Summer of last year, I stumbled on a job ad on LinkedIn for a position for a Freelance React developer at a company overseas. I got excited and applied, having high expectations of the company.
A few days after, I was contacted by the company's HR on LinkedIn. She asked me a few questions at first about myself and my skills, then told me that I need to finish a technical assessment test. The assessment test would be done through an online portal and would be an hour long.
I agreed and asked what would the assessment test cover, and the HR answered "Concepts basically. The test will just check your knowledge about React"
I was more than fine with that, as I have a lot of experience in React and would consider myself pretty skilled at it. However, I still went through the documentation for React in general, to make sure that I am ready and I didn't miss or forget anything.
After prepping for the test, I went into the test with full confidence, to be completely surprised. The test had two questions related to basic mathematics, and one of them was writing a function that computes the GCD/LCM.
My first reaction, to be completely honest, was "?????". How is that related to my React knowledge? Why would you test me with such basic and irrelevant questions? I'm aware that the test could be to check my code, how I think, or how my approach would be, but couldn't it be a little more related to the job I'm actually applying for? Isn't the company at least aware that such a basic question anyone can easily google and find the code for online?
After thinking about it, I closed the test and contacted the HR telling her I'm no longer interested in the job.
It's Time For A Change
This isn't the first or only company that does this. So many companies rely on these sorts of tests to hire their talents. But isn't it time to move away from these tests? Do we still need to test people on such old concepts and methods?
Anyone who has worked a day in their life in this industry knows that it's not about the code or how high your technical skills are. You need people who are willing and are ready to learn and grow. You need people who think outside the box, who will provide solutions to real-life problems, who will take on challenges and provide the best results.
Another thing we should consider is that the beginners of today are different than when we were beginners years ago. Beginners today don't need to learn, in my own opinion, older concepts that are no longer relevant now. Beginners today are starting with newer concepts, frameworks, ways of thinking, and even ways of learning, and companies should start looking into that.
In addition to all of that, it's time we acknowledge that it's more than ok to not remember the simple details of some programming language skills that we can simply Google. In fact, it's time we acknowledge that "Googling" should be a skill that you need to master. It will save you so much time and will not make you less of a good developer.
I hope companies stop with these useless technical interviews. It's time for companies to realize that when you're looking for an employee or a freelancer or a developer for any sort of role, there are far more important qualities you need to look for in the person you're hiring. Assess their creativity and their approach to unique or real-life problems. Take into account their personality and work ethics. Figure out if you're investing in talents, or you're just hiring a coding machine.