How is this for a gauge of how desperately technology companies are seeking programmers? Over the weekend, any coder can audition for jobs at companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Groupon and Apple simultaneously — without changing out of their pajamas.
Programmer database startup Interviewstreet is hosting an online coding challenge called CodeSprint beginning Friday, and 75 technology companies will be looking for employment candidates on its leaderboard.
Coders who sign up for the challenge will receive an email on Friday evening when a set of programming problems becomes available. As they solve problems throughout the weekend, they will earn points and can see how they stack up against other participants. After the challenge ends on Sunday night, the participating companies will have the opportunity to contact specific candidates for job interviews based on their performance.
Questions will include basic programming challenges as well as real-world problems. A practice problem in the latter category, for instance, asks users to create a program that finds what time of day any Twitter user tweets most often. Some companies, including Groupon, have created problems that are relevant to their own engineering challenges. In all cases, better code that works faster will earn more points.
This is the second time that Interviewstreet has hosted a coding challenge. The first event, in October, only admitted students at select universities, resulting in 140 job interviews. This upcoming challenge will allow anyone with Internet access to participate.
Interviewstreet is not conducting virtual employment hackathons out of sympathy for unemployed computer scientists (of which there are few). Coding challenges are core to its business, which catalogs programmers based on skills they have proved themselves in. When an employer hires a coder it finds on the site, or through a CodeSprint challenge, they pay the startup $10,000.
Are you participating in the CodeSprint challenge? Let us know in the comments below.
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