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What is Whiteboard Coding?

Smartpedia: Whiteboard Coding is part of an interview in which candidates are asked to demonstrate their technical skills in solving a software development task on a whiteboard.

Whiteboard coding – the demonstration of development skills in interviews

The assessment of skills, knowledge, experience and solution competencies of applicants poses challenges to organisations. Due to the amount of technologies, development languages, frameworks, tools, etc., HR departments and IT departments find it difficult to assess whether an applicant meets the technical requirements of software development. Whiteboard coding is part of an interview in which candidates are asked to demonstrate their skills in solving a software development task on a whiteboard. Whiteboard coding offers some advantages for the representatives of an organisation:

  • You recognise how well, quickly, methodically cleanly and structured the applicant solves the coding task.
  • You will experience how clearly the candidate outlines and communicates the solution.
  • You experience how the potential employee behaves in stressful situations.
  • You experience how well the interviewee has prepared for the interview.

Tips for applicants at Whiteboard Codings

Since applicants usually cannot know in advance whether there will be a whiteboard coding and which task will be set, they cannot prepare or practice the solution of the task. However, candidates may know that the interview partners are not interested in a technically optimal solution to the problem, but in an approach to the task. There are a few simple tips and tricks:

  • The candidate should note the task on the whiteboard. This provides orientation for all participants and at the same time enables them to refer to individual elements of the task in the case of a multi-part task. It is also a good idea to ask how much time he gets for the solution.
  • The candidate should clearly name his solution steps. “The challenge lies in these two parts …”. Or: “I’ll do this first, then that second”. Depending on the task, a sketch can also help to create clarity about the task and an understanding of the solution.
  • Ideally, the applicant should pay attention to a clean, legible font and correct any spelling mistakes immediately. It is advisable to start with the solution at the top left of the whiteboard in order to use the entire space. At the same time there should be enough space between the lines of code to be able to insert information afterwards.


Whiteboard Coding

Often the whiteboard coding is only a part of an interview. Since the results of the solution remain visible for a long time, it is advisable to follow the tips and tricks. They literally make a lasting impression. And this is something that the applicant would probably like to convey. In principle, whiteboard coding can also be used for interviews in other specialist areas. Whiteboard interviews or whiteboard tests are corresponding terms.

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Impulse to discuss:

Is whiteboard coding suitable for all applicants, regardless of their level of experience, or should it be avoided at a certain point?


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