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I've seen websites that screen programmers by their ability to write code. It's a service that you enter a programming question into and then send out a link. Job candidates program their solution to the question as they are timed and recorded. The person who posted the question can then playback a video of their candidate programming the script. This video allows them to see how quickly and neatly their job candidate can code.

Are these types of services worth it? What caveats and hangups are there to using such things to screen potential hires?

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Joel Spolsky has shared his secret on how he hires his top coders. –  Job May 22 '11 at 16:12
    
The previous version of this question was way off-topic; given that the top answer (by far) ignored that version, I've revised the question to ask about the value of these services, which is on-topic here. –  user8 Nov 28 '11 at 15:29
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2 Answers

I found NvnTest as reliable screening service because it supports webcam which makes sure that test is taken by himself and not helped by others.

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another worth themention is polytechnicsolutions.com even super technical bunch of guys you can understand and get you great results in no time at all. very easy to use and cutomer support is outstanding! –  kacalapy Jan 24 at 20:57
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I know why you want this. For every hundred candidates you get, you receive 90 from people who can't code for beans. They probably have no idea what a compiler is.

Now consider their side. For every hundred companies those 10 real programmers apply for, they find that 90 of them fail to score a single point on the Joel Test. They want programmers to fix bugs in crappy legacy projects written in VB5.

If you fail to communicate that you're a good company to work for from the outset - suppose you use some sort of half-arsed web-based screening program, for example - those good candidates will go elsewhere.

Unless you are Apple, Google, Microsoft or something similar, it's up to you to prove to candidates that you are worth their time. Impersonal arbitrary barriers that say "I don't want to talk to you myself" aren't a way of attracting the best people.

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Very well said Ant! I appreciate the feedback! –  Robert Klubenspies May 22 '11 at 16:23
    
This should be a comment on the question, not an answer. –  rjmunro Nov 28 '11 at 15:00
    
@rjmunro The original version of this question was way off-topic: this answer, by completely ignoring the question, is the only thing that was on-topic, so I've revised the question to ensure this is a direct answer to it. –  user8 Nov 28 '11 at 15:31
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@rjmunro: "Use a hammer" is the correct answer when someone asks for help putting nails in with their table saw. –  Daenyth Nov 28 '11 at 15:31
    
@Daenyth: you made me lol :D –  sparkleshy Nov 28 '11 at 18:41
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