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Java Skills Tests

Quickly assess all round Java programming skills

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Java Skills Tests

If you’re looking for technical code challenges to provide deep technical insight into your candidates, we can help.

If you’re looking for an automated screening platform that candidates don’t like and won’t tell you much about the candidate’s real skills, we’re not for you.

Bulb hired 70 developers in 12 months using Geektastic’s assessments, saving 58 days of engineering resource

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Senior Tech Recruiter at Bulb
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  • 70Engineers hired in the last 12 months
  • 44Hours per week of engingeering time saved
  • 50%Reduction in time to hire
  • 408Technical assessments outsourced
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Use our Java programming skills tests to quickly assess all round technical skills.

The demand for good software engineers has never been hotter.

As teams scale they need an efficient way to assess the skills of job applicants and Java Skills Tests are a great way of doing this.

But not all testing platforms are the same. You have platforms like Codility and HackerRank that use machines to score code or your have platforms like Geektastic that use a team of experts to review the code challenge submissions made by the candidates, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses, looking through multiple lenses (code quality, solution design, multi threading, problem solving skills, understanding requirements, test coverage) and providing that analysis back to the candidate (so they can see they have been properly evaluated) and to the hiring team (all in 24hrs).

We’ve listed below some of the benefits for the hiring team:

  1. Getting the skills right first time - This one is huge. Hiring is expensive. Of course, you may well have recruitment fees to pay. However, it’s also likely that it will take some time for you to fully assess if a candidate has the correct skills. Some companies will stick with an underperforming developer for quite some time after hiring too, for a number of reasons, from guilt to the sunk cost fallacy. Not to mention that the developer will have a notice period too. All of this time spent with the wrong employee can rack up quite the wage bill. Finally, interviewing takes senior team members’ time away from productive tasks. All of this is ultimately costing the business money.It’s far better to not waste the developers’ time and your own. Hire correctly the first time and save both time and money! 
  2. Widen pool of applicants - We spoke about the amount of time hiring can take. You usually aren’t going to be able to interview every applicant that applies for your Java roles. You may find that some fantastic developers are slipping through the net just because their CVs don’t quite look up to scratch. If you employ a skills challenge early in your hiring process, you can give all candidates a fair shot. Meaning you won’t miss out on those hidden gem candidates. 
  3. All candidates on a level playing field ​​​​​​. We spoke about this above when we talked of removing unconscious bias, but it’s important to reiterate. As a hiring manager, you don’t want your unconscious biases clouding your judgement. By employing a standardised technical test, you will ensure that all candidates have a level playing field. This will lead to a more diverse team within your organisation, which has been proven to boost efficiency and profits
  4. Only serious candidates - It happens surprisingly often. Candidates will sometimes apply to jobs on a whim, never really thinking seriously about leaving their current company.  This can be for a number of reasons. Perhaps they like the sound of the role, but when push comes to shove, it’s very unlikely they will leave their company. By utilizing a programming challenge, you can ensure the only applicants you receive are those that are serious about switching jobs. 

 

 

Who Would Benefit From a Java Skills Test?

Developers of all skill levels can benefit enormously from Java skills tests. 

Junior developers, especially those looking for their first role, can often struggle to prove their skills. Of course, a portfolio can be very beneficial, but having your coding challenge results at hand can be a real boost to your prospects of landing that first developer role. Junior developers are also more likely to benefit from the insights gained from their first coding challenge. As mentioned above, this can be a great resource for understanding where your coding skills can be improved. 

For more senior developers, a skills test result could set you apart from the rest of the competition and truly demonstrate the value you can bring to an organisation if they were to hire you. 

How to Take a Java Skills Test

While, of course, you may receive a Java skills test from an employer, there’s nothing stopping you from taking them ahead of time. This has several advantages, like with everything, practice makes perfect. By practicing these coding challenges ahead of time, you will have a much better grasp of what to expect on the day, and it’s likely you’ll get better scores as a result. 

There are many platforms you can use to sharpen your skills. With the Geektastic platform, there is an additional advantage to taking one of our “take home coding challenges”, top performers can become paid reviewers for other’s coding challenges. 

If you’d like to give a coding challenge a try register now

Benefits for Those Taking a Java Test

  • Finding a role that truly fits your skill level - Nobody wants to work at a job where they don’t feel competent. Sure you can learn on the job, but sometimes a role is out of your current skill level. If you were to land these types of jobs, not only may you not enjoy the role, and you may waste your time, but you may damage your reputation and CV too!
  • Standing out from the competition and demonstrating your abilities​​​​​​ - This is fairly obvious. However, these challenges enable you to stand out from the crowd of applicants and demonstrate why you truly have the skills for the role. There’s nothing worse than an under qualified applicant beating you to the role. Perhaps they were given easier questions to answer? With a standardised technical test, you know that you’ll be given a fair opportunity.
  • Removing unconscious bias - Along the same lines, these technical tests act as a fantastic leveller. We all know how unconscious bias can play a significant role in the decision-making process when hiring. We wish it weren’t the case, but some people aren’t given equal opportunities when interviewing for a number of reasons. With a technical test, we can take one step to remove this unconscious bias. If you’re interviewing for a Java Developer role and you score the highest in a Java skills test, then there would need to be a very good reason not to hire you. 
  • Speed up the hiring process - Looking for a job is almost a full-time job itself. There are only so many opportunities you can apply for. You don’t want to waste your time going through several rounds of interviews if you aren’t a good fit technically. While a coding challenge may seem like it is adding an extra step to the process, we’ve found that companies often make their hires much quicker. This is because they can be assured of your skills and make a direct comparison with other individuals. This limits the amount of interview stages that are often necessary and makes decisions much quicker. 
  • Landing a job elsewhere - Didn’t get that job you took the coding challenge for? Some platforms, such as our own, enable employers to search for those with the skills they are looking for. You can also put your scores on your CV or show them to any employer you wish to work for in future. Even if a potential future employer doesn’t utilise standardised technical tests, by demonstrating technical competence, you may just set yourself apart and land that job. 
  • Sharpen your Java skills​​​​​​ - You don’t know what you don’t know. Without tests, it can be difficult to uncover which areas of your Java skills need the most work. By taking online skills tests you can discover and plug any gaps in your technical knowledge, making you a better Java developer.  
  • Fun!​​​​​​ We know, we know, we’ve all been trained from a young age to have a vehement dislike for tests. However, these challenges are often built by coders, for coders. This means they are often a lot more fun than you might imagine. The whole process can be gamified too, with leaderboards and achievements.

Tips to Prepare For Your First Java Skills Test

  • Ask what to expect Asking what to expect can be extremely insightful. If you’re working with a recruiter, it’s usually in their interests that you get offered the job. They may be able to get information on what you’ll be tested on and relay this to you.  Even if you are working directly with the hiring company, you’d be surprised at how much information you can get if you just ask the question. 
  • Complete example problems - As they say, practice makes perfect. By completing a few example problems ahead of time, you’ll give yourself a huge advantage on the day. 
  • Identify skills gaps and revise - These example problems will also allow you to look for areas that need improvement. Take good notes on any problems you struggle with and try to address them beforehand. 
  • Miscellaneous - This last category is more of a reminder to do whatever is needed to help you function at your fullest. This can be getting a good night’s sleep, eliminating distractions or eating a nutritious meal beforehand (nothing too heavy to avoid brain fog, of course).

 

Summary

There we have it, everything you need to know about the benefits of Java skills tests. Whether you’re a candidate looking for a job or a company looking to hire a Java developer, we hope this has helped. 

If you’d like to discuss anything with us about how a coding challenge may benefit your organisation or career, please get in touch at: hello@geektastic.com

Interested in reading more about Java take-home code challenges

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*The 14 day free trial only applies to the £250 (€300 or $375) per month platform fee and any code challenge license fees, the free trial includes the first two Geektastic Code Challenge reviews, thereafter they are charged at £50 (€60 or $70) per review.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

So what is Geektastic? I hear it’s more than a technical assessment platform

Let’s face it - the current process for hiring software engineers has (lots of) room for improvement.

At its core Geektastic is a platform that manages code challenges. We believe a candidate is worth more than a score and humans perform much better reviews than machines.

There is more to coding than solving an algorithm.

We help employers and recruiters assess the technical skills of software engineering candidates through deeply insightful, code challenges.

We have built our own unique bite-size Express Code Challenges for our developer community to enjoy before they commit to taking our 2 hour Peer Review Take Home challenges.

We also help match developers from our community with employer’s roles. Because our community take code challenges to complement their profile they can show off their skills to potential employers.

The very best engineers in our community (those that ace our code challenge with 4-5 stars across the board) join our well paid UberGeek Review Team and earn a secondary income reviewing code challenges in their spare time (£25 per 30 minute review).

Our UberGeek review team also approve express code challenges which have been created by the community just to make sure they are 100% - we pay £10 for each express code challenge reviewed and published.

What programming languages does Geektastic cover?

We support a wide range of programming languages including JavaScript (incorporating frameworks such as node.js, React and Angular), Java, PHP, Python, C#, Java, Android, Swift, Objective C, Scala, MySQL, C++ and Ruby. We are constantly adding new ones, so if you have a language we are not covering please contact us at hello@geektastic.com

How secure is my data on Geektastic?

We are fully GDPR compliant. We operate a fully secure platform using SSL encryption and we never store your passwords in plain text.

All developer profiles are anonymous, as a developer you join and create a profile. You can use OAuth like Google or Github to authorise the application or you can use a local username and password.

I am a developer, please tell me how Geektastic works?

So why should I join Geektastic as a Developer?

Good question! We welcome developers from all over the world to join our fast growing community. As you might have gathered we are trying to change the way software engineers are hired.

There are a number of reasons you should join

  1. You can earn a secondary income doing code reviews in your spare time. We pay £25 per 30 minute review peer review and £10 per express code challenge review.
  2. You can be fast tracked for some amazing software engineering roles, whether you are looking for an office based role or you want to work as part of a remote/distributed team.
  3. You can benchmark your skills against a global developer community. We show you where you compare to other developers in our global community.
  4. You can create and share Express Code Challenges with our community. Once you have taken a couple you an start to create your own. We have created some guidelines you can read here.

I’m sold. So what’s the process for a Developer joining Geektastic?

  1. To benchmark your skills, to join the paid review team team or get fast tracked to a great new role you’ll need to complete around 20 Express Challenges per language (these take an average of 1-2 minutes to complete. 
  2. If you are keen to join the paid review team you’ll need to get in the top 5% of the global community. You will then be issued with a peer review code challenge - we use these to assess your all round programming skills, if you ace the peer review you are in the paid review team. 
  3. If you are looking for a new role you will need to set yourself to ‘actively’ or ‘passively’ looking. This will mean you start matching with roles on the platform. We have signed an exclusive partnership with a tech recruiter called Third Republic. Our matchmaking algorithm start the process of matching you with roles but their expert team will then manually review your profile to ascertain whether you are a good fit for the role. You can apply to them directly if you see a role you like the look of, also they will be in touch with you to see if you are interested in anything they think is a good match.

What type of roles do you have posted on the platform?

They change all the time (obviously) - but they are all software engineering ad DevOps jobs. They are all broken down by programming language (eg Java, Python, PHP, C#, JavaScript, Scala, Kubernetes, Ansible, Terraform), tech skills, years of experience, how much salary you will be paid (before the taxman gets his hands on it), and whether they are based at a particular location or are remote. We have partnered with a specialist tech recruitment company called Third Republic to handle recruitment on our platform.

How do I take a peer review code challenge to try out for the review team?

First you have to complete 20 Express Code Challenges in a given language. These are the multiple choice challenges created by our expert team of reviewers and members of the community who have a high enough rating to become an author. Score well in the Express Challenges to unlock your qualifying Peer Review challenge. We are looking for a developer to rank in the top 5% globally before we can open up a peer review.

Can I share my review with companies who aren’t yet on the Geektastic platform?

Of course. You’ll be investing sound 30 minutes on our Express Challenges or 2 hours of your precious time completing one of our peer review code challenges. 

You can then share your public profile which shows off your results. 

You can post it on your LinkedIn profile, Personal Website or create a QR code and tattoo it to your arm if you like.

We hope that prospective employers will use that instead of asking you to take another tech screen.

How can I become a reviewer on Geektastic?

What steps do I go through?

What step do I go through?

We have a number of steps to becoming one of the review team. For obvious reasons we have to be very thorough (clients expect our team to the same quality as their in-house team).

  1. First you need to register and validate your email (1 minute)
  2. Create a profile - we are mainly interested in your core programming languages so we can allocate you the appropriate qualifying challenge (2-5 minutes)
  3. Complete some Express Code Challenges to show us your skills.  These take around 1-2 minutes each. You will need to complete up to 20 challenges (this is how we obtain a true ELO score). 
  4. If you get in the top 5% you will open up a peer review qualifying challenge.
  5. Take one of our peer review qualifying code challenges (2 hours).
  6. Our review team will then thoroughly evaluate your solution and provide you a detailed review (we aim to have this back in 24-48 hours)
  7. If you get voted to join the team (you’ll need to be be getting 4-5 stars across the board to be voted in) we then ask you to carry out two dummy reviews as we need to make sure your reviewing skills are as awesome as your coding skills - we do give you some guidance to help you understand what we look for in a reviewer (this takes approx 1hour)
  8. Assuming your reviews are up to scratch you are upgraded to Ubergeek Review team status, we’ll add you to Slack and you’ll start to receive messages from the system inviting you to carry out reviews. We pay you £25 for each peer review you perform and £10 for each express challenge you approve. We accrue all reviews and pay you the amount due at month end - either by bank transfer if you are in the UK or by Wise, Revolut or Payoneer.
  9. Once you are in the team we’ll add you to our Slack group, this notifies each team (JS_Ubergeeks for example) when a new solution has been submitted or Express Challenge has been created which needs reviewing.
  10. You can pick up as many or as few as you like, we don’t have a minimum you need to complete in a week or month, we also don’t guarantee how many you’ll be able to review as we are beholden to our clients’ candidates submitting. Some of our Ubers did write an answer someone posed on Quora on this point. All we ask is you complete a review within a few hours of starting it so we can get the results back to the candidate who will be waiting.
  11. Oh and lastly, we’ll send your UgerGeek T-Shirt and decal.

Sound exciting? Register to become an Uber Geek today Register now

Why should I join Geektastic to carry out code reviews?

Geektastic is a great way to earn a secondary income. You choose when you work and for how long. We pay you a flat rate for reviewing candidate’s submissions straight into your bank account at the end of the month. You also get to collaborate with other Uber Geeks. We call it earning and learning.

Can I work from home?

Of course, that’s the great thing about Geektastic, you can work from wherever you like.

Can I join the UberGeek Review Team from outside the UK?

We have Uber Geeks from all over the world, from Argentina to Australia, LA to Beijing.

I specialise in a programming language not covered by Geektastic?

We are always looking to add new programming languages. Please email hello@geektastic.comwith your details, and your chosen language and we’ll be in touch.

Do you have a cap on how many challenges I can review?

You are limited by the number of challenges the platform creates for you to review. There are client generated solutions (i.e. where they have invited a candidate to take a Geektastic challenge) or where a developer has joined our platform. As all challenges are anonymous you will not be aware of which type you are reviewing. The volume of challenges is driven by the number of clients inviting candidates, the number of developers joining the platform and how many other UberGeeks there are doing the reviews. Please note this is not a full time role as demand fluctuates.

Why is Geektastic the best technical assessment platform?

How much does this amazing service cost?

Prices start at £250 per month - no annual fees, you can pay everything monthly (or €300 or $375)

Each review done by our review team is £50 per review (or €60 or $70)

You can license our challenges from just £20 per month (or €24 or $30)

All our pricing can be found here Geektastic Pricing,

Does Geektastic use machine based automated candidate testing?

Nope. We use real human reviewers to perform our reviews. Please have a read of this blog post for more on our thoughts about how to perform code challenges

How long does it take to review a candidate’s code challenge submission?

Most come back the same day. We aim to complete all reviews in 24 working hours but when throughput volume is high we can take up to 48 hours to respond.

Do you integrate with third party ATS platforms?

Yes, we are integrated with both Greenhouse and Workable.

You’ll need any account with both Geektastic and Greenhouse/Workable to operate our code challenges on their platform.

Once you are ready to start sending out invites you just request and API key and send it over to your ATS provider (with Greenhouse you send it to your account manager, with Workable they provide a self service interface on their website)

After they are connected you can then invite your candidates and view the results directly from your ATS.

Can I try before I buy?

Yes, we offer a free trial to test out our assessments before you buy. You can have two free assessments on the house.

Would you like to test out a Geektastic code challenge on a candidate for free? Register now

How do candidates take the challenges?

Before you can invite your candidate you need to register as a Hirer and either license a Geektastic Challenge or create a custom code challenge.

You then invite them to take a challenge by entering their email, first name and surname and the challenge you want them to take into Geektastic.

The system automatically triggers an email to the candidate asking them to take part in the challenge.

Each challenge usually requires certain tools such as an IDE to be set up on the user’s machine in advance of the challenge (the challenge instructions warn them about this prior to the clock starting to tick away).

The candidate also needs to find a time window (usually two hours) where they can log into the platform and carry out the challenge. Once they have completed the challenge they upload their solution as a zip file.

Can I use my own challenges rather than the Geektastic challenges?

Yes, you can upload your own challenges using our code challenge builder tool. These challenges remain private and will only be used by you on your candidates.

Can you help us grow a more diverse team?

All our reviews are completely anonymous. The reviewer has no idea who they are reviewing - this means they can be completely impartial.

Removing unconscious bias is crucial in recruitment flows. If the same team that carry out the review carried out the initial phone screen or first round of interviews they will have started to build up opinions, both conscious and unconscious - there is a risk that these will flow through to the review they perform on the code challenge submission.

Using Geektastic’s platform removes the risk of these biases affecting the review.

Do my candidates remain my candidates?

100%. 

You have spent a lot of time sourcing and wooing your candidates. When you invite them to take a code challenge on our platform they remain ringfenced to you.

They do not register on the platform, they do not create a profile - they simply come to the platform to take a code challenge and receive their review.

I've been invited to take one of your code challenges, what next?

I am applying for a job and have been asked to take a Geektastic code challenge

You will receive an email from the system which contains instructions detailing what you need set up on your machine (this varies depending on your technology stack) and how long the challenge will take to complete. 

Once you are ready you follow the link in the invite to our site.

Once at Geektastic you can choose to start the challenge when it suits you.

All challenges are carried under time limited conditions (some are 2hours, others you can spend as long as a week working on your solution). Once you are ready to go you hit the ‘start challenge’ and the challenge is revealed.

Once completed you upload your challenge solution in a .zip file.

Are your challenges time constrained?

Yes, all challenges have a fixed time - otherwise they could run forever and that’s not good for anyone. They tend to fall into two categories, short time constrained challenges (usually 1-3hrs) or what we call ‘open ended’ (but what we mean is you have a week to 10 days to complete the challenge).

Before you start your challenge it will let you know how long you have to complete your challenge. Please give yourself enough time at the end of the period (i.e. when the clock starts going red on the page) to zip up your solution and upload it to the platform so it can be reviewed.

Do I have to use a browser based IDE?

Nope, you can use your own IDE.

We know how annoying it can be to be asked to take a code challenge, let alone have to code the solution is some unfamiliar, browser based IDE which is also recording your every move. That’s a bit like asking someone to take their exam on one of those crazy kneely chairs and use chalk to write your answers on a blackboard

When do I find out the results of the assessment?

We perform a line by line review, star ratings for categories like code quality, solution design and problem solving skills and provide high level summary points, then you receive an email from the system to take you to the review and also allows you to feedback your thoughts on the analysis.

What happens if I don’t complete the challenge in time?

We advise all candidates to submit whatever they have at the end of the period, regardless of whether they have finished or not. 

If you don’t submit in time it’s not all over. We do provide clients the tools to open up the challenge to allow you more time to complete it - so if you suffer the old ‘dog ate my homework’ scenario then please contact the person that invited you and they will be able to decide whether to open the challenge up again.

Do you allow multiple submissions?

You can upload multiple submissions during the challenge window. However we always assess the last submission so please ensure the last submission is your ‘final answer’.

What do I do if I have problems whilst working on my code challenge?

Please contact the person that issued the code challenge if you have any issues with your challenge, they can then contact Geektastic support if they can’t resolve the issue.