Tech talent hiring knowledge & best practices straight to your inbox!

Hackers + Prizes + Pizza: Back2School CodeSprint Recap


HackerRank Back2School CodeSprint Infographic
A few weeks ago, 600 college students from 87 universities across the nation put their schoolwork aside and unleashed their inner hacker by competing in our Back2School CodeSprint, our version of a hackathon. This was their shot to flex their hacker muscles and to see how they ranked against hackers from schools across the nation. Students were given 7 challenges to complete within 24 hours. We offered a mix of approximate algorithms created by our very own problem curators. Much like our other competitions, this was an online event with the computer as the judge. And as expected, energy drinks and pizza fueled the students throughout this coding marathon.
Our challenges are not to be taken lightly. Each challenge was given a predetermined score that increased by level of difficulty. Our first and easiest challenge, Fibonacci Modified, was worth 20 points and our toughest challenge, Xor Subsequence, was worth 100 points. A perfect score equaled 420 points and only 1% of students achieved that. This 1% consisted of 8 students from Princeton, Cornell, University of Washington, UCLA, Union College, MIT, and UCSD. Total time to complete all 7 challenges was used as the tie breaker. In this case, Princeton ranked first and Cornell placing in second and third. Shoutout to Tony Wang, a junior from Aragon High School (San Mateo, CA), who ranked #10 with 406 points. Check out the leaderboard showcasing our top 10 HackerRankers. Overall almost 2,000 solutions were submitted with over 100,000 lines of code!
Congrats to our HackerRank champions!
Macbook B2S Codesprint
We rewarded our winners with prizes – a quadcopter, an electric scooter, a gopro, a few sonos players, and lots of t-shirts. Everyone who attempted a challenge was awarded $50 Amazon web services credits. Also, top rankers were given the opportunity to connect with our 10 sponsors; Sonos, WalmartLabs, RocketFuel, Palantir and Mozilla to name a few.
Here’s a playback of some live-tweeting from the event:
hackerrank codesprint tweets
We also asked students to take part in our #hackerrank photo challenge. Here’s a snapshot of our favorite photos tweeted throughout the event.
hackerrank codesprint photochallenge
Thanks to everyone who participated and a shoutout to our ambassadors for championing this event on their campuses. In their own words, here’s what our students had to say about the competition.
hackerrank _codesprint
You can review challenges and editorials explaining how to solve the challenges from the contest page. Click into any of the 7 challenges to access the challenge specific leaderboard, discussions and editorials.
We host competitions regularly. Check out what’s happening on HackerRank to continually unleash your inner hacker.


Love competitive programming and want to champion the hacker ethos on your campus? Join our Student Ambassador Program to be a part of building the largest and most engaged student coding community in the world.

Would you like to receive similar articles straight to your inbox?