Experienced people's advice needed

Do big companies like google/facebook hire only competitive programmers?

I am getting too much different stories from different people so I am confused.

I do web development and little bit of competitive programming. What else do you suggest?

I am in Btech 1st yr, 2nd semester of Computer Science but college is not top tier.

I can make a basic chat website(users can chat from anywhere in the world) for now. Will the ability to make more complex software(like anonymous chat, mood detector from your sentences, etc) help my cv/resume?

What about internships in Web development. Will they help?
I wouldn't know much but here's what I assume.

A company like Google is looking for competence. They want to hire someone who can they can just expect to get results or be able to hold their own on a team.

Any big projects you can show off that look nice will likely help your resume. I don't know what languages you know, but generally you'll want to know what position you're interviewing for and know what languages are likely going to show up during an interview.

For Web Development interviews, any websites you create/interactive applications will likely be a plus. Anything that shows off practicality skills are going to give the interviewer a positive impression.

As for competitive programming, that may or may not be helpful. This would, I assume, depend on the person who's interviewing you. They may think that shows your skills, or they may simply write it off as extra information. To make a slight comparison, I play a game called "Warface". I'll get people saying,"I competed in ESL." Which is a big tournament with the best player winning like $20K. However, anyone can participate, so to me it never mattered that they were IN ESL - did they WIN ESL? How far did they get? Etc..

So overall, competence and practicality with coding is what an interviewer is likely going to look for. Personality is also important. You can be a great programmer, but they wont put someone with a bad attitude to be part of their team.
Hey, nice to see you zapshe!

I cannot answer intelligently on this question, so I have kept my mouth shut. Maybe by Monday or Tuesday someone with experience and/or knowledge about it will answer, but I don’t think may Google employees hang out here...


Online coding challenges grew out of something fun people did, when suits noticed it they started wanting it. Now a plethora of sites exist that promise to get you noticed by employers if you can gain a certain amount of XP by crawling the dungeons, er, challenges.

But the reality is more as zapshe describes, methinks. (But I could be wrong here. Again, it will depend on the company and/or interviewer!)


While it cannot hurt to be able to walk in to an interview with good scores on code chef and the like, it doesn’t really mean anything on the face of it.

At some point one or more interviewers will want to sit you down and ask you to solve a problem while they watch (and ask questions, and make suggestions, and try to throw you for a loop). This is how they judge your ability to think and plan a solution all the way from requirements gathering to an actual, working implementation.

Your ability to think clearly, test and find corner cases, verify correctness, etc. are all on the table here. These are things that online coding contests cannot judge.
Google and Facebook are really a dream jobs, but before going there you need a huge experience in other companies, where you will get needed skills and own approaches. And I think what such companies values more than competence is creativity and opportunity to think outside the box.
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