React, BREET the Robot and whole milk: this week's links






La Verdad del PP (Spanish)


Why I won't do your coding test

A software company has a senior position to fill. They contact me, directly or through recruiters, expressing great interest for my profile. Sounds great!

Now, they have a nice coding test they want me to accomplish. It can be a 1 hour general coding Q&A, a FizzBuzz-style coding challenge, or even a full-fledged mock app specification.

Their coding test may aim to:
  1. Weed out the non-coders from the ones that do
  2. Only get the developers that are interested enough to perform their test in a ordered and timely manner.
  3. Gather insight about my proficiency for their position
But they're failing, on all three points:
  1. I know how to code, and can show it. They can check my blog, my numerous repositories on GitHub, my public sample projects, my freelancing portfolio, and even my fully-working apps and sites out there
  2. I've already expressed interest in their position. I have a day job, and several side projects: I won't spend a sizable chunk of my free time so they can tick some boxes about my coding skills.
  3. No matter how general or specific their tests is, it will never replace the proper way to see if someone fits your position: work with them on the real job, and see how it feels.
My main gripe with coding tests is that they ask me for an investment of my time and resources so that they can gather information about me, but I'm getting nothing back. What I look for in an interview process is to get to know the company, their culture and work environment; the coding test gives me none of this.

Some alternatives to coding tests that benefit both parties:
  • Bring the candidate to the office for a day, and work together. They'll get to know the company and its environment, and the company can see how the candidate fits within their team and culture.
  • Pair program with people from your team for an hour or two (Screenhero works great), so the candidate can learn from them as they learn from him/her.
  • Assign the candidate a real feature/bugfix to implement from home, remunerated accordingly. Make them sign an NDA, and both parties will have come out benefitted from the exchange. 
If your company need programmers that can perform FizzBuzz and recursive file searches in 10 minutes as part of their daily tasks, stick with your test. On the other hand, If you want people that fit your team and workflow, that can build solid features according to spec, and that can communicate clearly with fellow devs and business people, test people on that regard. There's no better test than the real thing.

Rockets, Unicorns, and Wax Bullets — linkroll, week 19



  • "One investor took me to lunch, said he wanted to ‘test’ the product out by going on a date with me." Fundraising While Female

11 Google Chrome Extensions

Continuing the post about my Mac OS X setup, here are the Chrome extensions I currently use. As you might notice, there's a heavy focus in web development, since that's what I do on my day job; and in keyboard-driven interfaces, which you can read more about here. Off we go!

General Tools

  • Authy: 2-Factor Authentication with support for countless apps. I use it for my Google, Amazon, and Heroku accounts, for starters.
  • Crystal: "Communicate with anyone, based on personality". Try it out, it's uncanny.
  • Google Translate: For the pages that Chrome doesn't recognize as translatable. Offers One-click full page translations, or single word lookup in hundreds of languages.

Lenin hustling, Basketball, and wall maps — linkroll, week 18

Technology & Internet



Setting up Atom for Web Development

In the vein of these Sublime Text 3 recommendations for Rails development, here's my Atom setup for developing web apps.

After using Sublime and Vim for several years, I switched to Atom a year ago, and have not missed one feature from the other two so far. Since Atom is in continuous development by the core team and the community, it only gets better as time passes. Also, it's free.

First, an FAQ/C:


No need to install any package manager for Atom. The editor is composed of over 50 open-source packages, and so the package manager is built in. There's a phenomenal package repository online, or you can search for them directly on Atom's Settings -> Install. And, since Atom is open source and built using web technologies, creating new packages or extending exiting ones is easy. Here are the ones I use:

This week's sponsor: Supplements Online

This week's sponsor is Supplements Online, online sports & health supplements store:

30+€ of free food with UberEATS!

New discounts for UberEATS, following the previous ones:

  • 10€: Register on Uber here:, or add the code 7C5CX coupon code
  • 15€: Add the UBEREATSBCN coupon code
  • 30% discount on 1 order: Add the EATSBCN30 coupon code
  • 10€ each: invite your friends!
You can order between 12:30 - 15:30 and 20:00 - 23:00, the dishes available are listed here. Bon appétit!