Hyperpublic Woos Tech Talent With Challenge… and Prizes

Brand new start-up Hyperpublic is taking a novel strategy to wooing tech talent by gamifying the process with a two-part programming challenge

“We just felt like there is so much noise out there,” founder Jordan Cooper told The Observer. “Tons of companies with no real engineering culture begging for engineers to come work with them.”

The challenge consists of two questions: one easy, one hard, and can be completed using any language.

The first problem is to create a way to rank user influence. Despite entering several random numbers, The Observer couldn’t nail that.

“We wanted to give the hacker community something fun to work on for a day, and also to communicate our own technical DNA,” said Cooper.

The second problem reveals a few interesting details about Hyperpublic’s strategy.

The company has an internal karma system to determine which users are the most involved in the ecosystem. Users earn points for tasks like adding places, things or tagging photos. The second challenge asks programmers to determine the minimum number of tasks the Hyperpublic team has completed to hit their current scores.

Prizes include a one year subscription to Dropbox or Github and a free desk for one month at Hyperpublic HQ, located a floor above betaworks and Cooper’s office at Lerer Ventures. Sounds cozy.

At this moment there are more than 400 folks hacking on the problems at the same time, and 28 have gotten the right answers. That makes The Observer feel a little better about our lack of coding skills. 

bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper Hyperpublic Woos Tech Talent With Challenge… and Prizes