Tips For Testing Developers


The best way to see if someone can write code is to have them write code. Therefore, we test everyone! 

The trick is to make the test as similar to your every day work as possible. Don’t send them through a list of multiple choice questions on the finer points of JavaScript. In my experience, there is very little correlation between book smarts and streets smarts.

I had a client early on who thought the answer would be to hire computer science grads from Columbia (he lived in New York at the time). This was before we did testing. Anyways, after 4 weeks and 3 graduates, we hadn’t moved the company forward at all. They had all the books but hadn’t done anything on the streets. 

Don’t test as part of your filtering process. Filter well, then choose your horse and make your bet. Some developers won’t take tests without pay. We tried compensating, but it ended up being too costly, so we switched to just guaranteeing work if they pass the test. Passing is as easy as submitting code we could bill for. 

You’ll definitely need to test every person on your team, but that can be a challenge for non-technical founders searching for a tech lead. There are lots of third party test administrators out there, but we find that most if not all are too theoretical. We don’t have a good solution for this problem except that we could help you set a test if you need.

As a benchmark, of the 1% of developers that make it through our filters and to a test, only about 1/2 of the devs pass.

With all rules, there are some exceptions. A coding test is less important, like when you’re hiring a dev shop with lots of past experience, a solid online reputation, and public reviews.

As mentioned previously, you shouldn’t use testing as part of filtering candidates. If you’d like to read more about how to filter well, download our free Guide to Tech Projects for Non-technical Founders.

If you need hands on help with your project, Buink has years of experience managing and completing technical projects on time, under budget, and with a high level of quality. Contact Buink today.

About The Author

Ben currently works as a senior developer and technical business consultant outside of Boulder, Colorado.

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About Buink

Buink Web Development is a development shop founded in 2009 by Ben Buie. For years, Ben built and modified web assets for clients in Utah. In 2011, he moved the company to Colorado and in 2015 he started taking on new clients full-time.

Buink’s Core Values:

  • Cost effective technology (with business strategy in mind)
  • Eloquent, maintainable code
  • Responsive and transparent communication

Read more about Buink

Dave G.
Dave G.
14:05 13 Aug 23
Buink is a great place to work, as well as a great place to have quality software written. I originally contracted Buink for some web development, and it worked out so well we began working together on many different projects. Definitely an honest transparent company that needs to be considered for... your software more
Dru M.
Dru M.
15:41 25 Mar 21
Ben’s a super responsive, thoughtful, sharp and all around great guy to work with. Excellent with his trade. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ben!
Seth L.
Seth L.
21:36 29 Jun 19
Ben and team are incredible to work with. They are reliable and proficient. I'd highly recommend hiring them for web development work. SethVOLTAGE
Craig A.
Craig A.
20:50 18 Jun 19
It was a pleasure to work with Ben and his team. It is rare to find such attention to high standards of coding and devops.
Lexi S.
Lexi S.
15:36 18 Jun 19
Grateful to have Ben and his team as such a capable, reliable partner for completing client work!
Tom S.
Tom S.
13:18 14 Jun 19
I reached out to Buink after finding Ben’s name in a local developer/consultant listing in 2017, and I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Buink. Ben consistently understands not just the development task laid in front of him but the business application behind the task. I’ve... never felt more comfortable with a development team than I do with Buink. I truly feel Ben and his team are integral partners in the success of my more
Marilyn F.
Marilyn F.
22:47 13 May 19
I could not recommend Buink Web Development more highly. Ben and his team have recently developed a budgeting app for me (both web and IOS). I have had the opportunity of working with them for over a year and I am extremely happy with the results.I would say that the biggest plus for me is that I... trust Ben completely. From the very first, Ben has helped me make decisions that were in the best interest of my company. I have never felt like he is taking advantage of me. Ben does his best to keep the whole process very open and upfront. I have really appreciated that.I tell people all the time that I love my developers. And I do. I'm very happy that I chose to use Buink to develop my apps. It was the best business decision I could have made.If you are looking for someone to develop a website or app, I strongly suggest choosing Buink Web Development. They are fantastic!Marilyn Ference, President, Defend Your Money, LLCread more
James Landon B.
James Landon B.
01:33 28 Aug 18
Great company to help with all your web design needs!
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