Testing Programmers: Puzzles Or Mini Web-Apps?

As you know, I like to sponsor web application programming contests, for example, thisthis, and this

In a recent conversation with an Android programmer, he asked why I don't follow Google's practice of asking people to solve puzzles. According to him, people who can solve programming puzzles can definitely build webapps, but many people who build webapps can't solve programming puzzles. I asked why these programming puzzle solving geniuses can't learn Python to write simple webapps for cash, and I think he said it's because basic webapps are not cool enough to interest them.

What do you think? If interviewing a programmer for a role on your team, would you ask the programmer to solve programming puzzles or would you ask them to develop something simple but complete like a mini webapp? Which approach will result in the best, most productive hire? 

32 comments :: Testing Programmers: Puzzles Or Mini Web-Apps?

  1. Seun Please how do I contact you, I got this big idea and dream and I think we can make it happen.

    Tommy Oke
    CEO GistCrunch
    www.gistcrunch.co.cc
    twitter: www.twitter.com/gistcrunch

    personal: www.twitter.com/tommyzizah

    Thanks,
    Hope to hear from you soon.

  2. Thanks for the sharing of such information we will pass it on to our readers.
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  3. Hi Seun,

    it is great to know about this medium of reaching you.

    I work with a media agency in Lagos.

    One of my client is interested in reaching Architects in Nigeria and i came across your this Nairaland page (Properties) i feel it will be great place to reach my target audience.

    Is it possible to place ads directly on this page without going through Google, ie having a slot placement from Nairaland for a period of the campaign.

    If it is possible, how much will it cost? if i will place a dimension of 720x90.

    Please let me know as soon as possible.

    Best Regards,

  4. Pls i'm having a litle problem in editing my blog.I wana know if it's good to use a free web domain to open a website.Thanks(ugochukwuduru88@yahoo.Com

  5. Hi Seun. Do you design websites? If yes please I need to contact you ASAP. Please send me an email on ikeolumbankiru@gmail.com.

    Thanks!

  6. Hi Oluwaseun:

    I had a question for you about your site. Would you be able to contact me at ari_strauch@hotmail.com as soon as possible?

    Thanks so much.

    Ari

  7. Hi Oluwaseun:

    Posted a comment over here yesterday and just wanted to make sure it was received as I had a question for you. Would you be able to contact me at ari_strauch@hotmail.com as soon as possible?

    Thanks so much.

    Ari

  8. Thanks man for giving out this info. I appreciate the good work u'r doing. I'm the ceo of http://uchubilo.blogspot.com and I hope to get to the point u are some day.

  9. Hello Seun.
    Im Sunkanmi, and I run a digital advertising agency in Lagos here with a number of global clients.
    We have considered executing a series of digital campaigns on your forum and would like to discuss with you.
    Kindly mail us your contact information:
    ola.olasunkanmi@syracuseng.com.
    Will be expecting. Thanks

  10. good morning,please are you the admin of naira land,pleas i wanna discuss somrthing with you.How do i get or mail addy or please kindly send me a mail via trendyrammy@gmail.com.. thnks.looking forward to seeing your mail.rammy

  11. please i just read my comment and noticed the errors in them,pls kindly ignore as they are all typographical errors.thanks rammy

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.
  13. Seun How are yo?

    I have never been motivated after reading blogs like yours before.
    I just graduated from the university, its been 8 months now, and i have thought of nothing but to develop a social network www.fliqin.com getting ckicken to lay eggs is a big deal for me, but after reading your post i think i'm good to go.

    please email me if you have any suggestions
    support@fliqin.com
    ositaegeonu@gmail.com

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  15. Oga Seun, please un ban me. U blocked my account for no good reason. All I did was to place my Doggs Ad's. Is it a wrong thing to do that. Abeg that's where I make my daily bread oh. Am just a graduate trying to earn a legitimate living. If I indulge in something fraudulent now, ur website will be the first to broadcast. I beg u in the name of God to unban my accounts: Doggshaven, Trip4romeo. Thank U. Ur doing a good job anyway. Keep it up! Cheers!

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  17. whats your contact? i need to know how much you charge for twitter promotion.. i need to get traffic on my new company's website ... feel free to contact me at alowonlejnr@yahoo.com or twitter.com/mistablood pls reply ..

  18. Why is everyone not commenting based on what seun wrote..anyway very typical of Nigerians. Well from my own view I don't think web puzzle is necessary to pick a candidate rather I will not suggest asking them to build a simple web app. Resadon is not all programmers are vast in all languages.some may be good at a particular one and just have the idea of another.Again there is this saying in local palance that "ona kan ko woja" I.e there are so many ways to a market place.Am a php programmer and I may know a certain way of solving a problem, what if the method you the puzzler used is alien to me?.
    Sorry for the long reply

  19. wonderful information you have shared here, thanks alot.

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  20. If I am to hire a developer, to join me on my team i'd probably make the developers go through a hackathon. See the first to do some web app quickest. And then let each contestant find problems in the competitors app.

  21. My own suggestion is for applicants to solve a given problem using the language they know best and suit the particular problem. Just like my prof would say " Writing codes is not the problem but solving it".

  22. Please seun, what did I do that led to my ban from posting topics on nairaland? I want to know. I can't post topics on nairaland anymore. My username is peteregwu. I was never told anything relating to any ban. Each time I try to post a ttopic, it keep telling me to wait for some minutes. This has been on since yesterday till now.

    Please reply.
    Thanks

  23. Please sir,
    Its important and I couldn't find a way to contact your team through nairaland and since there's no private way of communicating. I need to delete my nairaland profile, its interfering. username 'punnonline'
    thanks for prompt cooperation.

  24. Hello, Mr Seun...I have to drop this here because am really bother about Nairaland taking more that half of my clicks, In fact, sometimes Nairaland don't give me any clicks out of my numerous clicks...maybe there are terms & conditions to this but please it will be more than nice if i can have a better insight. Thank you. Glamourogo.blogspot.com. Email: gift4u40@gmail.com

  25. Hey! Seun i need to ask your help in building my forum using SMF software, please contact me on cragadagba@gmail.com.

    Owner @ http://www.9jabestbase.tk

  26. hi seun..how can i post a thread on nairaland..pls contact me on yomi311@yahoo.com

  27. Pleas I want to know how much a flight cost from nigeria to guyana

  28. Hi Seun my name is charlse I love your work @ #NAIRALAND keep it up and I have more to discus with you you can reach me via: vanmeche@gmail.com or bbm pin:2B56F64F tankz

  29. Hi Mr Seun, please remove my website www.thenethelpers.com from Antispam. I have messaged you on facebook and created threads upon threads to get your attention. Please. from your old time member and friend Jerrymania/Babaearly

  30. Hello,
    Good day to you, My name is Elsie. From what I can see on this blog, your last post was about 2years ago and I truly hope you will still get to see my comment.
    I'm not a Tech gig, I'm not a programmer, neither am I into hardwares.
    What I'm intersted in is far from your field, mostly fashion.
    Got an opportunity that I wouldn't want to pass by and I decided to google Angel investors, I stumbled on a website that needed people to come pitch for funds and saw your comment there, I clicked on your name and landed here.
    All I know is that I need an Angel investor and will be very grateful if you can be one for me or connect me to someone who is interested in that field.
    Elsieisy@gmail.com
    Isy_hope@yahoo.com
    www.elsieisy.com
    Will be waiting to hear from you sir. Thank you.

  31. Am also a programmer in Nigeria, and i do create programs that sometimes runs on Autopilots, you can checkout my website @ omoscowonder

  32. Nice



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