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Fintech engineers beg for Leetcode over time-consuming alternative

In case you thought a tricky leetcode problem was the worst thing you could get in a job interview, be warned. The use of 'take-home projects' in the hiring process is growing, and while they can be effective, they've got their fair share of issues.

One Block developer took to jobs forum Blind to lament that everyone he was applying for gave him one of those projects. Recruiters will say the projects only take a couple of hours, but the developer said he spent the "whole weekend on one single assignment and I cut tons of corners."

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These projects incentivize potentially toxic perfectionism. The same Block developer told us you have to "go until you think it's satisfactory, and in this situation of course you will want to go above and beyond because you want to stand out." He added that the take home projects are also "less defined" which means all that hard work could be for something irrelevant in the event of a miscommunication.

The key advantage with take home projects for interviewees is that they let quality shine more.. "They definitely reflect my skills as a developer better than Leetcode" the block engineer said. Nonetheless, he still said in the post, "give me Leetcode instead. I’m begging you."

Not everyone in fintech likes to hire using these projects. Charles Chen, VP of engineering at eCommerce firm OwnIt, says take-homes "can end up filtering out folks who don't want to spend several hours building something in their free time." He's not too fond of Leetcode either though, and suggests CodeRev, a code reviewing tool, as an alternative to assessing candidates as you get a better feel for how they interact with your codebase.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • Re
    Reality-Z
    27 February 2024

    Issue with take home assignments that I've experienced from candidates is the authenticity of their work. It can and might be done by someone else.

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