherwise.

    If you are using tests to screen candidates you are pushing the costs onto the unpaid party of the transaction and maybe you should look at improving your interview technique so the costs are born by those being paid.

    That said my current employer has a custom programming task. I argue against its administration and I don't think its been that great at determining how good an employee ends up being - just how much free time they have (i.e. how many hours they currently work, how old their children are, are they (temporarily or otherwise) a single parent etc).
     
  9. danmart macrumors 6502a

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #9
    We do tests as a companion to the face-to-face interview, so you are already at the second and final stage if we ask you to take one.
     
  10. bulldoze thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #10
    Just to clarify:

    My situation was a bit odd as I had already sat a face-face interview with the test manager and a head of department. The week after was when I was asked to do the online coding test. At no point during the face to face interview was I asked about coding skills.

    My guess is that as my CV states that I had a working knowledge of Python and Java they exercised due diligence and set out to find if I was being truthful. There was a follow up telephone interview with the test manager and the software development head but again no mention of the coding test and I forgot to bring it up.

    I was offered the role and should start in the next couple of weeks.
     
  11. danmart macrumors 6502a

    danmart

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    #11
    It's definitely bad form to ask a candidate to take a test out of the blue.

    Good luck with your new role!
     
  12. hajime, Dec 16, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017

    hajime macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #12
    I heard that even with correct program, one could get only 50% unless the code is highly optimized. Even professional programmers could fail the test. Is this really true? I have been asked to take a 3-hour codility test that is not really related to the job I applied for. Seems to be a waste of my time.
     
  13. alien3dx macrumors 6502

    alien3dx

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    #13
    i hate test.. it nothing related with job scope anyway. programming is flexible. and time consuming.. Unless you don't have proper plan and money.. Don't waste other people time...

    A lot i see wannabe like facebook and argue thinking it was cheap cost.
     

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