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Coding challenges landed me a job at Rocket Fuel

By Jay Pandya

It goes without saying that there are some incredible hackers solving coding challenges within our community. Today we’re highlighting Jay Pandya. After competing in one of our codesprints, he landed his dream job at Rocket Fuel.

Jay in his own words:
I began competing in coding challenges during my first year in college. I competed in any competition I could find online as I was looking to learn coding. I discovered a HackerRank competition three years ago and was instantly hooked. I not only got to compete in a coding challenge, something I love doing, but also got the opportunity to be recruited from well known companies. What an awesome way to advance my career. I enjoyed every minute of it!
Aside from advancing my career, yes that was top of mind when I was in college, what keeps me coming back to HackerRank are their artificial intelligence and machine learning challenges, especially the artificial intelligence challenges. They are awesome because you are not just trying to submit the correct code, you are actually trying to beat a program by another genius.
Three reasons why I love HackerRank’s UI experience:

  1. You can actually see the simulation of your code and figure out how you can improve to beat your opponent’s code, in this case, the computer. These challenges are very helpful in solving real world problems because it’s not just about right and wrong. There is no proper solution for these challenges. You need to improve it bit by bit to make it better than others’. Thats what makes it a highly stimulating learning experience.
  2. You can code within the same page as the problem, which can save a lot of time from switching tabs if you want to submit a quick solution. Before submitting, you can quickly test on one of the small test cases on the platform to check that your code can pass the system which is a huge time saver.
  3. Showing the result for different test cases makes debugging the code really easy. If you know your code is only failing one or two cases, you know that there is some small error in the code which you need to correct and not the whole logic. This is a really smart way to save time.

During most of my college years, I was very passionate about programming competitions. These coding challenges not only make you quicker, faster and better at algorithms, they also help in developing your software engineering skills which are more important when solving big projects. You can actually see one step ahead of the performance of the code, the type of bugs it will get and the level of complexity it needs. You end up creating different solutions for the same problem and then pick the right one because all these things are necessary to succeed in programming challenges.
These coding challenges help you gain recognition in the developer community, which is a huge bonus for your resume. They also help solving your college assignments very quickly. And yeah of course, they help you ace your interviews and getting awesome jobs.
In fact, most of my interview programming test questions, including Rocket Fuel’s, were on HackerRank, which played a pivotal role in helping me prepare for interviews. I actually discovered Rocket Fuel through one of HackerRank’s competitions, which Rocket Fuel sponsored.
Right now I am extremely happy and excited to live my dream of working in Silicon Valley and solve exciting challenges at Rocket Fuel.

Interested in learning how you can continually enhance your code? Check out these AI challenges and see if you can beat the code.

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