Companies typically evaluate software developers through tests or a ‘Coding Challenge’ to filter applicants as the early part of the recruitment process.
A limitation of such tests is that results can only be compared to other candidates doing the same test, effectively stack-ranking them according to their responses to questions or challenges set. The output data can’t be related to expectations for that developer if employeed by a particular company. Further, working well within examination conditions is a skill in itself, approached with a different frame of mind than day-to-day work: It doesn’t straightforwardly correlate with workplace performance.
BlueOptima Predictive Assessment addresses these issues. Our new recruitment offering, formulated in collaboration with leading-edge research from Cambridge University, produces outputs that offer unprecedented more valuable than a score of candidates’ knowledge and skills displayed in tests. The methodology predicts programmers’ performance in the workplace based on a range of measures of a software solution they produce in the test.1 This correlation is bespoke to your organisation. These predicted levels of productivity and quality of work are expressed in BlueOptima’s consistent terms; ACE (Actual Coding Effort) hours per day and proportion of Aberrant CE. This extends the value of the data for organisations already using BlueOptima, in finding candidates that best fit your organisation’s requirements:
Empowering Software Development Managers to Match Candidates with Requirements
Until now, software developer test results only relate to the the same kind of test, loosely demonstrate a level of aptitude for particular skills and allowing comparison between candidates. Providing reports in terms of Coding Effort - an objective measure of developer productivity - allows companies to base hiring decisions on their precise requirements for various levels of developers in terms of the rate of CE delivered. (Note that, while rate of CE delivered is not the only desirable trait for team members, BlueOptima finds that high CE per day correlates with those developers who best support a team by solving its toughest coding problems.) Our industry benchmarks guide the standards (e.g. average daily CE) for which a company might aim; i.e. what does good looks like, based on norms for its industry.
Consistent comparison of coders with CE empowers companies to take a step back and weigh up candidates for employment with outsourced delivery options; to consider the CE that a prospective employee can be expected to deliver versus the productivity levels that managers already know their in-house and external developers already bring to their organisation. Similarly, the expectation of quality can be compared with existing developers. BlueOptima specifically measure software’s stability and maintainability; how easily a new developer can set to work on developing the code. (A developers’ potential negative impact on code is expressed in terms of Aberrant CE; that is the proportion of developers’ work which takes the code base further away from norms).
Another of CE’s many applications is quantifying the amount of work that projects require. This can be estimated in terms of Coding Effort, based on similar past projects. Software development managers are then able to relate this estimation in terms of CE to the time and costs required for delivering that amount of CE. The way managers decide that this CE will be delivered into their projects empowers them to recruit the right candidates in a way that is calculated to fit the requirements of delivering specific projects within budgets and timeframes rather than simply fulfilling roles according to coders’ levels of skills and experience.
Boosting Efficiency in the Recruitment Process
Testing candidates simply means sending them a login. Thus, the phase of whittling down the list of applicants your company has selected to embark on progressing through your recruitment process requires little time from your company - and affords a larger initial candidate pool.
Filtering candidates with BlueOptima Predictive Assessment makes the first step of the recruitment process quick and straightforward: Just send us the list of applicants you would like to take the test and we will email them instructions with a login.
We continuously produce tests so that these are available for a candidate who may have already taken one of our tests.
Our tests are designed by Cambridge University academics who lead research into testing software developers in specific languages.
Tests are offered for various languages, priced per candidate taking a test. For more information, please download the brochure, here.
1. The areas of ability evaluated by BlueOptima Predictive Assessment are listed in the overview document.