Automated Code Challenge Review vs Peer Review | Geektastic

Peer Review Technical Screening Tools vs Machine Review

compared to

HackerRank and Codility

Technical screening tools

Automated technical screening services like Codility and HackerRank vs Geektastic’s peer review code challenges

We created Geektastic’s peer review technical screening service because we wanted to build a ‘deeper insight’ alternative to automated screening companies like HackerRank, Codility, DevSkiller, Codefights etc.

Here’s our side by side comparison (aka - if you are using Codility or HackerRank, here’s what you are missing out on).

Geektastic (peer review) Codility/HackerRank (machine reviewed)
Candidates enjoy real world code challenges Candidates don’t like algorithm based challenges
Candidates can use their own development environment Unfamiliar coding environment (browser-based IDE)
Detailed line by line, human analysis Uninformative score based results
Peer-review is a scientifically proven methodology to deliver fairer reviews Machines will fail solid developers for syntax errors
Developers provide feedback on the review Binary pass / fail result
Deep technical insight into a range of coding skills High level pre-screening
Well balanced review Bad engineers will pass, good developer will fail
Pay as you use Annual subscription fees

Do you tech screen in-house?

  1. Do you have zip files containing your code challenges flying around everywhere, getting stuck in spam filters, not being stored in one place?
  2. Does your in-house development team miss delivery deadlines because they are carrying our code reviews on candidates’ submissions?
  3. Are you paying an annual subscription for something you only use now and then (Geektastic is pay as you go, not annual subscription)
  4. You still have your development team look over the code submitted by candidates on machine based code screening platforms
  5. You are carrying out lengthy face to face interviews and five minutes in you realise they are not strong enough technically

Geektastic can help you - today

Don’t take our word for it - below are some quotes taken from the web (they must be true right, we found them on the internet!)

“A tool that every recruiter loves, every wanna-be programmer fears and every person who writes software, in a commercial environment, laughs at (if they don’t, they should!). And all this hatred comes from a very simple reason Codility doesn’t test programmers; it tests ability to google and use notepad. And I am not just blindly ranting, so bare with me, while I explain the top issues I have with Codility.”

And from a comment within this post “I’ve just taken a test on Codility for the first time and I have to agree it doesn’t test a developer’s ability to code or develop software, but how to rush and throw code at problem even if it is bad code. Not really happy with this sort of testing. It also doesn’t help that they do not allow access to all parts of a language. In this test one of the things I wanted to do was sort an array. I work in Java and normally I would use the builtin array sorting method, but Codility didn’t allow me to access this method.

I much more prefer tests where they give me small task or project that I have to complete. Specifically if they give me a set of requirements and what they expect for a solution and just let me go. I’ll turn out something, maybe they’ll like maybe not, but it’s a better test of my abilities as not just a coder, but as a developer in general.”

At Geektastic we feel passionately about improving hiring the process for both candidates and hiring teams.

We know everyone is busy.

No one wants to do ten coding challenges when applying for a new job - it’s stressful enough going through round after round of interview without spending every evening and weekend doing brain numbing code challenges.

Just as importantly we feel feedback is essential.

No one wants to spend a few hours on a code challenge to be told they ‘failed’ with no explanation as to why. At the very least the candidate should be told where they went wrong so they can learn from the experience, even better they should be given the chance to explain their choices and thought processes.

Here are some screen shots from the platform, these demonstrate our philosophy of putting the developer first in the hiring process.

Line by Line analysis

Our expert review team will go through the code line by line and provide detailed feedback, not only pointing our where things went wrong, but where they were right. In some instances the team will drop in alternatives to improve the code to try and make this as much a learning experience as an exam (who likes exams?!)

Technical screening tools line by line review

Dynamic Feedback

There’s nothing worse than having no right of reply.

Quite often we hear from developers who have been initially failed by the review team who have explained their thinking and approach to solving the code challenge to then be asked to attend an onsite and actually end up being hired. Without some way for developers to feedback on the review you risk losing out on high quality talent (and just as importantly, leaving them with a bad experience).

This is why we created our dynamic feedback tool using websockets for instant communication.

Once the review is completed it is published on the platform so that both the hiring team and the candidate can view the review. The candidate can then feeedback their thoughts on the review and actually interact with the reviewer and the hiring team via the challenge. We always encourage the review team to ask questions that the candidate can then answer providing additional colour (and potentially insight into their cultural fit depending on how they approach their response :) )

Below is an example of Dynamic Feedback interaction between the candidate and the reviewer.

Technical screening tools comments

Are you interested in knowing more about our thinking around peer reviewed code challenges please check out some of our blog articles here

Are you tied into an annual deal with an automated technical screening company? We’ll waive our platform fees until the expiry of your current contract TRY FOR FREE

Just some of our amazing clients

We engaged with Geektastic to evaluate candidates for some high profile roles we were hiring for because we wanted the human touch you just can't get from automated technical assessments.James AdamsPeople Finder at Just Giving

James Adams, People Finder at Just Giving is using Geektastic Code Challenges to evaluate software engineering candidates
Oscar Berg, Head of Development at Quickspin is using Geektastic Code Challenges to evaluate software engineering candidates

Using Geektastic’s code challenges has helped me save tons of time assessing candidates.Oscar BergHead of Development at Quickspin