Sachin Gupta: HackerEarth’s HackCOVID: Safer, Smarter Pandemic Response Challenge

In Game Changers 21 by Mary Kurek1 Comment

by Robin Smith, Co-Editor

Sachin Gupta is CEO and co-founder of HackerEarth, a leading developer assessment solutions provider. HackerEarth is also a leading facilitator of online hackathons and coding challenges, where its community of 4 million developers can upskill and practice for employment interviews. Sachin is a former software developer at Google and Microsoft, and now heads sales/marketing/operations at HackerEarth. A developer by trade, he is passionate about the developer community and ensuring every developer is connected with the right opportunity. Sachin was named in 2016’s Forbes 30 Under 30 List of Entrepreneurs in Asia.

We recently took a few minutes to chat with Sachin about HackerEarth, its advantages to both talent and businesses seeking talent, and the organization’s latest hacker challenge, HackCOVID, with results released on June 5th. Between their talent platform and the constant circulation of challenges, they’re well worth the look.

Q & A with Sachin:

Q:  First, tell us a bit about HackerEarth. What makes your platform stand out from others for tech talent seeking work? What makes it the go-to for sourcing tech talent?

A:  HackerEarth provides an AI-powered developer assessment platform that enterprises can use to recruit and accurately evaluate candidate skills. The company is also a leading facilitator of online hackathons and coding challenges. Our strength is in our global community of 4+ million developers who are using our platform to upskill and practice for employment interviews. Our automated assessments cover 500+ skills and 37 languages, and we have a library of hundreds of programming tutorials and thousands of practice problems. These attract top developers. For example, recently a HackerEarth user was hired by Google, and he attributed part of his success in starting any new data structure by reading HackerEarth articles on that topic.

HackerEarth is also uniquely focused on combating bias in the tech hiring process, and we have recently expanded FaceCode, our video interviewing platform, with new features to help optimize for remote interviews.

Q:  Let’s talk about HackCOVID. What kind of response have you received from this effort? In what ways do you see programmers rising to the occasion in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? It must give you pride in your community. What are some of the most promising technologies you see coming out of it? And, the results will be announced on June 5 – what then?

A:  Over the years, HackerEarth has hosted thousands of hackathons, but as we saw the business challenges presented by COVID-19, we wanted to leverage the goodwill of our community of 4+ million developers to help in any capacity that we could. Despite all prize money being donated to charities, we saw an overwhelming response. More than 4,000 teams participated in the hackathon from over 40 countries. Many of the solutions were focused on contact tracing to help governments track infected individuals and limit virus spread. One of our favorite solutions, however, is called SimpleIQ, which is an app that allows users to stand in virtual lines rather than physical ones, limiting close contact with other individuals. Similar to a deli ticket, users are given an in-app number so they can wait to be called in a nearby isolated location of their choosing. This is the type of simple, yet creative solution that makes hackathons so enthralling. We love watching our community not only collaboratively solve real problems but also doing so motivated entirely by altruism. (Check out Hackathon Video courtesy of HackerEarth Channel)

After the results are announced on June 5, some of the top healthcare and public administration solutions that are focused specifically on the Indian context will be honored with letters of appreciation by our partner, The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. Though not all the solutions will become fully-fledged, we do think this is a great opportunity for businesses in need of tech talent to build a talent pipeline of enterprising, creative, and publicly-minded developers.  2020 presenting the challenges it has, a real opportunity exists for tremendous growth in tech for good.

Q:  From your role as Co-Founder and CEO of a tech talent platform to the skills being applied via HackCOVID, what does the future look like as we move beyond first response to recovery from an industry standpoint?

HackCOVID Road Map

A: A lasting impact of this crisis is that remote hiring is here to stay. With high-profile companies such as Facebook and Twitter announcing that they are embracing long term work-from-home policies, more and more companies are looking to assess tech talent online. Whereas this was often true during the recruiter screening process, subsequent interview rounds have traditionally been ‘human.’  Now, we are seeing widespread adoption of online developer assessment and video interview tools throughout the hiring process. These assessments can be run anonymously which has the benefit of removing bias based on gender and background while removing the need for resumes which actually tend to accentuate bias based on these factors. Though this might further a permanent decrease in traditional in-person recruiting, my hope is that the process will be made more transparent and fair as a result.

Sachin’s Networking Interests:

  • Developers seeking employment
  • Enterprises seeking talent
  • Organizations interested in sponsoring hackathons




HackCovid Link:


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