A well documented public portfolio is a much stronger representation of what a candidate can contribute than anything else because it is literally the closest thing you can get to the employee working for you. A public portfolio with contributions to OSS and personal projects shows so much more value than a 2 - 3 hour interview ever can.
The current interviewing process for software engineers heavily favors code golfers, and this attitude leads to an industry where startups, after the release of Pokemon Go, chase AR for investment dollars on unused product functionality. It results in tech giants that say things like 'Move Fast and Break Things'. An employer who values a GitHub portfolio looks like an employer who wants engineers deeply involved in their community that can also provide real world value.
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