MarketCapBot: Challenge Program Use Case

Task-performance based selection is the future for tech companies. That is why Hygge companies use the Challenge Program to provide candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in real-life scenarios and to experience what their work might be like before making the decision to stick with the company.

Some issues in the Challenge Program have the bounty label. These are one-off paid tasks that usually require advanced skills. How do Hygge companies come up with these tasks? How do participants react to these tasks, and how does it affect selection? We spoke to the creators of “MarketCapBot - Automate posting on Twitter” Sofia and Aleksei to find the answers.

Creating a Challenge

When Sofia was creating a challenge, she did not find it that difficult to come up with a task. “We were clear about the technical competencies that the person should possess, and it made the process easy. Yet, it’s essential for us to wrap a technical issue into a business use case so as not to turn the program into a bunch of optimization tasks that business giants use in their interviews. This way, participation in the challenge brings value to everyone,” she says. Her mastered certain technologies; however, they needed to discover new approaches to work with those technologies.

Similar to other issues in the Challenge Program, the “MarketCapBot Challenge” was posted on GitHub. Participants offered their solutions through pull requests. Aleksei noted that this transparent process has several advantages. First, the reviewer can evaluate the progress by looking into the participants’ branches. Second, it’s easy to identify the style of work by looking at the commits. Third, everyone can see the progress made by others, and this community empowerment fosters better solutions over time.

Filtering the solutions

Task design helped Sofia and Aleksei optimize the time taken to screen the answers: “Technically, our task was about working with a database. One might have solved the issue by coding or putting together a sophisticated data request. When I saw the solution, I could immediately tell the level of expertise of every participant and even identify their background and technical stack.”

Together with the nature of the task, which allowed for various creative solutions, the challenge allowed for filtering out the wrong results quickly. Violating the security norms or providing a partially working code were among the “red flags”.

Sofia expressed that she’s really excited about using the Challenge Program as a selection tool: “It’s a smart and efficient way to find the right fit for the team. We used to blast job posts and waste weeks and months to select people using traditional interviews just to find out that the selected person was not motivated to work with us. When we use challenges, we collaborate with people who are excited by the nature of the task itself. Remuneration plays a role here too, as it shows that we’re playing seriously.”

Feedback from participants

Competing in a challenge is a win–win both for the company and participants. “The Challenge Program is a great tool for participants as they can use it in their portfolio. All our challenges are public, so if you’re at the early stages of your career, it’s a great business case to add to your CV,” says Aleksei.

The Challenge Program creates a space for co-minded people to collaborate and voice their opinions. Here are a few reviews that Sofia and Aleksei received from their challenge participants:

My congratulations to the winner. Thanks for this challenge.
I’ve learned some new things. It was a useful experience.
Best wishes to all participants
BorisThereIs -
Thank you for this interesting challenge! It was a pleasure to participate, and the financial reward was quite a nice bonus.
I am really looking forward to further cooperation with Inca Digital.
I wish all the other participants to keep trying and to succeed eventually!

Discover more stories about Challenge Program winners on Hygge Work Instagram.