Recently, there is an increasing tendency that job interviews for software developers should necessarily include also a coding test. Actually, this notion is rather old since it was described already in Peopleware on the case of hiring a juggler. DeMarko and Lister state that "it would be ludicrous to think of hiring a juggler without first seeing him perform." Personally, I don't see any resemblance between the job of a juggler and a software developer. The realm of creative professions can be divided into performance based (singing, juggling, dancing, ...) and artifacts based (painting, sculpting, architecture, ...). I've never heard of any occasion where a programmer would have to do live coding as a part of his job. And neither I've heard that an architect would do live sketching as part of a job interview. Therefore I don't understand why a developer should be forced to do a performance as a part of a job interview.
Hiring software developers shouldn't be audition based, but portfolio based. Person's portfolio is the best way to assess his ability to get things done. And while discussing it, you get also a very good impression about person's other important characteristics such as intelligence, communication skills, and culture.
- Interview Job Applicants (drmercer.typepad.com)
- Books: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (jjinux.blogspot.com)
- The night before a job interview | Scrubs Magazine (mystrongmedicine.com)
- Could Juggling Ever Be an Olympic Sport? (blogs.abc.net.au)