Thanks for the great article. I agree with all points but struggled with the concept of “kick the tyres” which on the face of it seems like an extended code test.
The main reason I struggle with this concept is that you often have to apply to multiple jobs at once these days to guarantee any real success in progressing to the further stages. Once you do have a couple of opportunities, if they were asking 20–40 hours of work on a small project, you soon will get overwhelmed with no guarantee you will see a job at the end of it. Quite often people are in the middle of their notice period as well which makes it all the more difficult.
I have also seen this before where companies used this as a dirty tactic to get free consulting on potential solutions they were having difficulties with and never hired anybody once all submissions were in.
I think my main point is that I would like to understand more about the process to see if I could use it too.