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With the rising number of take-home assignments spread all over the internet, the day isn’t far when these assignments will replace the traditional whiteboard interviews. But should we be excited about this change? In case, this is the first time you have heard about take-home assignments, it is exactly what its name suggests. Assignments that you can do that at home!

A good take-home assignment shouldn’t take the ideal candidate for more than a few hours to complete. They should only test the main function of the real work instead of asking you to build it from scratch. Any good take-home assignment should provide the boiler plate code to enable the candidate to dive into the task without spending unnecessary time on the setup. So obviously, any assignment that wishes for you to make an entire app from scratch or read an extremely detailed document that takes up to at least a week to understand is out of the question.

Now, that we are clear about what they are, are they useful? Or just a mockery for all the individuals who are looking for a job? Well, I will be the first to admit, I hate homework, and in a certain light, take-home assignments look suspiciously similar to homework. It honestly sounds a bit like doing a bunch of different homework for a group of different companies who are not even guaranteeing an interview call.

However, if there was one take-home assignment fit all, we might be onto something. Just think about it, you complete an assignment that lasts for about three to four hours and it’s accepted in ten companies. Now, all that is left is to wait for an interview call! Had each company taken the liberty to provide their own assignment, and each assignment took at least three hours to complete, you would have spent thirty hours on just applying! So, not only did you cut the labor time to a tenth of what it was, but you also showcased the skillsets required for your desired job.

In addition, since you are no longer exhausted from completing so many assignments, the small errors of not sending your solution in a zip folder or not sharing the link where you posted the code won’t worry you to death. Because, this time, you had enough brains left to remember to do it.

So, let’s chalk this point to talk-home assignments,

A single take-home assignment for a common position for various companies is a valuable asset for job hunters.

The next greatest advantage of take-home assignments is that they favor you. Have you ever gone to a technical interview where the questions seemed to be designed for a college graduate who had eaten up all the questions on Leetcode? It’s very easy to get frustrated by such interviews when the entire session takes at least an hour and you have not even been asked anything pertaining to the actual job you would be doing. In fact, you must have wondered how is it helpful to test someone about some Data Structures and Algorithm questions copied off Leetcode when the job in question has no relation to it.

Instead of leaving you in a wild goose chase, take-home assignments let you show off what you’re good at it while being relevant to the actual job in hand. In addition, they are a great conversation starter for the interviewer to figure out how good you are in your field. After all, understanding what you don’t know won’t serve the interviewer or the company any gain. 

Now, they could research about any open source projects that have you have previously done and question the why, what, and how about your execution of the project. But, let’s be real, most of the time the number of applicants they are considering can go up to at least a hundred. Hence, by doing a simple enough assignment, you open the road to all sorts of questions about a field that you know best.

In addition, to all that, by opting for a take- assignment you can do everything in the comfort of your own bed on a system that you know inside out. Adding to that, take-home assignments not only test your knowledge over the work you would be doing but also mimics the atmosphere of the real-world workflow. Maybe not the attire, but the resources at your dispense are exactly what you would be provided during a normal workday.

So, take-home assignments gain a plus one over whiteboard interview,

As they allow you to display your strengths while testing you on the work you would be doing.

 

Now, I might argue that this is why we have GitHub accounts – to showcase our strengths and guide the interview in our direction – which is a valid point. It would be foolish to argue that GitHub does not have some role in filtering out candidates. It proves to be a great platform to see what work a person has done, to get an idea about what their strengths are, and to check if the candidates have proper working ethics.

However, should it be the big hiring decision?

 In all candidness, no, it should not. Every individual on GitHub need not have the same use of it. Some individuals might use it for backup, after all, would I be wrong to assume that git might still have that one code you stored in 2008. Or, maybe some might want a hosted page for their project docs. While perhaps others would prefer it to collaborate with other developers. After all, with tools like forking and cloning, which allow you to pull different repositories on your system, GitHub makes for a fantastic co-editing tool.

However, because of the availability of such tools, many hiring managers are hesitant about making the final decision based on your GitHub alone. After all, the credibility of the code being your own does get shaken when tools like fork and clone are readily available. In addition, there is extremely little value in going through someone’s GitHub account without context.

Think about it. GitHub provides no real way of customizing your profile page. It pushes the most popular repos to the top without any say from you. You get to see what others think is important, but can’t edit it to what you find useful, which is essential when sending it to an employer. For what’s the point of showing what kind of APIs you have made when the job in question deals with Machine Learning? Because of all this chaos, how is any hiring manager supposed to find the benchmark for such varied projects to grade them when they do not even understand what is relevant to the job in question?

Which brings me to the last point, GitHub is not your portfolio. A portfolio is an edited collection tailored to the said job in question or whoever you are trying to impress. GitHub, on the other hand, is an incoherent mess featuring all the work you have done to date. Unexplained, unfiltered, unordered. GitHub, unlike a portfolio, has no story to tell and provides no context to understand. 

Aside from all this, GitHub showcases a load of useless stats about your follower count, the frequency of your commits, and how regular you are. All of which are almost as relevant as the number of followers on your Instagram account in a hiring decision.

At the bottom of it, GitHub was always meant for collaborating and version control. It was never made for recruiters! 

By doing take-home assignments your interviewer’s gain a much better understanding of how you code and how much you know, and can have a better understanding of how to grade you.

Hence,

GitHub is not enough for a final hiring decision.

 

Now, you must be wondering about where you would find that one take-home assignment fit all we had discussed earlier. This is where Codejudge comes in handy. We have affiliations with big companies such as Zomato, Swiggy, Cred, and many more! But, how does this relationship benefit you? It’s simple; these companies trust our hiring process and are interested in finding recruits through us.

Hence, by solving just one of our take-home assignments, you can land yourself an interview in any of these hotshot companies! All the horror faced during an interview is avoided. No more of the nightmare HR phone call lasting over an hour, or those online coding sessions that last for hours on end, or those day-long onsite interviews that finally end in a rejection for causes unknown. All these time-consuming nightmares that must have at least once caused you to stick for something that really wasn’t worth your time is gone.  

Hence, we at Codejudge have streamlined this process. Show us you can code, and the rest is on us! Our take-home assignments are varied so that you can display your strengths. No need to spend hours cramming down some xyz Leetcode questions, when you are better at building apps or dashboard. What’s even better about our assignments is that show us you can code once, and that’s it. We aren’t going to keep asking you to prove you’re good! 

Besides all that, our partner companies trust us and will accept your scores! Hence, all the hassle previously faced about grading and benchmarking your GitHub accounts is gone. All you have to do is wait for your interview call!

If you are an engineering manager reading this, we would love to have an in-depth coffee conversation with you about these ideas. At Codejudge, we are committed to solving the most challenging problems in recruitment for everyone. Please consider writing to us at krutika@codejudge.io
 

 

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