Gamification stuff we love: HackerRank

Gamification stuff we love: HackerRank

HackerRank is a site for computer whizzes to solve programming problems in different computer science domains like algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and to excel in different programming paradigms like functional programming. The aim is to increase your skills level through taking part in challenges. The bots and programs you create can be played out to win against other players. Some people will enter in challenges for fun, some to learn, others for the community or just the possibility of winning prizes in company sponsored hackatons.

The main objective is really to challenge your skills and upgrade them in a a competitive environment, where you earn points and can see your skills level benchmarked against others on the leader board. You can pick your field of expertise or a new area. Upcoming contests are listed so you can schedule the time to enter and compete. Each contest gives a brief explanation of the level of skill required and how much prior knowledge is expected, even complete novices can compete in some however there are also high specialised contests. Some of the contest have big prizes attached for the best solutions, others are just for points and honours.

I think this is a fun way to learn new skills and to put your existing skills to the test. It is easy to enter the challenges and then it is up to you how much time you engage in it, which when a challenge captures you can be more than you would normally set aside to learn something. It is a great example of problem based learning with gamification.

The site also has an area where jobs can be advertised for the target audience that actually join these challenges. It allows companies to explain the job role and set a code challenge, before inviting people for interview, which I find brilliantly congruent with the theme of the site and very appropriate use of the platform. Code based hackatons were the first example and place of gamified recruitment, so it is great to see a site like HackerRank taking this to a new level.


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