So you hate those whiteboard interviews, huh?

João Osório on February 22, 2019

A lot of people have started to learn to code. If you got to social networks hashtags related to coding are a rising trend. The site Hackernoon eve... [Read Full]
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You make the (perhaps not very warranted) assumption that prowess at solving puzzles on a whiteboard is closely associated with a person's skills for efficiently developing maintainable software.

That this is an invalid assumption is the main argument against whiteboard interviews, so I'm somewhat surprised that you don't address that.


Thank you for your remark. It's in fact a questionable technique for developer evaluation. But with everyone learning to code, what's your take on the subject?


From my own experience, far more reliable information can be gleaned from questions like

  • what libraries and frameworks do you regularly use and [this being the important bit] what do you like and dislike about them, what are their strengths and what are the issues you tends to get when using them?
  • what are the organisational and process issues you have noticed in different teams in the past? and how have you (and the team) tried to remedy them?
  • how would you define reliable code? How does reliability relate to things like security, return-on-investment, time-to-production, etc?

What these kind of open-ended questions offer, is that they let you evaluate how your prospective team mate handles problems and to what degree their knowledge goes beyond textbook stuff and relates to the real-world practicalities of software development.

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