What to expect from a take home coding challenge

Hi all! I had a phone screen today with a healthcare dev company and on monday I’m supposed to get a front-end take home coding challenge and I’ll have 48 hours to complete it. I have no clue what to expect, but with these take home challenges, is there typically a trend of how they are formatted or presented? The company builds sites that help users with specific diseases get specific info about their disease. So each site is specifically tailored to something like MS and nothing outside of that scope. They didn’t give me any clue about what to expect except that I have 48 hours to complete it and that it’s front-end. Anyone else encounter an interview process similar to this with the take home?

There are a lot of possibilities here. They may ask you to build a basic site or web page. It may be a static page or they may expect you to use their API. Or they may give you some kind of an algorithmic challenge to test your knowledge of JavaScript and see how your brain works. It may be something that they expect you to solve, or it may be something very difficult to solve and they want to see how you handle it, even if your solution isn’t complete or perfect.

Every one of these is different. I did a lot of these before finally landing a job. I learned something from each one.

Do your best. Keep your code organized. Read the instructions very carefully. And when you discuss it, sound like you had fun. If there was something you didn’t quite get, act like it was a fun challenge and you can’t wait to learn about that thing. And have fun - you want to sound like someone that loves coding and learning and challenges.


Kevin, thanks so much for your response and the many possibilities of what to expect! I didn’t consider the last part about making sure I express my excitement over some parts I may not quite get. This definitely helps!

Yeah, another point I keep driving home is that you want to seem like someone that would be fun to work with.

1 Like

They’re not very difficult. I’ve had a few and all were about as difficult as the intermediate algorithm challenges in the Front End Certification (old curriculum). Some companies use HackerRank to do their challenges, which has an online code editor and environment similar to FreeCodeCamp. If you want to practice with their environment, you can go to HackerRank and start doing some exercises, but it’s mostly the same as FCC’s. Other companies just give the problem and tell you to send your code in an e-mail attachment.

Some tests have multiple-choice questions, some are timed (HackerRank ones I think are) and some just “a couple days”. Some even ask you to build an entire demo app, which I decided not to bother with. I’ve done take-home ones that took 4-8 hours and feel that is stretching the limit of what’s worth your time, unless you’re far along in the process (already had interviews, etc).

1 Like

It depends on the challenge.

Some companies partner with platforms like Hackerrank to design specific timed coding challenges, and sometimes they get like log of your coding activity on the platform, or have a secured communication channel for you to ask questions.

Others give you a simple project to complete.

Basically, it’ll be a list of requirements for something, and you have to try to complete as much of it as you can in the allotted time frame. A very basic one would be like a fully functional scientific calculator, or a note taking app

Thanks guys. This really helps me to prepare for what I should expect tomorrow.

Once you’ve done it, I’m sure we’d all be fascinated to know how it went and what the format was (even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing the exact details).

It’ll be a huge help for people like me who didn’t even know stuff like that existed and will be applying for dev jobs in the near future and are very green to the tech jobs market.

Best of luck!


Absolutely! As soon as I turn it in I’ll post a detailed summary of what was given to me and how things went.


How did this go @angelr1076?

Hi all and sorry for responding so late. I was hoping to respond once I heard back from the employer but I don’t think I’ll hear back till about Wednesday. The challenge required me to add a component to the employer’s website and to also make another component more accessible to visually impaired users. By components, I also mean pages.

The employer, let’s call them “ABC”, hosts a number of medically related websites and I was required to update two pages, or components. In my first challenge I added an image carousel feature to the website (no bootstrap, just vanilla JS with no libraries or shortcuts) so I had to add code to the js, html, styl (they use this for css), and also add a markdown file with reasoning and explanation, etc. As far as the accessibility component goes, the first thing I did was to add alt tags to all images, and I added, essentially a walkthrough based on information I read on the WAI site and some other resources. The walkthrough would guide engineers on best practices when approaching the building of visually accessible web pages and standards.

Adding the components was actually not too bad, it was getting the environment to work and play friendly while I worked on the components that was a bit of a pain. I had to update my local host files so that the style guide hostnames would work while I’m hosting locally (, after setting up a Docker container. That was the next challenge: setting the Docker container up to pull and host ABC’s WordPress pages. It was only a matter of three command line commands, but I think ABC intentionally gave me cloudy directions that weren’t exactly clear to see if I could figure out how to get around some issues and get the container set up and working. Then, I just had to get Apache running with a simple command. I never used WordPress, Docker or ran Apache directly so I had to learn how to do this on the fly.

It was fairly easy to replicate the environment once I got it up and running, but again, the instructions were sketchy, at best so I had to work around this and ask ABC for clarification. Part of it, I felt, was that they were testing me to see how I would communicate with them and how clearly I could walk through what I had already done in order to figure out what else I needed to do to get the environment running and get the builds to jive once I starting adding components, updating and seeing my work.

Once I completed the work, I tested it a few times then turned it in prior to the 48-hour mark. So that was it in a nutshell. Hope that was somewhat clear. Thanks all for your feedback as it did help me in what to expect going into this. I will update you guys when I hear back whether good or bad so I’m praying and crossing my fingers that the news is good!