Hacker Rank Worth It? Honest Review about Hacker Rank Certifications and Quizzes

Hello everyone, nerds! I want to share with you today my observations and experience with the Hacker Rank platform. I have already done a small analysis of it, which can be found at the link, however, here, I focused on the analysis of the platform as a whole, and today I want to talk more specifically about obtaining certificates and passing tasks on Hacker Rank. Furthermore, I will grumble a lot and act like a bore - enjoy reading.


For those who don't know - Hacker Rank is a platform where you can learn a lot of Hard skills such as python, SQL, Ruby and many, many others. There is also an opportunity to receive certificates based on the results of your training, which confirm your skills in this or that skill. I repeat once again, I wrote about this in detail in this article - I advise you to familiarize yourself and return to reading this one.

Now, learning is all great, but I would like to talk about the specific learning outcomes. In other words - here I have completed a SQL training course, received certificates of all three levels of complexity (from beginner to advanced), received medals for all solved tasks, and what's next? This is where the part where I grumble like an old curmudgeon starts.


I'm not going to say that I didn't like the Hacker Rank tasks, I didn't. The tasks are very structured - they are arranged in the correct sequence, comfortable for learning and in a fairly objective order of difficulty, but my main complaint about the tasks is the moderation of comments. There is no moderation.

Hacker Rank Interface

Hacker Rank Interface

My first course that I decided to take on Hacker Rank is a course on SQL. I was far from a beginner and all I needed was to get certificates and in order to prepare, to understand how everything works there, I decided to solve the training tasks myself. Each task has a separate tab with discussions, and this is quite logical, every educational platform has one. Assignment discussion tabs are available on Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, and many other educational platforms. But the difference is that on Hacker Rank these comments from other users are not moderated, there is literally nothing but correct answers. You will not find an explanation of how this is solved, what is the logic of the code, but only the correct answer.

On Udemy, this is clearly moderated, and in many of the courses that I took, it is simply forbidden to post answers to assignments, the maximum that is allowed is hints or links to a video lecture where this is explained. If the idea behind the developers of Hacker Rank was to give users the opportunity to copy answers from each other, then they did a great job.

I already wrote that the answers in the discussion section make all the certificates and medals awarded to participants meaningless, so I don’t want to repeat myself. I just want to say that despite the very good tasks, balanced in complexity and their completely unambiguous wording, there is not enough modeling of user comments.


Hacker Rank certificates at first seemed to me the most useful of all that I have ever seen among other educational platforms. Think for yourself - you get a certificate of mastery of any skill, this certificate is displayed in your profile along with a gold medal of mastery of the skill, along with completed fields about work experience, position, company and other information that is usually asked when applying for a job. There is also a job board, with hundreds of job offers. I thought that was all I needed to find a job, but... First things first.

Hacker Rank Certifications

Hacker Rank Certifications

What are the tests for certificates on Hacker Rank. If you have ever taken an exam in an online format, then there will be little new for you. You get three tasks, the difficulty of which depends on the level you choose. These three tasks have a certain amount of time, which again depends on the level of difficulty you choose (the more difficult, the more time). It would seem - great, now I'll show what I'm capable of and find a dream job, you don't even need to register on LinkedIn. No.

Think for yourself, if you can easily find answers in the discussion tab of test tasks, then is it possible to find answers to tasks for obtaining certificates? Of course, you can. There is a whole quiz review on YouTube. Why is this a problem? It devalues literally everything. Answers in the public domain literally devalue all your work and efforts in preparing and receiving a certificate. Even if you tried and sweated for several months preparing for this exam, there is someone who copied all the answers in an hour and a half and received the same certificate as you, only saved himself so much time.

It also devalues the job search. The employer is not a fool and knows that any certificate can be easily found on the web, so what is the point of recruiting through Hacker Rank for him. Exactly, it makes no sense. I tried looking for jobs through Hacker Rank. Now I don’t want to criticize or grumble, maybe I just showed little effort, but I decided to just experiment and send an application for 25 vacancies and for I did not receive any response at all. Again, this was just an experiment, but it seemed to me that the recruitment system through Hacker Rank is completely dead and useless and, frankly, I understand why.

How to Fix

The very idea of such a set is simply amazing, but the execution is clearly lame. I have already suggested how this can be fixed, and in order not to repeat myself, I want to offer something new. I hope you are familiar with Kaggle. If not, I'll tell you briefly. Kaggle is a platform for data professionals, essentially a sandbox, where beginners train and professionals hone their skills in manipulating databases, visualizing data, making predictions based on mathematical statistics and doing machine learning. So, in this case, I consider the sandbox format a breakthrough.

There are no right and wrong answers. There are certificates, but in fact they are not important and do not affect anything. There are competitions on Kaggle (an analogue of certificates for Hacker Rank), where participants compete in different areas of Data, from forecasting to visualization. And there are no right answers in these competitions. You may know the results of others, you may know the code of others, but you cannot simply win by cheating from more experienced participants. There is real competition there, where personal skill is important. The answers to these competitions are impossible to google.

Kaggle Competitions Page

Kaggle Competitions Page

Therein lies the value. The competition can be organized by some company, the prize of which will be a job placement and this system is much more objective and understandable, because in this case, the employer will be clearly sure that the participant or winner has done independent work, has not written off anything, because this just impossible. I believe that such a system should be introduced on Hacker Rank. Remove this shameful board of vacancies, which none of the employers pays attention to, and add the ability for employers to publish competitive competitions, test tasks, whatever, so that participants show their real skill in thinking, not cheating.


I got an angry article. In fact, I have a good feeling about the Hacker Rank platform. They have a big problem with the discussion and answer system, but nevertheless I like their assignments and like the format of the certificates. Unfortunately, there is a feeling that they do not support their product at all, they do not moderate comments. Hacker Rank remains the first platform for me to learn something new, but only as a training, not for certification.


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