Qualified supports a number of challenge types, which allow you to test candidates and students in different ways. This article will provide a light overview of the different challenges types.
Before we get into the different types of challenges though, you should know that challenges are grouped together into what we call assessments. You can learn more about the differences between assessments and challenges here.
(Classic) Code Challenge
A code challenge is the primary form of challenge used on the platform. This challenge involves developers having to write code in order to complete one or more objectives. This type of challenge is considered a work sample, which is a type of test that evaluates someone on their ability to complete a task. This is apposed to an aptitude test, where you would try to determine the skill of someone based off of what they know and can recall.
Code Challenges on Qualified utilize unit testing frameworks, such as Mocha or JUnit, to test the code that is submitted by each developer. This provides a true real-world mapping to the type of development that is done on production code, since these frameworks are meant to test production code.
Getting into the details of code challenges is beyond the scope of this article, but something you should know is that the ability to use unit testing frameworks to score developer's solutions is a very powerful thing. You may be used to older platforms that test code solutions based off of what they print out of the program (STDOUT). That type of testing greatly limits what you can accomplish in terms of testing, and also results in awkwardly coded solutions.
This type of challenge is best used for pre-screens, algorithm based problems and straight forward coding tasks. The format is crafted to provide a focused experience that allows a developer to dive straight into a specific file of code that needs to be completed.
Project Code Challenge
A new type of challenge on the Qualified platform, currently only available in a private beta (contact us to learn more). This challenge expands the Code Challenge format with more capabilities. It allows you to setup an advanced project structure, and configure different types of security around the files included within the project.
This type of coding challenge is best used when you want to dive deeper into a developers skill, such as having them digest a large codebase, or work on a coding task that involves working with a framework. If you are using Qualified for recruitment, you can still use this type of challenge for pre-screens, but they are also great choices for creating follow-up assessments to test developers further.
This challenge format also features the ability to preview front-end web output, such as when working with a React based task.
A Q&A Challenge allows you to configure one or more questions to be asked to a candidate, to be used for things such as assessing role fitness, surveys, and knowledge/aptitude testing. There are currently two types of questions supported. They will sound familiar to you, but there are some advanced settings on them that open them up to new possibilities that you may have not considered before.
Currently Qualified supports two types of questions:
The multiple-choice question type supports a number of configurations which allow you to test for a variety of situations. You can go beyond simply having simple single or multiple choice, and support things such as:
- Having one choice weighted as "more correct" than another, allowing candidates to select any number of options (but only some are correct)
- Allowing candidates to select a limited amount of items but more items are correct than are allowed to be selected, allowing for use-cases such as preference surveys.
- Many more...
In addition, both the question text and answer options both support Markdown, which allows you to write advanced items. For example, you can includes images inside of choices, to turn them into picture choices.
Free text questions are long form text answers. Traditionally text questions on aptitude tests have had to be reviewed and graded manually, however the Qualified platform provides a number of tools to allow you to augment manual reviewing with automatic scoring.
You can configure regular expressions and string checks to check the text for phrases or keywords that you feel should be present within a correct answer. In addition, you can also configure different formatting options, so that for example the text is treated as code and is formatted accordingly.
Here are a few other articles you may want to check out to learn more.