In my company I am a Mechanical Engineer, but I take on a lot of programming projects on the side for my department and have created several tools that have helped save us a lot of time and headaches. I have little formal training on this but am by far the most capable on our team, and only one of a few in the company who could do this kind of work, and a lot of our projects seem to be really off the grid as far as large scale implementations I can find elsewhere.
My team is currently hiring new Mech Es, who will hopefully be able to take on some of the maintenance of these projects. My manager has asked me for ideas as to how to evaluate if a candidate who claims coding experience would be useful in this regard.
Ive been doing some searching and have found a lot of references to ask for a portfolio/github/StackOverflow, which all sound good. But a lot of technical questions, I wouldnt really know the answers to.
So are there any good ways to determine at the interview, without long tests, how helpful someones experience would be?