The Best Live Coding Interview Tool in 2022

If you’re an engineering manager, you want to streamline the process for assessing engineers while still identifying top-quality candidates for every position. This is especially important if you work at a tech startup and need to hire a team of developers quickly.

You might consider using a live coding interview tool. In this case, you can choose from dozens of online coding platforms that enable you to interact with candidates who are writing, executing, and debugging code. Some of these platforms have become very complex — adding dozens of programming languages, libraries of tests, audio and video capabilities, and instantaneous reporting, just to name a few.

The key to using live coding tools for technical interviews is collaboration; a single interviewer or team must be able to interact with candidates. Code collaboration tools go beyond the typical coding quiz and allow candidates to write code for real software projects, which helps engineering leaders assess the candidate’s accuracy and efficiency.

Below we’ll explore some live coding interview examples and tools that can help you hire the right people, faster.

Online coding interview tool

Your first challenge is picking the online coding interview tool that works best for you.

In truth, most platforms share the same basic features. Some tools can choose and administer tests for you; others let you customize your tests. Keep in mind that if your company doesn’t want a pre-packaged assessment, you’ll need to carve out time for reviewing, selecting, and integrating all elements of the online test before administering it to candidates.

Here are three examples of common interview platforms:

  • Codeshare allows interviewers to set up coding tasks and observe the candidate in real-time. The platform is similar to a traditional whiteboarding test in that it requires a candidate to respond to code-writing challenges while being scrutinized by a company’s senior engineers.
  • CoderByte is a CodeShare alternative that enables collaboration with candidates on front-end, back-end, and DevOps challenges. The interviewer can use ready-made tests from the platform’s library or create them from scratch. However, it’s important to note that Coderbyte lacks enterprise features such as SSO (Single Sign-on Server) and doesn’t have audio or video.
  • CoderPad pioneered the online integrated development environment (IDE) and is one of the first coding interview platforms. Its IDE works with most programming languages and executes code fast, so that a candidate can debug while writing the code. One downfall is that the interviewer has no way of testing front-end or back-end skills using React or Docker, for example, and cannot collaborate on even moderately complex projects.

Collaborative code editor

Virtually all coding interview platforms allow for collaboration. Some, however, are more like online code editors and don’t offer technical interview services or resources. Engineering managers can still use them to watch candidates write code for the software development tasks they’ll encounter on the job.

Collaborative code editors leave it to users to gather the resources needed for a technical interview. This can be really time consuming if a manager wants the assessment to be specific to the role. Basically: you’re in control of the entire technical interview process.

  • Collabedit and Codility are platforms to code share online—essentially, they’re code editors. Codility CodeLive, for example, enables recruiters and candidates to work on real-life tasks. It has built-in audio and video as well as a whiteboard feature where candidates can draw flow charts and diagrams. Interviewers can start a session with predefined tasks and code templates, decide a range of acceptable solutions, and score results. But the problem with algorithm challenges and simple programming problems is that you’re not testing for skills in front-end or back-end technologies.
  • CoderPad, like many other online technical interviewing platforms, offers resources for candidates who want to get up to speed before their interviews. CoderPad for Candidates offers a guide to using the platform for a technical interview, and CoderPad Sandbox lets candidates play around in the IDE and get comfortable with it.

 Code interview questions

Question: What role are you hiring for? When choosing tools for your company’s code interview online, it’s important to distinguish between live coding interview questions for freshers and questions for junior or senior developers.

An assessment that gauges familiarity with technical terms in a given language such as Python or JavaScript may help establish technical competence for an entry-level or very junior position. And knowing terminology suggests that the candidate will work well on initial assignments and has the foundation for on-the-job learning.

But senior engineering candidates aren’t excited about coding quizzes or online code interviews. The tools we’ve listed so far offer simple coding challenges, and senior engineers know how to code. It’s more important to get a feel for how experienced developers communicate, think, and problem solve.

Choosing your code interview test

Getting the skill level right in your code interview test is critical. So is assessing for the right role. Obviously, your company isn’t always hiring a “Generalist Engineer” (although that’s a valid professional title). You’ll need an interview tool that can accurately assess specific roles on your team.

Woven’s online coding challenges target the role-based technical skills for which most companies recruit, including:

  • Mid/Senior Fullstack Engineer
  • Junior/Mid Fullstack Engineer
  • Engineering Manager
  • SRE/DevOps Engineer
  • Mid/Senior Frontend Engineer
  • Junior/Mid Frontend Engineer
  • Mid/Senior Backend Engineer
  • Junior/Mid Backend Engineer
  • Mid/Senior Generalist Engineer

More good news: Woven has constructed, tested, and refined challenges that reveal a candidate’s technical skills for each role. And all of our assessments go beyond code, addressing skills in debugging, technical communications, systems thinking, and more.

The results are scored by two of our senior engineers who are looking at the candidate’s code writing ability, problem setup, use of tools, and (of course) solutions. Then, we make recommendations to your hiring managers which leads to more efficient and meaningful late-stage interviews.

If you’re hiring engineers this year, Woven is the best live coding interview tool to have in your toolbox.

Ready to learn more about Woven’s coding challenges? Start a free trial today. Our staff is excited to answer your questions and discuss next steps.