Tonight, I tested through a series of tests on Codility. Well … kind of.
Codility, for those of you who haven’t heard, is a automated test tool used to filter interview candidates, or for developers to show off their chops. A great idea in practice, what this leads to in reality is testing that is geared to math, because it’s easy to evaluate automatically.
Case in point, the tests I was presented with were:
- Movement/path overlap detection
- Rectilinear space intersection/area calculation
- Binary period location (P [P ≤ Q / 2] and [S[K] = S[K+P] for 0 ≤ K < Q − P])
Of these three questions, I managed to complete one and started trying to understand the other two before I said “Screw this”.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. I had a 33% success rate, and then I just didn’t care enough to keep going. I didn’t consider the problems relevant enough to my ability to bother taking them. I would not consider myself a poor programmer (in fact, a few colleagues have told me the opposite). I have been programming for over ten years, and have developed some really complex projects. I am highly creative, analytical and a good problem solver.
Maybe I’m just cranky because I didn’t complete their testing, but I would not use Codility if I ever needed to hire. Many self-taught developers are in the same boat as I am (lacking the comp-sci math background), but end up being stuck without the luxury of bailing out on the testing, because they need to test for some job they’ve applied for.
Reddit hiring is a much more useful test of ability and problem-solving.