Last week, I got a email from the company who asked me to take a short online test. I need to answer four questions within 130 minutes. Base on the score of the test, I will be possibly getting an interview either by phone or in person. That's the moment I discovered the site "Codility".
I didn't think about it too much and just started its demo test in order to get familiar with the test environment. To be honest, I didn't like it but I had to suck it up.
I spent about 5-8 minutes to understand the demo question and took about 18 minutes to write and test my code. I eventually submitted the answer. Well, it didn't go well. I only got score 18. That was the moment I understood how it works. Again, I still don't like it.
Anyway, I registered an account in order to get some more tests but they only provide few questions in programming, one for bug fixing and one for standard SQL. Some warm-up questions are pretty easy but some hurt my brain. Although I have many years of programming experience, some questions are really tough. I need to take hours to get a better score.
After two days of practicing, I went to do the real test. I had a warm-up, SQL, bug fixing and a really tough question. I couldn't finish the last question in time. Without knowing the result, I'm pretty sure I couldn't get the score to get to the interview phase. But anyway, at least that was a good experience.
I understand the reason a company rolling out a test in order to filter out unqualified applicants. It is fair enough for an employer to test candidates' programming skills before interviewing them. However, they may miss out some candidates with other outstanding skills who can make further contributions other than just passing the test. Until today, the results of the codility tests are still controversial, some people agree but some don't.
All in all, the following links may be helpful for other candidates who are going to take the codility test. I wish you all the best of luck to get the score you want or your future employer wants. But don't lose the faith on coding, because it is fun.
Tips I found them usefulhttp://dev.tasubo.com/2012/09/tips-for-tasks-on-codility.html
Threads I found them usefulhttp://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/codility
Blog Posts I feel interestinghttp://arkofmind.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/doing-a-test-with-codility/