Streamlining the Developer Hiring Process (Part II)


Written by Anton

June 29, 2023 | 3 min read

Technical Assessment

Welcome to the second part of our developer hiring process series at Thorgate! In this blog post, we will dive into the crucial stage of the hiring process - preparing and assessing the test assignment and providing constructive feedback via code review. At Thorgate, we have carefully refined our approach to balance efficiency and personalized feedback, ensuring a fair evaluation for all candidates. We believe in utilizing a homework-style test assignment that mimics real-world scenarios, allowing candidates to showcase their skills and problem-solving abilities in a calm environment and at their own pace. Using GitHub and pull request reviews, we create an interactive feedback loop that fosters collaboration and open communication.

Preparing the Test Assignment

Thorgate believes that a homework-style test assignment provides candidates a more authentic and relaxed assessment environment. Instead of putting candidates on the spot with a whiteboard interview, we present them with an actual project to work on at their convenience. This approach allows candidates to showcase their skills and problem-solving abilities in a more realistic setting, closely resembling the tasks they would encounter as part of our development team.

To ensure easy accessibility and efficient version control, we chose GitHub as the platform to store the test assignments. GitHub provides a seamless and user-friendly interface for candidates to access the project and submit their solutions. Moreover, it enables us to maintain a centralized repository of assignments, facilitating collaboration and review processes.

We're all about efficiency and making things easier for our candidates at Thorgate. That's why we've developed automation tools to speed up the creation of new test assignments. We understand that waiting for weeks just to get an assignment is frustrating and could even cause candidates to lose interest. We want to ensure a smooth and timely process, allowing candidates to dive into the assignment and showcase their skills without unnecessary delays.


Assessing the Test Assignments

Over the years, we have encountered challenges in finding the right balance between efficiency and providing valuable feedback to candidates. In this section, we will discuss how Thorgate has refined its approach to assessing the test assignment, allowing for a faster evaluation process while maintaining a personalized touch and providing useful feedback to candidates.

Thorgate has adopted a checklist approach to assessing the test assignment. This approach provides a structured evaluation framework and ensures that all relevant aspects of the assignment are covered during the review process. The goals in the test assignment act as checkpoints to evaluate whether candidates have successfully met the required criteria in their submission. They help clarify both the evaluators and the candidates regarding the expected outcomes of the test assignment.

We also have hidden goals and bonus points to assess candidates' creativity, attention to detail, and ability to go above and beyond the basic requirements. These additional elements allow candidates to showcase their innovative thinking, problem-solving skills, and commitment to delivering high-quality solutions.

Providing Constructive Feedback via Code Review

We use pull request reviews on GitHub as the primary method for providing feedback to candidates. This approach allows reviewers to assess the candidate's code changes and offer constructive comments directly within the assignment context. The interactive nature of this feedback mechanism fosters a collaborative environment and encourages open communication between the candidate and the reviewer.

Thorgate uses GitHub organizations to grant access to multiple senior developers for reviewing the test assignment. This approach allows for diverse perspectives and insights on the candidate's code. Senior developers can swap places and review different assignments, sharing their expertise and providing a well-rounded evaluation. Leveraging reviewers' collective knowledge and experience ensures a thorough and comprehensive feedback process.

We also maintain a historical record of code changes and feedback provided during the review process using GitHub organisations. This valuable data allows for analysis and retrospective evaluations, enabling continuous hiring process improvement. It also ensures consistency and helps maintain a high evaluation standard across multiple candidates and assignments.

One important note is that even if a candidate does not meet the assignment requirements, the feedback aims to highlight the candidate's strengths and offer suggestions for improvement. We also provide a curated list of recommended literature and courses to help the candidate improve their skills.

Stay tuned for the last blog post in the series, where we explore the final stages of the Thorgate developer hiring process!

Want to know more about improving and streamlining the developer hiring process? Feel free to write to us at