Recruiting startup Interview Street is making a move onto college campuses (virtually speaking).
The company helps employers recruit programmers by holding online coding contests to test their skills. Right now, co-founder Vivek Ravisankar says the average CodeSprint coder has between zero and 3.5 years of work experience — in other words, they’re pretty fresh out of college. Still, a lot of recruiting starts even earlier. So why not try to find the most talented programmers while they’re still in school?
To that end, Interview Street has launched a Summer Games feature, giving college students a chance to prove their programming mettle while they’re on summer vacation. Basically, students complete different coding changes, then they’re ranked individually and by school. Right now, the games are in their “warm up” phase, then on June 24 they’ll start the trials, where contestants can win up to $500, and in July the games will move into finals, with a prize of up to $1,000. (Anyone can try to complete the challenges, but only college students can win the prizes.)
Ravisankar says the current site focuses on artificial intelligence tests, namely programming computer players to win at games like tic tac toe and anti-chess (where the goal is to lose your pieces as quickly as possible). Eventually, he plans to add other types of programming challenges. Still, it seems appropriate that he started with tasks that match the Summer Games theme.