[thelist] Skill testing questions

Ray Hill lists at prydain.com
Tue Mar 20 21:20:42 CST 2001

> i have to create a written test that covers HTML 4 and
> CSS1 so that i can test new hires at my firm.  it has
> to cover the basics of HTML and CSS so that we can weed
> out the intermediate from the advanced candidates.

I don't know about written tests, but I can tell you what a friend of mine used to use for this purpose when he was working for Eleven, Inc.  He had two online tests that he used to judge people's HTML skills.

The first was a test of their troubleshooting skills.  He made a copy of the Starbucks home page on his server, and then intentionally broke several things about it (tags openning that didn't close, incorrect target onlinks, content typos, image maps that didn't match the visual bits of the image, etc).  The candidate then has to go through it as if it were a real project getting ready to launch, identify all of the errors, and fix them.

The other test is more thorough, and is more appropriate to the work a lot of HTML developers do on a daily basis.  He took a screenshot of CNet's home page, and gave the big-ass JPG file to the candidate, with the task of replicating the entire page as closely as possible in HTML (without looking at CNet's current site, of course).  The beauty of this one is that it not only tests their proficiency in HTML, their coding / development style, and how they approach a project from scratch, but it's also *very* applicable to what they're likely to be doing down the road, if there is a separate design department that will be handing them Photoshop-generated, or napkin-scrawled concept models for them to build from.

It's not that hard a test for people who really know what they're doing, but it's just difficult enough to make the less knowledgeable folks squirm a bit.  Which, it appears, is exactly the distinction you're tying to make.

The tests he gave me can be found here:


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