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Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gt494) | Reply
I'm in the same situation... I've said "yes" to every employment question except "are you a US citizen". :) Haven't had a single opportunity or approach.

The possible "in" with big international employers such as Google were a major reason for me doing Topcoder competitions - what am I missing? I figured I just need to get my rating higher, but the fact that one of the top reds is in the same situation says to me that the doors might just be closed on the international market. :(

Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gladius) | Reply
I agree with gladius. The process is definitely unclear. I had initially signed up to test my chops in algorithms. I had no idea there was a recruiting wing. The only reason I now know is that one of the TC recruiters called me!

Maybe you need a separate portal with a distinct marketing message. To me, the TC brand means algorithm competitions. I have no stats, but I would guess that the vast majority of rated members are algorithm competitors, not design or development competitors.

Given that perception, even if I had known about the recruiting wing, I probably would never have tried. I'm a business intelligence / data warehousing developer. The most technical thing I do is SQL; no hardcore techie stuff here. To me, algorithms are for engineers, and I'm not an engineer.

To extend what CodeCruiser said, most development jobs are drudgery. You don't need to be a genius to do UI design, or to put together IBM mainframe reports. The idea that TC would offer those "normal" programming jobs goes counter to the perception that it is a hardcore, engineering site.

Hope this feedback helps, and good luck steering the brand. I'm working with one of your recruiters now and thus far, the experience has been great, even though nothing has come of it yet. I've worked with many recruiters in the past, and none come close.
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gt494) | Reply
I am a graduating senior and living in Idaho. I've been looking for a full time job since early February. Of course, my personal situation limits my ability to relocate. This seems to be a common issue with many other TopCoder members as well. Personally, I'd be open to contracting jobs where I don't have to work on site. It seems to me that this type of job would be ideal for many TopCoder members, especially for college students that need temporary employment, either for the summer or part-time during the school year.

I signed up for this service when I first recieved the email announcing it. However, I don't recall recieving any information about specific job openings. Now that I visit the page again, I see that the openings are listed there, but it is not obvious how to "apply" for a position. The description page for each company has links to "Register for this position" and this takes you to the same registration questions I filled out when I first registered. Do these registration links also send your information to the employer? There is no obvious indication that this is the case.

Another draw back for me is that I don't feel very qualified for many of the positions I find. I would only be comfortable applying for one of the jobs currently listed. There's a second one that I *might* fit, but I'm unsure enough that I question whether I should bother looking into it. Of course, this isn't limited to the jobs currently listed here at TopCoder. I feel the same about many of the jobs I find on Monster or other employment websites.

Anyway, that's my two cents about the situation. I'm not sure if I have any good suggestions about how to change things.
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gt494) | Reply
I am interested mostly in those companies you mentioned, so could you please roughly estimate terms of when you will start international hiring?
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by Olexiy) | Reply
I agree that we should have more information about geographical location on the specific postings. We will look into adding that additional information.

In regards to companies hiring from outside of the US … As I mentioned in the other post it all pretty much depends on the company’s requirements, the number of H1 Visas that the government will issue, and the candidate’s willingness to relocate. We are working with companies that are hiring globally such as Yahoo, Motorola, NVIDIA and Google. We are currently in the process of trying to identify the correct people within each of these companies that are responsible for hiring in their specific areas. Once we identify them, and make sure they have a need to hire, we will look to source more candidates internationally.
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by rrenaud) | Reply
Yes, I suppose this is the main reason, because relocating me costs much more than moving one from the US, so I think companies do that only for really TOP coders.
In this case it would be nice to have some notes nearby the job offers, like "For US citizens only" or smth like that, so we will be able to estimate our chances better.
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by prekageo) | Reply
Maybe you guys aren't getting contacted because you aren't American? I've gotten one interview, and another contact (after I've accepted a job) from two big name tech companies, and I also got an email from a Topcoder rep who seemed to be interested in helping me find a job.

And I am significantly lower rated than both of you...
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by Olexiy) | Reply
If nobody contacts Olexiy, I wonder who will contact me. Anyway, I would like to ask a similar question: When, before the SRM, TopCoder asks whether we would like to have our contact information shared with major companies and we answer "Yes,please" what happens next? Do these companies have any immediate need or are they simply "fishing"? Also, if they have some immediate need, is this located to a specific place?
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gt494) | Reply
I have another question, which is stronly related to yours :)

I am not old, not stupid, I've uploaded my CV, I've mentioned that I am looking for a job and I can relocate, I am always clicking "Yes, please please please give my information to Yahoo, Google, NVidia, Intel, Bill Gates and anyone else", I am quite high in the ratings - but nobody never contacted me with an offer.

Am I doing something wrong?
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gt494) | Reply
here are my reasons for not using your services yet, in no particular order:

(1) i'm still in the university. So i'm not in need of a position right now. However, soon i'll have to write my diploma thesis, which could be done in a company... but TC is probably not the right place to look for such things.

(2) I live in Europe. I am willing to relocate, but switching to another continent is not what i want.

(3) I feel that my rating wouldn't help me anyway. That is a questionable point, because, as already mentioned, everyone crazy enough to get up 2am regularly to participate in a SRM deserves some credit.

(4) I would have to create a resume in english. I have no idea on what is important (that differs from country to country i guess), plus I have trouble creating a resume in my primary language.

(3) is not a big issue
(4) could be overcome by a collection of useful links and tips, or a faq
(1) nothing to be done about that
(2) it's the job of Topcoder to come up with more companies or with companies that are not only seeking employees in the US.

These are my reasons to not use your services so far -- but i might not be the only one with those reasons.
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by uler3161) | Reply
Yes, we have several positions that are paying in the $100K range. Some of the companies are Akamai, GoldenGate, ESPN, Gentiva, LimeGroup, UBS, DE Shaw, JumpTrading.
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gt494) | Reply
Here's my two cents. First, some background: I took the opportunity to sign up for Employment Services awhile back and for the most part I am glad I did and I really have to thank the people involved with it. Even though I have a decent GPA and a good attitude/work ethic, I had been having absolutely no luck finding a job, or even getting an interview for one. The career fair at the school I went to was basically a joke. I was almost to the point of giving up, but Topcoder helped me out.

Topcoder did get me an interview which I just got back from a few days ago. Finally, results :-D. I didn't get the job, but I'm still happy since I wouldn't have even made it to the interview stage without Topcoder. It would have been really helpful to have had another Topcoder member interview for the job and report back what happened in order to help other Topcoder candidates (like me ;-)), but unfortunately I was the first one to interview there.

The first job opportunity that Topcoder notified me about didn't turn out that great and I was about ready to give up. I had sent some questions to the company, through Topcoder, and waited about two months for a response. Finally, Topcoder informed me the company had not answered any questions asked by Topcoder candidates and had not reviewed any Topcoder candidates. This kind of left me a bit sour, but I know it wasn't Topcoders fault.

I agree with what some people are saying about Topcoder not being able to find positions that are in certain geographical areas. I'm from Idaho and wanted to stay in the northwest, but I've come to the decision that I'll probably have to move far away to find a job. I'd be a lot happier if I could find a job closer to home, such as in Washington or southern Idaho, but most positions Topcoder has found are located nowhere near here.

When I've talked to the Employment Services people at Topcoder, they have mentioned to me that they are really trying to find members to fill jobs. This is really heaven for someone trying to find a job. I have tried getting my friends to join Topcoder and do some SRMs, but for some reason they don't. One of them is career Navy and won't consider trying to quit unless he gets $100k salary (maybe he doesn't believe these jobs are that good). The other one is trying to get a job in Seattle for personal reasons (back to the job location problem I mentioned before). One thing they both mentioned was that they don't have the time to try SRMs. I think they also aren't willing to put forth the effort. At one point, I almost convinced one of them to become a member a couple years ago because I was winning money in SRMs, but after the prizes went away, so did his interest.

I do have one question though. Are the salary ranges really from $80k – $130K? I ask because out of the three positions I've been notified about, none were in this range. Two were less and one was more. Perhaps if there was a job that payed $100k, I could get my friend to try out Employment Services at Topcoder. I know it shouldn't be all about the money, but that seems to be important to him.
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by Steven) | Reply
I think that is a great idea.
I'm alot older than most of you, having coded now for almost thirty years. I've done alot of stuff: software developer, management consultant, contract programmer, technical consultant, worked for IBM, SSA, Peat Marwick, others and yet I was amazed at the level of programming knowledge demonstrated here.
I pride myself on self-educating myself and have only begun to seriously study algorithms. But I do intend to compete and build up my java and C++ skills.
Believe me: I have know many programmers and the ones I knew were not as conversant with hard core programming knowledge so much as tool familiarity.
Alot of programming work involves just being a good team player. Unless you are coding games or trading systems or operating systems or compilers, most coding is relatively simple, bordering on drudgery.
I specialized in a non defunct language called "RPG"-Report Program Generator-- IBM's version of COBOL and while it has become more C like with RPGIV, most of my work was "maintenance". Not real sexy. Most programming work is not development or cool stuff unless you are in the right areas. I know because this is what I have been doing.
Now I do plan to get into more sexy stuff like trading systems which I really love and which I have done some work when I owned my own firm, but unless you are working on open source(which to me is the coolest--Eclipse, for instance), the real world of programming is not at all like top coder stuff. Most programmers in the real world, in my humble opinion, would view most top coders are "uber-geeks". I mean, don't get me wrong, I love this stuff, but most real world "professional" programmers do this stuff as a "job", and when it is over, they quit and do other stuff like raise families or engage in their various and sundry hobbies.
But back to the point: job entries color coded and perhaps with some indication of experience required would make this employment pitch more attractive.

My two cents.
Code Cruiser
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by gt494) | Reply
1800 is 97th percentile? Then why does my card say that I'm in 93rd percentile?
Re: What am I missing? (response to post by BradAustin) | Reply
Actually I should add that if a cantidate I was considering was involved with TopCoder (i.e. competed regularly, not just tried it once or twice and quit), that by itself would be a plus in my book simply because it shows they enjoy coding and solving CS problems enough that they do it for fun, rather than just because they get paid.

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