Developer jobs: Google's tool to help you ace interviews just got better

Google Area 120's Byteboard interview platform now caters to front-end, mobile, and web developers.

Demand for data science talent continues to grow Pay rates for data science jobs and trends in programming languages are revealed in a new report.

Google's Area 120 product incubator earlier this year launched the Byteboard developer interview platform to help hiring managers objectively and efficiently spot the best candidates through a project-based online interview. 

Byteboard, which launched publicly in July, initially supported interviews for back-end and full-stack engineering staff, allowing businesses to test problem-solving abilities in seven languages, including Java, Python, Ruby, C++, C#, server-side JavaScript engine node.js, and Go. 

This week, Google's Byteboard team is expanding support for front-end software engineers who build systems for the web and mobile. 

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The platform supports the original seven languages plus popular Android programming language Kotlin and Apple-backed Swift, while the web interview is offered in JavaScript, with HTML and CSS.

The idea behind Byteboard was to create a technical interview experience that's fair and challenges applicants to solve real-world coding problems, helping move firms away from high-pressure theoretical tests that might not surface an engineering candidate's true problem-solving abilities. 

Google and Microsoft in the past have asked candidates obscure questions, such as 'How many tennis balls can fit into plane?'.

The Byteboard interview on the other hand assesses for skills in role-related computer-science knowledge, code fluency, growth mindset, and communication. 

The mobile and web interviews also assess for domain-specific skills like performance, networking, and accessibility.

According to Rachel Bloch Mellon, the engineering and assessment development lead at Byteboard, the platform has been used to interview over 2,000 candidates for customers including Lyft, Betterment, and Quibi. Byteboard first piloted the platform just over a year ago.  

"By using our platform, our customers have seen their onsite-to-offer rates double and have saved hundreds of hours for recruiters and engineers," she said.

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The platform can also be helpful when hiring a specialist, which can be harder than for engineering managers.  

"If you ask a front-end engineer what they think about technical interviews, usually their experience is even worse than the average engineer, since traditional technical interviews overemphasize skills that are often even less relevant for front-end work," she notes. 

Google provided ZDNet a few snapshots of the Byteboard demo that potential customers can see on request.

byteboard-example.png

The idea behind Byteboard was to create a technical interview experience that's fair and challenges applicants. 

Image: Google
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Google's Byteboard demo can be seen on request.  

Image: Google