What Ties Our Products Together? A Desire to Make Technical Interviewing Better and More Fair. For Everyone.
By Amanda Richardson, CEO
CoderPad is a small start-up but we’ve set out to do something mighty: transform technical interviewing so every candidate can truly showcase their skills and every company can make the best possible hires.
When we say “every candidate,” we mean it. Every single one.
It’s not about surfacing just the Stanford engineering grads or the MIT data scientists, those who are trained to nail interviews. It’s about ensuring that companies can see and embrace amazing talent that comes from all walks of life and all educational backgrounds: from private colleges to coding bootcamps, from state schools to on-the job training. Because this talent helps companies better create an inclusive and representative workforce that as research has exhaustively demonstrated, ultimately builds and delivers more value to customers and the bottom line.
The past year has reinforced our commitment in a powerful way. As the pandemic pushed workforces to go virtual and hybrid, we adapted and expanded our technology accordingly. We also realized anew that — as small as we are — where we sit and who we serve makes us more accountable. Our customers range from large Fortune 500 enterprises to the big names of Silicon Valley to the start-ups in SoMa. We knew we could help them do better and be better — especially as developer hiring continued at a rapid pace this fall, even remotely.
To that end, here’s what we’ve brought to market:
- A new take-home projects product that allows customers to accurately test for what really matters (ie, development skills) in a consistent, even-handed way. Everyone gets the same questions so there’s no chance for interviewers to take it easy on some — or subconsciously make it harder on others. A summary of test cases, final output, and an easy review of the candidate’s keystrokes that show precisely how they arrived at that output makes it simple for hiring managers.
- Launched public take-home projects. Buoyed by customer response, and aligned with our feelings on resumes (all tell, no show), we did a fast follow on our take-home projects product to help companies cast a wider net for talent. Companies simply put a link on their Careers page, make it part of their university recruiting program playbook, and ensure it’s very simple for candidates to do a take-home project to demonstrate and share their coding skills. This accelerates the traditional hiring process, putting the focus on skills and surfacing the best candidates based on ability versus resume alone. It means companies can more easily find those non-traditional candidates who would excel given the opportunity.
- Rolled out Focus Time. When we saw recent research from NC State that said traditional tech interviews measure anxiety, not ability (and uniformly disqualify excellent women candidates), we called researchers Chris and Manaz to discuss. We jointly came up with Focus Time.This gives candidates five minutes of quiet time to organize their thoughts and start work on a solution without the added pressure of an interviewer’s gaze. Work is blurred out for the interviewers (though accessible later) and video/audio is paused. As a result, companies can see how candidates really perform on the technical challenge – not the intensity of a stressful interview – just like a developer would do in the real world.
If this year has taught us nothing else, it’s that every single one of us can take responsibility — personally and professionally – to make our corners of the world better. For CoderPad, that means delivering customer value through intentional products that underpin a bias-free hiring process and produce better talent more quickly as a result. We’re honored and thrilled to do it.