The story of how I hacked together a simple hiring portal.

Since 2013, DeltaX has been actively hiring freshers from Engineering colleges across Bengaluru. Our test was a hands-on programming test - and the questions were quite generic (read as can be googled) but had minor variations that helped make the test easy enough for all to attempt, but difficult enough for us to find our potential candidates.

We started off the tests the easy way - Make 200 copies of the question paper, head to the college, and get candidates to program in the college labs.

Yeah, that wasn’t the easy way. The difficulty in this was the manual effort - making copies, distributing them, and then collecting them back! Hiring engineers at DeltaX is the Engineering team’s responsibility - our responsibility. So we did this manual work. At the end of the test, we would evaluate candidates who had thought they made the cut - and would get them to zip and email their code to us. We’d follow up later with an interview.

In 2015, I was visiting MVJ College of Engineering for the programming test. I was already tired of the manual charade I went through for the previous two seasons. So I took a seat along with the candidates who were appearing for the test. I was determined to reduce the manual effort in conducting the test. I decided we should skip the manual evaluation and then get them to email the programs. I thought it would be sufficient if I provided a site where successful submissions could be uploaded. And our Engineering team could have access to these submissions.

But you know I didn’t want to do all that work in building an app. I also wanted to see if I could upload to Google Drive - Google Apps are by far one of the best collaboration tools today. Easy to share with the team, no frills storage etc. That’s when I stumbled upon How to Receive Files in your Google Drive from Anyone. It is built using Google Apps Script. So I could share a URL to anyone and ask them to upload their code there - and it would automatically be shared with our hiring team.

Perfect. A little customization later, our first “hiring portal”.

In a week’s time, this upload portal evolved further - I utilized the HTMLService to make the question paper online too! I’d also added a security check before upload - too many people uploaded invalid programs. Also added some links to online code compilers like CodeChef and Ideone

I started using query string parameters to setup different test links for different colleges - that way, I’d use that parameter to setup the folder hierarchy and organize the uploads automatically.

We pretty much used this version of the hiring portal until 2017. By then we’d had enough of the manual mass hiring mela. We setup our test using CodeChef. Today, the engineering hiring test is completely online.

The Google Apps Script story doesn’t end though - just a week ago, we needed to conduct a test for Manual QA Testers. This was also on pen & paper before - and our QA Team would sit through days correcting these papers by hand.

Here comes the hero of this article again - Google Apps Script to the rescue. I quickly coded up a small portal that included a registration form and generated a Spreadsheet for each candidate. The candidates could put in the test cases in this sheet and leave it at that. I also setup a tracker sheet that had each registration and the submission sheet link - the QA Team can now evaluate the submissions completely online. Oh, and they can discuss online too!

Perfect. Our first QA Hiring Portal.

The essence of this post is to highlight that we can use Google Apps Script to do some nifty stuff quicky!

At DeltaX, we also do some cool integrations with Google Apps Script