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A Developer’s Impressions of the Candidly App

Chris, one of our early adopters, was kind enough to share his initial experience with the Candidly app. Here are his thoughts…

I had just begun a new role as a full-stack developer when COVID-19 hit. And when the economy slowed down, the work slowed down with it. My contract, with those of several of my colleagues, was put on pause. Technically we’re among the fortunate; many have been laid off altogether.

With things so unpredictable, I realize I have to keep myself sharp. I’m refining my current skills, working on new ones, and finding ways to demonstrate those skills to put myself in the best position in case work slows down again.

In doing so, I came across Candidly, an app designed to help Software Developers understand and improve their skillset, and showcase those skills to attract employers looking to hire. I struggled figuring the app out at first but got in touch with the team, and they explained they launched earlier than planned to help developers impacted by the pandemic—hence the need for more improvements.

Fair reason. And I like the idea behind Candidly so I thought I’d share what I found valuable.

You build a portfolio of skills by searching and adding languages and technologies you’re familiar with; then you take challenges to show your ability in each skill. There were several things I appreciated about this:

  • The challenges are short, so I’ve been able to take them whenever I have a few minutes to spare.

  • I found the questions straightforward and reasonable, reflecting well my understanding of the languages and technologies.

  • I can see my areas of strength in each skill, and where I need to develop further.

  • Big one: Candidly lists which skills are in demand from employers, so I can better decide where to focus my learning.

Employers are on the app too. They can search developers based solely on skills (it is their searches that inform which skills are in demand) and invite us to apply for jobs, rather than us finding jobs to apply for.

Our profiles are even anonymous, leaving nothing but our skills to go on. The team at Candidly shared that they believe skills to be a better, and more equitable, measure for sourcing candidates than degrees or experience. I appreciate that as a self-taught developer. What matters is you can do the job, and that’s not always reflected in your resume.

The challenges are nuanced too. Rather than simply checking right or wrong answers, the app measures your engagement over time to develop a trend that more accurately reflects your capability. That way the app better determines your level of knowledge in each skill, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or expert, and actively matches you with the right job. And the more challenges you complete, the higher you rank in employer searches.

Again, Candidly has launched early, so it’s not perfect. But the team was open to all my suggestions on the app, and they’re looking for more developers to provide feedback. They’ve made it clear they’re committed to the community during this time. Considering that, with their new approach to finding work, I think they’re worth supporting.

Note: We’ve recently released a major upgrade of the app which includes a number of improvements suggested by Chris and our broader user base. As Chris mentioned, we are committed to enabling you to create job opportunities for yourself, so please keep the feedback coming! You can download the app here.