Evaluating Candidates for Web Development Positions - HR

It may be difficult for HR personnel to determine which web development candidates to interview.

Candidates for any web position should always submit URLs of their work and a description of their contribution to the project. If they don’t, either their work is not on the public net, or they are not proud of it. In the former case, they should have some web presence, a blog, or work they have done on the side, or even posts in a forum. In the latter case, there are many reasons a person may not be proud of their prior work. It may be the nature of the site - selling products that are controversial or working with a company that is not well-liked. If may be that the overall project was done poorly. Regardless, some demonstration of work should be required. Sample code may be the best solution, it allows the person to present their work and describe it. Often, the quality of their description and the enthusiasm are worth more than the technical discussion, for the initial interview.

The link above checks a web page for some common issues that can make page maintenance extremely expensive, and usually indicates a page that was not coded properly. It can be used to evaluate the work of ‘designers’ and ‘developers’ - people who are responsible for creating the visual presentation for a website. Unless an engineer claims full responsibility for the site, the above link should not be used to examine the page. Back-end/Internet/LAMP/PHP engineers should bring sample code.

To use the tool, enter the URL provided by the candidate and click ‘Go’. The tool will display the issues it found in the code. The final score is a reasonable indicator of the quality of the page.

This link will run the tool on http://wirehopper.com. This is an older page, and would be more difficult to maintain. You can see this with the final score of ‘Danger’.

The remaining sections of the check provide additional insight into the way the page was coded, but the rating system has not been established for them.

If a candidate submitted three URLs, and all were ‘Dangerous’ - in the absence of other outstanding qualities, they should not be considered further.

As is the case for any automated evaluation, this is not an absolute indicator. Entry level employees should be given some latitude, especially those who promptly admit their inexperience and appear eager to accept direction from more senior team members.

Never forget that the quality of web work, including the underlying code, is visible to all site visitors. It is vital that pages be coded well.