When HR makes software engineering tests

When HR makes software engineering tests

13 Feb 2024

Cultural fit? As a software developer, this should be my only politically loaded, public post on LinkedIn...

I just declined a "technical" test for a software role due to it becoming my second encounter with TestGorilla, a Dutch HR company that makes "Pre-Employment Testing Software".

They claim to be bias-free, scientifically validated, objective, reliable and fair.

I first encountered them on UpWork with a job post to take and assess their software engineering tests. I hope this isn't what they mean by "scientifically validated".

I gave it a shot, expecting an objective software engineering test. I never got to that part if there was one...

It started off with a pre-test "reading comprehension". Which was a quiz with only one "correct" answer per statement.

A few statements stood out with themes of "climate", "gender", ...

The statements were phrased suggestively and some hypothetical. These stood out:

  • "... ice caps melting could potentially rise sea levels by a few meters"
  • "... gender bias against women by A.I. ..."

But ... only one correct answer per statement. So, more like an "agree or fail" test possibly fishing for political, cultural or ethical stances, disguised as "reading comprehension".

My objections to this:

What do I really know about these topics? I accept the world not to be flat but do I have any evidence of that? Nope. I'm just a simple guy with software development as my craft. Why / how should I know or care? Why ask me about potential world issues?

I understand a thing or two about A.I. but why do you need me to denounce this occurrence? Why this one?

My passion is to create, to build and to solve problems. It involves some critical-thinking to make things functionally accurate. Being critical means that you may not just accept everything, just because.

Anyhow, this form of an "agree or fail" test may not result in the promised "bias-free" outcome. It may "expose" some traits. I understand that compliance and agreeableness likely are attractive traits to a manager, team or employer. But, I doubt the critical-thinking quality or genuinity of the passing candidates.

I demanded TestGorilla to remove my personal information and my test answers as this smells too much like the "Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal" which abused (e.g. quiz) data for political advertising.

And, I find it an unfortunate way of sneaking "climate-alarmism", gender topics, and other wokeisms into the technical professions as a politically loaded quiz.

What do you think?


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