Contribute to Open Source as a Code Test

I counted up the number of open source code projects I actively used or extended today. Just in the last twenty hours, I tallied over 50 libraries and applications and resources.

When I’m evaluating potential hires onto our team, I’m looking at things like previous work experience. I’m also actively looking for proof of someone giving back to the development community.

I usually ask candidates to try their hand at a coding project - their choice from a couple cases. One involves a node middleware library, the other involves data visualization of drone strikes. After long thought, I’m adding to that list of choices.

When evaluating potential team members, I’ll also accept someone identifying and fixing a bug or adding a feature in an open source project. I think more companies should do this as well.

I’ve seen many sites dedicated to laying out test questions and fizz-buzz problems for hiring managers. Imagine how much would be fixed if, for just half of candidates, we instead asked them to tackle open issues on public, popular repositories.