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Recap: Congrats to the SpringSprint 2015 Champs!

online hackathon
Over 1,500 stellar students across the country geared up to compete in the 24 hour Spring CodeSprint, or online hackathon, hosted by HackerRank. CodeSprints are a unique accelerator for young coders to take real-world programming challenges, learn new hands-on tech skills and push themselves to set the bar as the top software engineers of the future.
Whether students are looking to bolster their programming skills or ambitiously hungry to become a top ranking champion, competing in CodeSprints offers a huge payoff. The champs who set the bar high prove they are motivated, thrive under pressure, have incredible tenacity and are equipped with impeccable coding skills. They are the making of the brightest potential software engineer recruits by Spring CodeSprint sponsors, including Amazon, Pocket Gems, Groupon, Sabre, Hedvig, Vertagore, GoDaddy, National Instruments, NBC Universal, Marketo and EMC.
CodeSprints are a nucleus of fresh tech talent. Here are some highlights from the 2015 Spring CodeSprint:

Surfacing Untapped Talent

There’s a huge market of untapped talent, and this year’s Spring CodeSprint helped surface many young, budding coding geniuses. Even though 40 percent of the students who competed are graduate students, 2 out of the top 10 HackerRank champions are high school freshman students. The students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and Caitlin Gabel High School ranked #6 with 285.71 points and #6 with 278.57 points, respectively. Only 3 coders earned a perfect score of 300 points.

Take it from Andy Chen, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm that invested in Uber, Google, etc. “I strongly believe that the best talent are at these opt-in courses called hackathons,” Chen told the New York Times in a recent article. “If you’re not at a hackathon, you’re at a disadvantage. What you learn in class isn’t necessarily as applicable to the work force.” 
Here at HackerRank, we’re proud to host these global online hackathons (aka CodeSprints) that empower students from all walks of life with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills. We are strong  believers in skill over school. In fact, we even have a billboard broadcasting this mantra!
CodeSprints are a prime opportunity for any student to show off their coding skills for a chance to be seen by cutting-edge employers looking for future programmers. In the past, innovative companies, like Rocketfuel and Evernote and Addepar, have used CodeSprints to spot bright engineer talent from all walks of life. As always, after every CodeSprint, we send our sponsors a list of the top performers who would like to be contacted for future job opportunities.

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Fun Challenges and Several, Heated Tie Breakers

HackerRank challenges are fun, engaging and addicting! It’s part of why so many coders love participating in 24 hour HackerRank CodeSprints. Our community of enthusiastic coders yielded several tie breakers. We determine tie breakers by comparing the total time for submittal. The coder who cracked the challenge faster wins the tie.
Out of 8 challenges, 3 were easy, 2 were moderate, 2 were advanced and 1 was difficult. The challenges’ maximum score increased by difficulty. Only 6.45% of coders cracked the difficult challenge, which was “Count the Circles” Bonus Challenge.”
The HackerRank challenge creators are passionate about creating intriguing, thought-provoking game-like problems for students. For instance, since the contest took place on Pi Day, the first challenge was Pi Day themed! What better way to celebrate Pi Day than by solving “Song of Pi” that starts with this awesome poem:
“Now, I wish I could recollect pi.
‘Eureka,’ cried the great inventor.
Christmas Pudding, Christmas Pie
Is the problem’s very center.”

Awesome Prizes

Just in case the pure fun for solving the challenges isn’t enough, the Spring CodeSprint featured some awesome prizes for top competitors:
Rank 1: $500 cash + HackerRank hoodie
Rank 2: Xbox One + HackerRank hoodie
Rank 3: Parrot AR Drone + HackerRank hoodie
Rank 4 to 25: Raspberry Pi + HackerRank hoodie
Rank 26 to 50: Razor Scooter + HackerRank hoodie
Rank 51 to 250: HackerRank T-shirt
All participants completing one challenge were awarded $50 Amazon Web Services credit.

Advice for Future Coding Competitors:

Last, but not least, let’s hear it from the reigning champs! We asked three of the top champions: What advice would you give to programming competitors who want to become champions like you?


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