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Employment for all? | Reply
I've noticed alot of talk about how a high TC rating facilitates recruitment into various IT positions. Are there any opportunities for recruitment for those with not-so-stellar ratings (like me) who are still talented and eager to learn?
Re: Employment for all? (response to post by fizzicks) | Reply
It has been said before that people at all rating levels may be considered (a higher rating obviously helps though), and that just the fact that someone competes at TopCoder is a plus for some employers since it shows that the person really enjoys what they do.

Since you compete in the high school competitions I guess there's a good chance you're not 18 yet, but once you turn 18 competing in the component competitions will probably be a big help too.
Re: Employment for all? (response to post by aussie) | Reply
Yes you're correct. Not quite 18. I am much more of a component person than an algorithm competition person. Algorithm is a little too fast paced for my style. I think I will be much more successful once I start doing component contests.
Re: Employment for all? (response to post by fizzicks) | Reply
1. turn 18.
2. Go to college/university
3. THEN start asking about placement.
Re: Employment for all? (response to post by dplass) | Reply
That makes sense. I was just wondering what my options are when the time does come to think about placement.
Re: Employment for all? (response to post by fizzicks) | Reply
Look at your rating this way: it's all relative. Comparing yourself head-up with more experienced programmers is unfair. You can still use the rating to sell yourself because potential employers understand where you are in your career. They don't expect you to be a Red when you're still in high school. Many employers will have no idea what TopCoder is anyway: just tell them you have a rating and that you compete against really smart people. They will see that as a positive.

Sell yourself positively by saying something like "I compete in TopCoder competitions on a weekly basis and it has been a great learning experience for me." Do not say something like "I compete in TopCoder competitions but I don't have a very good rating."

One more thing about programming-for-pay: the TopCoder algorithm competitions should not be considered examples of real-world software development. The dearth of comments and the one letter variable names simply will not fly when you are writing maintainable code. Please don't misunderstand me. I'd sooner hire a skilled coder (high TC rating) and 'teach' him/her to design and document their code rather than hire someone who creates pretty code that doesn't work.
Re: Employment for all? (response to post by nicomp) | Reply
I have to agree with nicomp on this one. at least where I work, about .01% of the time are you writing things like in the algorithm contests. however, the component competitions (and I'd like to try the testing since I work in QA) are great experience.