Corporate India's hackers get a shot at stardom

Code Gladiators is India's first coding competition aimed at unearthing hidden stars at companies
Written by Rajiv Rao, Contributing Writer
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Considering India's legions of software engineers it was only a matter of time that someone turned coding into a competitive sport. As it is, companies are increasingly looking at skill levels rather than education when it comes to hiring people who can write code for them, as I had written previously here.

Now, a competition called 'Code Gladiators' hopes to make stars out of the most able of them.

This is a national competition run by an organization called TechGig whose aim is to find the best coders in India amongst corporates who are whizzes in C, C++, C#, Java, Java script, PHP,  VB.NET, Ruby on Rails, Python and Perl programming languages and competitors can compete in more than one language.

The whole thing has started off as an online event during April and May until 40 coders facing off during the live finals in Delhi in June. Currently, applications are open till the end of April so corporate hackers out there still have a shot at entering the fray.

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The competition may be a forum to unearth some good coding talent in India, but TechGig Code Gladiators, Business Head, Avnish Anand explains that there is another large side benefit to the competition.

"The scale of this contest gives us an unparalleled opportunity to provide industry insights by creating detailed analyses of how coding ability varies across demography and present a host of benchmark reports including geographic, academic, institutional and corporate benchmarks. Such a study has not been undertaken before due to lack of scale and data," he says.

So far, 37 companies have signed up for the event including Akamai, Synechron, Schneider Electric, Symantec, Nokia Siemens, Sasken, Calsoft, Panacea, Informatica, Seclore, McAfee, Cvent, and Unisys. Apparently, a company can submit the names of a maximum of 8 coders for the inter-company battle who will vie for a first prize worth Rs 150,000 (US$2,500), a second prize with Rs100,000 (US$1,666) and so on.

Of course it may turn out that the best coders are not within the ranks of corporate India but amongst the thousands of young hackers and startups across India who may need another competition to establish the true nature of coding talent in India.

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