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A senior developer should have a CV, maybe some hobby code, some references, a commercial product they can describe or point at. Giving them programming puzzles is a waste of time. I get that they can be useful to filter out some bad recently-graduated-from-a-bootcamp developers.

The antipattern here isn't that there are puzzles. The antipattern is using some external screening service using the same process for all candidates. There shouldn't even be a HR person screening before the team and hiring manager is.

The problem is that if you don't have any screening, then you get a flood of candidates, and it takes someone's full time job to sift through them. HR needs to be well trained on what to look for, but they are often a necessary gatekeeper in my experience on the hiring side. The goal is to keep the number of qualified candidates who get filtered out at a reasonable level.

(I completely get that this is unfair. If you went to MIT and have a high GPA, you are gonna make it past the gate more often. Community college, but an excellent coder? Unfortunately you will be rejected more often by HR. It's completely unfair, but companies can't reasonably interview every candidate who submits a resume.)

When I get a lot of responses it has been ~100. I have found it pretty easy to read all resumes and pick 10 or so candidates to interview. Compared to the amount of time the interviews take, the sifting through resumes is pretty quick work I think. If there were 500 or 1000 resumes the situation would be different, but then I’d perhaps use a HR/recruiter person to just give me the 100 that meet the requirements. No phone screen or coding challenge needed.

This. I think it's just laziness to not even consider publicly -available hobby code. I get that some people don't have time to create hobby code. But if it's there, I don't see why programming "bar trivia" and timed programming challenges should take precedence.

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