With the dawn of the IT age in India, one has seen umpteen number of coders mushroom across India. Some do it for a living and seek this talent to get employed, while some just cultivate this as a passion and hobby.
While are a number of employment opportunities available, picking the right person for the job has become a challenge for companies like Amazon, LinkedIn and many others. What comes to an employer's rescue is an online platform like HackerRank, where coders are ranked on the basis of their skills evaluated by the codes submitted by a coder. Organizations like Amazon, LinkedIn, Quora and Facebook use HackerRank's platform to hire top coders from across geographical dimensions worldwide and India.
In an email interaction with co-founder Harishankaran Karunanidhi, who is also the chief technology officer at the company, we tried to figure out as to what these biggies actually look for in young coders today!
What do key recruiters like Amazon, LinkedIn look for in coders prior to hiring them?
Companies like Amazon, LinkedIn hire candidates who are the best in town. They look out for the most talented of the lot. Companies like Amazon and LinkedIn certainly prefer candidates who think beyond just college curriculum, but look to actively get involved in various other open source projects or be part of competitive online programming communities like the HackerRank community that has a strength of over 1.5 million coders. This gives access to open source projects that help the individual to understand the industry need and thus hone their coding skills accordingly. A coder is also expected to do background research on the company he plans to join, and should have strong sector knowledge. This approach will help the coder align quickly with the business needs of the company and come up with solutions accordingly. Programming skills are soon becoming even more significant, and rapidly turning into the core competency for all kinds of coding related jobs. Hence a coder looking for that perfect job should get coding online and hone their skills because working and reworking a resume will not land a coder with a job anymore.
Two college mates, Harishankaran and Vivek Ravisankar identified the flaws in the recruitment process in colleges. Traditionally recruitment was manual, tedious and time consuming. This meant, some brilliant minds sometimes weren't uncovered simply because traditional methods made it difficult to find them - or they were not privileged enough to go to a tier 1 college.
The duo wanted to solve this problem and make hiring more transparent, simpler, effective and efficient so that every coder gets equal opportunity. They then made a product that disrupted the tech hiring space. What started as a software which helped students evaluate their coding skills soon became a platform that ranks programmers based on their coding skill. The platform ranks programmers based on their coding skills, helping companies source great programmers and reduce the time to hire.
Tell us something about the quality of coders in India? Is there an oversupply according to you?
There is certainly a demand for good coders in the industry as every company is transforming itself into a tech company. Requests for coders are coming from the most unexpected quarters like financial companies and banks. This provides tremendous scope to programmers nationwide to put their skills to use. Also, the enterprise sector in India has a strong holding with some of the IT bellwethers like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Microsoft etc constantly on the lookout for talented programmers. There is a sudden boom in the startup ecosystem over the last decade and due to this, there are plenty of opportunities in the offering. All one has to do is grab it.
Tell us about the key challenges a coder faces in India for getting hired.
The Indian education system leans more towards a theoretical approach as opposed to a practical one. Unfortunately this does not favor students pursuing technology. Recruiters want to hire programmers who are well versed in applying the latest technology but the candidates fall behind in this aspect. Technology is ever evolving and candidates have to keep up. One of the ways to do this is take part in more competitive coding contests to stay on top of the game.
Over the last five years, HackerRank community has grown to 1.5 million users and the company aims to touch 2 million this year. Since enterprises are the key focus, adding new clients to the company's portfolio will continue to remain a priority.