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Solving Engineering Hiring: ‘Why I Joined HackerRank’

Written By David Park | December 17, 2015

Throughout my career, I have witnessed firsthand how difficult it is for companies to find talented developers. It is a problem of nearly epidemic proportion. But it can be solved.
That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined HackerRank as Vice President of Products and Growth. In my new role, I will oversee product development and help drive the company’s growth as we continue our mission to democratize hiring and flatten the developer world.
Many of my teams have gone to great lengths to hire developers, often traveling internationally to hackathons and coding challenges, to discover and recruit qualified candidates. I come to HackerRank after 16 years of building online communities. From my first company, Coolboard, to Intuit, Nextdoor, and most recently Facebook, where I lead the Notifications team which was one of the single biggest drivers of daily active users, hiring was always on my mind and took up a great deal of my time.
Clearly, travel to hackathons and coding challenges isn’t the most efficient or effective model for hiring. Most businesses don’t have the same budgets that a company like Facebook has. The truth is that the real problem is not a talent shortage. I would argue that there is no skills gap, but rather a fundamental breakdown in the way we hire that’s separating engineers from the companies looking to hire them. What’s more, relying on the status quo for recruiting — which relies for traditional indicators like university GPA and years of experience — means that companies are overlooking a huge subset of qualified, committed and passionate candidates, many of whom are self-taught.
But HackerRank is changing all of that. I see HackerRank becoming the place where every single programmer in the world will come to hone their coding skills, compete in challenges, get ranked, and, crucially, find a job.
That’s why I’ve joined HackerRank. I want to be a part of the solution, bringing meritocracy to hiring and helping engineers who may not have the pedigree traditionally required to get in the door at good companies. In the process, we’ll help companies become better because their engineering teams will become more diverse and better qualified. I strongly believe in HackerRank’s mission to make the world flat in tech recruiting. And I have complete confidence in this incredible team, under Vivek’s leadership, to realize that vision.
There are millions of highly skilled software engineers out there, and yet companies are not finding them. HackerRank has the leadership, vision, and team in place to truly resolve the alleged engineering skills gap, and I can’t wait to be part of that story.

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