Product Updates

HackerRank’s Front-End IDE Enhancements Enable Companies to Deliver Exceptional Technical Interviews

Written By James Voytek | April 11, 2022

HackerRank Front-End IDE Enhancements

High-quality, intuitive and responsive user interfaces are table stakes for any web product’s success. To win, companies across the globe are competing for the attention of top front-end developer talent. And, with so many opportunities available to top candidates, it is essential that companies succeed on two fronts: They must successfully assess the skill sets of prospective front-end developers, and they must effectively sell the opportunity to candidates to foster excitement about the role. 

The clearest signals of potential performance have always come from observing the candidate perform job-related activities. That’s why HackerRank provides real-world projects for assessing front-end candidates. But in testing environments across the industry, projects like these are often built on solutions with long load times and significant dependencies on network strength. As a result, latencies and other server issues can lead to a subpar interviewing experience — and take the focus of the interview away from a skills assessment.

To counter these common challenges, HackerRank is proud to announce the launch of a new front-end integrated development environment (IDE) to provide best-in-class interviewing experiences that center on skill assessment and candidate collaboration. 

Deliver a Superior Candidate Experience and Add Confidence To Your Skill Assessments

HackerRank’s new front-end IDE now runs previews entirely in the browser rather than depending on server calls, while adding commonly used developer tools, such as console logs, to the experience. It also makes tactical but low-value interview tasks like environment setup less time-consuming, helping hiring teams focus their energy on more meaningful candidate conversations. 

New features of the front-end IDE include the functionality to: 

  • Select a Simple Starter Project for Your Interview

HackerRank’s new front-end IDE automates common setup tasks, like building the project, that are needed to prepare a front-end preview. The IDE loads with starter code provided by HackerRank, jumpstarting the setup and allowing you to interact with and preview the project quickly. 

The visual below shows the loading experience:

HackerRank Front-End IDE Loading Experience

  • Search For and Add Dependencies to Projects

Candidates can customize the environment by adding any necessary dependencies needed for the problem. With HackerRank’s new dependency search, participants can quickly navigate through a library of dependencies and add them to the project in one click — while all relevant files update behind the scenes. 

The visual below illustrates how developers can search for and add dependencies:

HackerRank Front-End IDE Dependency Search

  • Select and Import Key Libraries 

Front-end developers bring the knowledge of common CSS and JavaScript libraries into their day-to-day development environments. The new IDE makes it easier to search for and import those libraries thanks to a dedicated, external resource section. Candidates can now easily access these resources to customize their environments before getting started on the actual task of building the user interface. These are deeper signals that interviewers notice when reviewing how a front-end developer codes in a real-world environment. 

The external resource section is previewed here: 

HackerRank Front-End IDE External Libraries

  • See Front End Updates in Real Time

Real-time previews in the new browser-based IDE provide candidates with a sense of continuous progress and accomplishment as they solve a coding problem. The preview automatically refreshes after a user stops or pauses typing. This feature goes a long way in building candidate confidence in a stressful situation like technical interviews. Candidates can also choose to hide the preview until they have finished coding by disabling this feature. 

For the hiring team, interviewers can now track the candidate’s progress in the preview in real time, and are no longer required to wait for periodic server builds to see reflected changes. This improves collaboration, since both parties can see updates with interviewers able to provide additional direction as needed. 

See how the preview updates instantly in the graphic below:

HackerRank Front-End IDE Real-Time Updates

  • Debug Code With Built-In Developer Tools

Front-end developers use console logs to debug their code, but the default for many candidates is the browser console. During an interview, that approach can introduce a lot of unnecessary noise, such as irrelevant logs from the entire browser, and make even simple debugging tasks more difficult. With HackerRank’s new IDE, built-in developer tools provide a more intuitive workaround and allow for streamlined debugging.

HackerRank Front-End IDE Dev Tools

With environment setup out of the way, and by supporting candidates with the right developer tools, interviewers can better assess and collaborate with applicants to measure the depth of their skills. With more time to discuss and connect, interviewers unlock deeper signals of proficiency and potential — including soft skills like collaboration and attention to detail — that allow them to assess the candidate more holistically and hire with a greater degree of confidence. 

Next Steps

Companies must deliver stellar technical interviews if they want to save time and money — and stand a chance to attract the best developers for their teams. If you’re ready to up-level your front-end interviews, try out the new HackerRank IDE for free.

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