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From startup founders to corporate execs, if there is one thing that they all agree upon, it is that hiring is a challenge. More so with respect to developers. But if you look at the stats, there are 18.2 million developers all around the world. Now that is a lot of developers, and if you’re still not able to hire developers to your company, there must be something wrong. While each recruiter will tell you a variety of reasons why this is a challenge, I think it can be summarised to three main problems -
- Good developers are hard to find
- The good developers that we find already have great jobs
- It’s difficult to tell if the skills on a programmer’s LinkedIn profile or resume is true
I think these are the three biggest problems for a technology company today. But the third one, a need for validation is quite a new one. Back in the day, your academic qualifications stood for what you could do. If you were a mechanical engineer, you knew how mechanical systems work. If you were an electrical engineer, you knew how electrical systems work.
This should hold true to computer scientists too right? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. From reasons ranging from bad college education to corporate culture, there are enough explanations on why computer science graduates aren’t always the best programmers. In fact, in places like India, which is the second largest developer population in the world, most software professionals aren’t the best coders.
Now this problem is deep rooted in the education system and despite many, many efforts, it cannot be changed. It is no more about learning and excelling at a subject. It’s about the biggest pay package that a college’s student gets.
I strongly believe that the Industry controls education. What is the ROI of doing a course from a reputed university? Finishing a course and being in debt without a job, makes people question the purpose of a degree. And a lot of that is happening now.
Could it be that the industry thinks that degrees are no longer useful in determining a person’s skills? There is no definite answer to that, but there is a solution to that. The problem is that a developer’s skills needs to be validated. And the internet being the democratic platform that it is, has provided the solution.
The social element in programming utility sites like GitHub and StackOverflow beautifully validates the ability of a coder in a particular language and in building products. Performance data from competitive coding sites like TopCoder, CodeChef, HackerEarth and others, give a great idea on a programmer’s foundations. GitHub even has a profile that even documents a programmer’s activity on the platform. Almost all of these platforms have an API which exposes this data.
We at HackerEarth have used these various APIs and built a profile that is probably the most accurate representation of a developer on the web. It crunches the data from all these APIs and presents the most relevant information about the developer, on the profile. Why we feel this is special, is that all that the profile says about the developer, is true.
While this might seem as a blatant plug for our product, I honestly think that a developer profile, linked to your activity on the web is the best measure of your ability. When a recruiter looks at such a profile, you can be 99.9% sure that the data on the profile is true.
Of course, this would mean that every developer in the world should be using one of these websites, and I think that it is only a matter of time. Most good technology companies have already forsaken the recruitment styles of the old, and are turning to alternatives. Companies are looking at GitHub and StackOverflow profiles of prospective hires. We believe that the profiles will be a widely used alternative.
So, Get online, start coding and validate your skills. The profiles will take care of the rest.
Like what Batman says, it’s not who you are on the inside, it’s what you do, that defines you.
You can sign up for a HackerEarth developer profile here.