From Code to Deployment: The Power of Full-Cycle Testing in Coding Assessments 

by Codeaid Team

Let’s face it: Nobody likes buggy software. But poor-quality software is a reality, and it has a large cost.

So, how do you ensure your developers deliver seamless software solutions that run smoothly and don’t cause any unforeseen costs to your business? 

While code writing skills are essential, developers need to also know how to test and build the code.  

Here’s where full-cycle testing assessments come in. 

Such comprehensive evaluations can help you evaluate candidates’ code writing, testing, debugging, and building skills to identify the best talent.  

Let’s explore the significance of full-cycle testing, its benefits, and why more take-home coding test assessments should incorporate structured full-cycle testing challenges. 

What is Full-cycle Testing in Coding Tests? 

Code is not developed in a vacuum. Developers usually work with code repositories like Git to test the code and build it using a CI/CD process. So, a full-cycle test will require the test taker to go through these steps.  

Using full-cycle testing challenges can also help assess the candidate’s:  

  • Problem-solving capabilities 
  • Software testing skills 
  • Debugging skills 

Evaluating candidates across these different areas enables technical recruiters to make better hiring decisions as they gain a more holistic view of the applicant’s abilities. 

Unfortunately, the full-cycle testing approach remains the exception rather than the norm in the current state of coding tests. 

The Gap in Testing Solutions 

Many existing coding test challenges fall short when it comes to incorporating full-cycle testing.  

For example, the majority of “take-home tests” do not provide base code and let candidates choose how they manage their code.  

When it comes to using Git repositories, most code-testing platforms either disregard it entirely or limit its usage, and recruiters usually: 

  • Accept code submissions as zip files: Here, the candidate is not required to use Git at all. This means hiring managers don’t take into consideration the developer’s testing skills and ability to use repositories like Git.  
  • Request access to the candidate’s personal GitHub repository: This method utilizes Git. But as candidates are allowed to use their own accounts (that are familiar to them), this method does not reflect real-life project conditions. 

However, these are not the only two methods that can be used when checking an applicant’s code testing skills.  

For example, recruiters can leverage the potential of Git to get an accurate evaluation of a candidate’s software development skills. 

Let’s see how this works. 

How to Use Git Repositories in Coding Tests? 

The use of Git is part of best practices when it comes to development. That’s why incorporating Git into a full-cycle testing challenge creates a more realistic testing experience for developers.  

This also doesn’t just test their coding skills, but it also tests their ability to use supporting tools (such as Git and IDEs).  

Additionally, utilizing Git in combination with take-home tests instead of browser-based testing feels less pressuring for candidates as they can work at their own pace.  

 That’s because Git-based testing provides the applicants with a more comfortable setup, which is very similar to the one they’ll have while working on real-life projects. 

On the other hand, web-based tests feel more artificial – they usually have a time counter, and most people are unsure what will happen if they close their browser (i.e., will they lose their work, etc.)  

This enables companies to get an insight into how the candidates perform in a “natural” day-to-day work environment.  

Git repositories also allow you to create less standard (and more complex) tests. For example, you could:  

  • Evaluate the candidate’s Git usage and structure as part of the test results  
  • Explicitly (or implicitly) require the candidates to create a new branch to do work
  • See if they include 3rd party open-source code in the correct way  
  • Ask the candidate to do a code review using some Git tool and decline a pull request at least once 

In addition, you could also connect the Git repository to an open-source system like Jenkins. This ensures that the code in the repository is not only present but also buildable, mirroring real-world development scenarios. 

These are only a few ways in which Git can be used to showcase a candidate’s code testing skills.  

Next, let’s see some of the advantages that come with full-cycle testing.  

The Benefits of Full-cycle Testing 

Implementing full-cycle testing in coding tests offers several advantages for recruiters, including: 

Comprehensive Skill Assessment 

Full-cycle testing enables a comprehensive assessment of candidates’ abilities.  

It evaluates not only their coding proficiency but also their debugging skills as:  

  • Best practices are to check in code associated with each bug fix separately 
  • Code reviews are very Git-centric and are all about producing better code by fixing issues 

This is crucial for developing successful software solutions that run smoothly and error-free.  

Yet very few code testing platforms incorporate comprehensive debugging skill assessments. 

By considering these aspects, you gain a more accurate understanding of the candidate’s overall skill set and whether they have the level of expertise required for the job position.  

Real-World Simulation 

With full-cycle coding tests, you can create a simulated real-world environment for the applicants.  

Such an approach exposes candidates to challenges and tasks they would encounter in their daily work. This allows you to gauge their performance in realistic development scenarios, which is often impossible with simpler coding tests. 

The simulation also provides valuable insights into a developer’s ability to handle real-world coding challenges effectively. 

One crucial aspect to consider in this context is build failures. When candidates check their code into Git as part of the final submittal, it should build successfully. 

Why is this important? In real-world scenarios, build failures can disrupt the development process for the entire team. Additionally, such a critical issue can bring the whole project to a halt as no one can check the code while the build is broken. 

Identifying Strong Candidates 

Full-cycle testing can identify candidates who possess a well-rounded skill set. It allows you to assess their capabilities at the various stages of the development process. This ensures they can deliver high-quality code and address potential issues during the testing phase.  

Identifying such candidates can help you build a strong development team capable of handling the complete development cycle. 

Implementing Full-cycle Testing in Your Recruiting Process 

Full-cycle testing challenges can help you assess a candidate’s skills with much higher precision. Such evaluations encompass problem-solving, coding, testing, and debugging. This helps you make more informed hiring decisions and get top-quality developers who deliver high-quality code and tackle real-world coding challenges effectively. 

Are you looking to enhance your hiring process? Codeaid has a Git-based testing approach, which provides a simulation of realistic development scenarios.  

With our comprehensive coding challenges, you can finally test not only developers’ code writing proficiency but also their testing and debugging skills, so you can easily identify the best candidates for your team. 

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