Software Developer Test

A software developer test can be used to determine if a candidate has the technical expertise and ability to be a successful software developer.

  • What is a software developer test?

    A software developer needs to be able to build programs, websites and applications from the ground up, with a complete understanding of script, source code, debugging and testing – creating useful solutions for specific business problems.

    For recruitment teams who are looking for a software developer to join the business, the right software developer test can provide data-driven insights into the capabilities and competencies of the applicants, before taking them further in the recruitment process.

About the Software Developer Test

The software developer test assesses applicants on realistic problems that demonstrate key skills and competencies.

These skills might include writing and testing code in specific programming languages, testing and debugging, introducing new technology like cloud platforms, and keeping abreast of developments in software development.

For recruiters, the software developer test reduces the cost-per-hire by allowing the application process to focus on candidates that are correctly qualified, have the relevant experience, and demonstrate proven skills.

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  • Why should you use a software developer test for recruiting?

    Sifting and sorting through resumes and application forms will help start a shortlist of potential candidates, but it is not always easy to decide whether an applicant actually has the right level of skill to be successful in the role.

    The software developer test ensures that those candidates can prove their abilities in dealing with common software issues and queries, from script knowledge and source code, right through to deployment and maintenance.

    Software developers need to be able to understand the problem, and use critical thinking skills to create a solution. The test assesses their basic knowledge of terminology, data structures and algorithms, operating databases and using cryptographic devices to secure software, websites and apps.

    They need to be able to communicate strongly in both verbal and written form, allowing them to present ideas to their teams and their managers. They also need to have great organisational and time management skills.

    The software developer test is a simple and scalable way to assess applicants without any bias. Every candidate has the same questions presented in the same way, giving a comparable dataset that can be used to ensure that only the most qualified potential employees are taken further in the recruitment process.

    The software developer test is also useful for other roles such as:

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Software Developer Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

How our test assesses software developer skills

Candidates will need to answer a range of questions that measure industry-specific technical skills where applicable (e.g. programming skills), soft skills (e.g. teamwork), aptitude (e.g. error checking) and relevant personality dimensions (e.g. detail orientation). The results present a holistic view of how well suited each candidate is for the job at hand, using a data-driven approach.

The format varies by type of question, including multiple-choice for aptitude and technical skills, situational judgement for soft skills and agreement on a Likert scale for the personality dimensions. This approach ensures candidates are being assessed in an accurate and fair manner, and that results reflect the true underlying qualities of each candidate.

The characteristics, abilities and knowledge necessary to be a software developer were identified using the US Department of Labor's comprehensive O*NET database. O*NET is the leading source of occupational information that is constantly updated by collecting data from employees in specific job roles.

During the development process, test questions were rigorously analysed to maximise reliability and validity in line with industry best practices. They were created by our team of I/O psychologists and psychometricians – who collaborated with subject-matter-experts – and field-tested with a representative sample of job applicants who have varying experience, just like you might find in a talent pool.

Each test is reviewed by a panel of individuals representing diverse backgrounds to check for any sensitivity, fairness, face validity and accessibility issues. This ensures each candidate has a fair chance of demonstrating their true level of expertise.

Our software developer test is monitored to ensure it is up-to-date and optimised for performance.


Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).


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    Fully accredited

    All our Software Developer tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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    For all levels

    We offer Software Developer tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.


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    Automated actions such as alerts and reminders ensure a smooth candidate experience.

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    Instant results

    Receive candidate results in real-time so you can make decisions in hours, not days.


Make better hires

Improve hiring with bias-free, data-driven decisions.

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    Analytics dashboard

    Our full array of candidate performance metrics will provide actionable data on each of your candidates.

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    Candidate comparison

    Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Software Developer Test expert

Written by a Software Developer Test expert

Our team of assessment experts is made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain


What are the skills required for a software developer?

A software developer needs to have numerical understanding, as well as competency in creating and editing code in a specific programming language. They must also be able to test and deploy websites and applications, and maintain them. Software developers need soft skills like communication, teamwork, self-motivation and critical thinking skills.

How do you assess software developer skills?

The software developer test presents candidates with a series of multiple-choice questions based on programming fundamentals, best practices, and debugging problems. These questions have been specifically designed by experts to assess a candidate's level of expertise and how suitable they are for the role.

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, simply sign up (no credit card is required) and we'll give you unlimited access for seven days. Create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you want; you won't be charged a penny.

When in the recruitment process is it best to use a software developer Test?

The software developer test is easy to administer to a large number of applicants, and it is most useful at the beginning of a recruitment process, to help reduce the candidate pool to a manageable number of qualified applicants.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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