The JyMob Blog

Musings of the founder of a failed startup

The JyMob Problem Database

It is imperative that you test the job candidates to your satisfaction. If they are technically competent, you should make sure that there is a cultural fit. In general, humans are great at deciding whether another person is nice to work with. Simply put, if you are reasonably sure about technical prowess/competence of a person you are trying to hire, all there’s in the personal interviews is to ensure that s/he is not a jerk. Recently, Lisa Quast wrote about this and put a special emphasis of testing active job seekers.

Now, to be sure of one’s technical competence is hard. Doing it using the computers is even more so. In these days of fast search engines, testing for the sake of it is utterly meaningless. Hiring is a complex process. Making it even more complex by having a “technical test” appears unnecessary. And it is, if the test is testing nothing specific and if the problems are “googleable”. Granted, we all use Google, Quora, Stack Overflow, Wikipedia, the Internet and our tools to solve the problems we face in professional career. Amidst such a resourceful environment however, it is possible for humans to pose/create problems that are interesting and really test if someone knows the stuff s/he claims. Asking such questions/problems also gives the candidates a glimpse of what you/your company/a particular group is working on.

And then, it is not about just the set of problems or questions in a database. It’s about the testing models. A question can be a carefully crafted multiple choice problem, a puzzle, fixing a (purposely) botched computer in the cloud, a piece of source code in an open source project, a picture in the form of attachments and so on! This is what the JyMob Problem Database is all about. As you know, the core value proposition of JyMob is in creating a test by choosing relevant problems from this growing problem database. Here is what is different about our problems/questions:

  1. It is created and curated by humans. We are constantly looking for experts who love creating innovative problems for us :-). Nothing is as effective as asking experts to contribute real-life problems to our database.

  2. As employers, you have access to all the public problems in the database.

  3. You can create your own problems and not share them with others. What this means is that you can define all your problems and use them for your own jobs.

  4. The problems are of various kinds. We intend to provide you with an infrastructure that is useful for you to test a particular skill. In some cases, asking moderate-to-hard programming problems with varying algorithmic complexity is required. In other cases, you want to find out how good the sense of a user’s sense of “user experience” is. In some other cases, you want to find out whether the candidate applying for a QA position knows about how testable some code is or how to write testable code.

  5. The problems are easily searchable by keywords. You can choose your own problems and generate a test on your own. Every candidate applying for your job(s) can get the exact same test comprising of the problems you choose. If you want to make the tests less predictable (gameable), you should rely on our matching algorithm, however.

The entire treasure trove of problems is available to you when you post your job(s). Once the candidates submit the solutions, you can create discussion threads where you can ask for clarifications and improvements. This keeps an entire record of discussion you have had with the candidate. Going ahead, there will be a possibility of scheduling interactive chat session with one button click.

Such an infrastructure is both job-specific and job-agnostic. This means you can use it to test a sales engineer, a tech support person, a software engineer, a devops candidate etc. In other words, it is not just for coders.

The JyMob Problem Database is thus versatile, growing, dynamic and worthwhile. It helps you find the best people with confidence. It is JyMob’s core IP.

And yes, if you are an expert or know of any expert(s) who loves to compose and pose the problems ;), please let us know.