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Advice for at-home programming challenges

Aktualisiert: 18. Mai 2022

Assigning job candidates a programming task to complete at home, despite having some problems, isn’t going away anytime soon. So how about some advice?

Usually you’ll have a set deadline. Good companies will indicate roughly how much time they think the task will take and not expect you to spend more than a few hours working on it. What the people on the company side often don’t account for is time to set up your system. I don’t use my private laptop for programming, and getting PHPStorm, Docker, xdebug, etc. installed last time I did one of these easily took two hours. These two hours shouldn’t count for the time allotted to the task, so if the deadline is tight or you know you will have to squeeze this in next to other responsibilities, you may want to ask for a longer deadline before starting.

Aside: If you are matter-of-fact about asking early and cheerfully assume that of course a reasonable company will want to set you up for success, that goes over better than realizing at the end of the deadline that you need an extension. "I don't have a working set-up on my private laptop and will have to install everything fresh, could we extend the deadline by one day to account for that?"

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