Checklist for Hacker Rank to Become one of the Best Elearning Platform
I am a big fan of Hacker Rank and I wish this platform only growth and further development, however, unfortunately, a lot in this platform prevents it from gaining a new audience and retaining the old one. I thought and compiled a small checklist, which, in my opinion, is able to change the general approach to learning and training hard skills on this platform, to make this process more interesting, convenient and, most importantly, effective.
Once again, this is my list and my opinion. Any criticism and comments are only welcome. I'm happy to join the discussion in our community on Reddit. So my checklist:
🗹 Comment Moderation
By moderating comments, I mean filtering them in the Discussions tab - prohibiting any answers to the proposed tasks. The only exceptions can be tips, hints, as well as links to third-party resources that could be useful in solving tasks.
Hacker Rank - Discussion Tab
I have already written about this many times in my other articles, for example, in the Hacker Rank review article, as well as the tutorial on tasks and exams on this platform, but I consider it necessary to say it again. The ability to write off answers just by switching the tab does not put everyone on an equal footing. Someone got the first place in the leaderboard with their own work and honestly earned their points, like someone, drinking beer on the weekends, simply wrote off the answers and did not even understand what he wrote off.
It seems to me that this is at least not fair and it devalues the main essence of the platform - obtaining confirmation of one's skills and knowledge and, in the future, obtaining certificates. Even if you imagine that no one copies the answers from that tab and everyone does the tasks on their own, then you will agree that the platform does not provide any confirmation of this. By visiting someone else's profile, you will not understand whether the genius is in front of you or just a copy and paste doctor of science.
🗹 Changes to the Final Exam System
To receive a certificate, a student must pass a final exam. But there are several problems with the exam system. Firstly, as I already wrote, the answers to the exam tasks are too accessible. They can be found at the very first link in the search engine. Fighting those who post answers is as useless as possible, so I suggest other measures for developers.
Firstly, I believe that there should be more questions in the exam. Most exams have only two questions. Their level of difficulty is different, it's true, but it should not be that over the past six months, everyone who took the exam had absolutely identical tasks. There should be a certain base of tasks, from which two or three tasks would be randomly selected. So the process of finding answers will be more difficult and students will show more independence when taking the exam.
Secondly, I believe that the time allotted for completing tasks should be reduced. Almost forty minutes to complete two tasks is too much. During this time, you can not only write the script yourself, but also check it through ChatGPT, ask a teacher from the university for advice, and there will still be time to complete a training lesson on YouTube by watching a 4-hour bootcamp in an accelerated mode.
🗹 Leader Board Modification
I propose to modify the formation of the leader board on the platform. Compilation of the leader board, in my opinion, should not be based on the criterion of points received, but on the amount of time spent on tasks. Thus, there will not be a million first places with the same points in the leaderboard.
Moreover, the time spent on tasks should be public. For example, if I want to look at the profile of the first person on the Python leaderboard, then I need to see the time that person spent on each task - two minutes, five, ten, and so on. The leaderboard should be built not by the total time spent and not by the average time spent, but by the median. Thus, there will be no statistical outliers and the top students will be more objective.
The leaderboard clearly requires some modifications, since having a hundred first places is stupid and there is no excitement to compete with such students, because even if you complete all the tasks, you will be another first place among a thousand others. There is no sense and motivation for the student in this. But to compete for the median time is another matter and excitement.
🗹 Info in the Certificate
After passing the final exam, you will receive a certificate, which contains information about the skill that you have trained and the level of this skill. I think that this is not enough and the time of passing the final exam in the certificate should be indicated in the certificate. This will optimize and improve the selection stage of candidates through the recruitment tab.
Also, when applying for a job, by demonstrating your certificate, the employer clearly sees and understands how much time you spent on obtaining the skill, how stubborn or not stubborn you were, how successfully and quickly you catch information and this information fits in your head.
You can also indicate the median time that the student spent on the final exam. This will prevent cheating, because it is immediately clear that if the median task completion time in the certificate is 13 seconds, then the student clearly did not do it on his own. This is an even more powerful and automated way to deal with responses and those who make them up.
Hacker Rank is not only an educational platform, but also a platform for hire. Let not ideal, but still a platform for hire. I have ideas to improve this process. I think that it is worth offering to complete a test task from the employer directly through the platform. Give the employer the opportunity to create a test task on the platform engine and offer it when applying for a vacancy.
This will reduce the burden on the employer and thus the employer will have the candidate's resume in front of his eyes - his profile on Hacker Rank, and the test task that I propose to implement. It's fast, convenient, easy and familiar.
The employer will have information about the time of the task, the final answer, which is organized by Hacker Rank itself through its platform, there will be information from the profile about the experience and place of work about the desired position, and so on.
I confess that this item was inspired by the developers from Kaggle. This paragraph also refers to the process of hiring and selecting candidates, and not about the educational process. I propose to organize mini competitions from employers, as is done on Kaggle, where the employer could select candidates for their own tasks based on a leaderboard solely on their stacks of tasks (for example, in python, SQL or Math).
Kaggle Competitions Page
Like on Kaggle, only competitions would be organized and compiled exclusively by employers and for one specific purpose - hiring employees. Eliminate group participation - this will complicate the hiring process, because most often only one employee is hired, and not a group at once.
Competitions are also a great idea to build up your resume and portfolio. For example, a line in your portfolio saying that you were one of the top 10 coders in a competition organized by Tinder will give you a significant competitive advantage in the selection of candidates.
I will repeat. I am a huge fan of Hacker Rank. I like their platform, I like their assignments and the structure of the material, but still I see a lot of flaws that are not so difficult to fix. I just put forward my assumptions and thoughts, as one of thousands of students. It would be great if my article reached the developers of Hacker Rank. If you know of such, be sure to share my thoughts with them. All good.