Spreedly Engineering

Programming Puzzles Are Not the Answer

A guide to creating fair and effective hiring work samples.

It’s a common topic of discussion amongst technical organizations that the traditional, in-person, conversation-based, interview process for developers is flawed. The conventional process does not measure a candidate’s ability to perform the job in question, does not result in more successful hires, and allows for implicit bias. As a result, many companies use an interview process based on programming puzzles: one-time exercises that test a candidate’s ability to solve a specific, well-known problem.

While this may be a step in the right direction, it’s still a hugely biased and ineffective approach to hiring. In this post I explain how we do hiring at Spreedly and, specifically, how we measure a candidate’s competence using job and company specific work samples.

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