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Root6361143dFrom an interviewer's perspective, I like having fresh sample code when deciding between candidates.
From an interviewee's perspective, I usually enjoy those as long as they're not too involved. I don't enjoy working for free.
IntrusionCM182343dIf it's reasonable... Yes.
Reasonable: Takes not a long time (less than a day), requires not a specific skillset (framework, programming style, etc.) and is properly defined, yes.
Otherwise: You might not only miss a lot of good people, but you'll expect people to work for you for free. Bad taste TM.
The framework / skill set part might sound weird for some people, but it's never wrong to hire someone who's willing to learn something new over someone who seems only contempt in what he already knows.
Last but not least. It's never wrong to add to the task definition that this is only one part of the interview... And whom to call in case of questions.
When someone completely borks up and hasn't contacted you at all, it's valid to ask why imho.
AlmondSauce859843d@IntrusionCM @Root Thanks for the comments - yeah, it won't be more than a few hours at most and will definitely be an obviously "contrived" task rather than free work. Personally I'm the same as you guys, I enjoy those challenges so long as they're quick, I just also know good devs who would pass up on them and refuse to do any work outside an interview setting.
That being said, the salary range being offered is excellent for the area, so that should act as some encouragement to put the effort in.