Vivek Ravisankar is the co-founder and CEO of HackerRank, a platform that helps programmers improve their skills and connect with companies.
Vivek Ravisankar: Education
Vivek Ravisankar: Early days
Vivek Ravisankar was born and raised in Bangalore and Chennai, India. Since he was little, he was interested in programming, so he decided to pursue a career in Computer Science, a job quite competed in India for several numbers of developers in the country.
In India, Ravisankar had to deal with the fact that the best software development companies in the country mainly review the highest averages and the best universities to accept their collaborators. Ravisankar did not have that pedigree, despite his skills as a programmer and his talent when winning competitions.
Ravisankar’s disadvantages did not prevent him from getting a job at Amazon, a company that recognized his potential and gave him a chance. This job opportunity happened because the recruiters went to the campus and held a contest to test the students.
Vivek Ravisankar: Career
During the time Vivek Ravisankar worked for Amazon, he wasted a lot of time interviewing candidates, only to discover that they did not meet the requirements. Ravisankar noted that on many occasions, the best-qualified people for a job are sometimes ignored because they did not go to a prestigious school, they do not have a striking degree, a high average or the contacts to get to the interview. The hiring model was broken.
Vivek Ravisankar and his partner Hari Karunanidhi started with a startup called InterviewStreet, which at first was not very successful because the students were not willing to pay for preparation interviews. The next idea of this team was to develop a tool that will help students obtain a master’s degree in the United States, an idea that didn’t work either. In the end, Vivek and his partner concluded that they should rethink their revenue stream to achieve their goal for any developer to get the right job.
In 2011, Ravisankar and Karunanidhi landed the idea of HackerRank. His business model was accepted by Y Combinator that same year, becoming the first Indian startup to receive financing from them.
HackerRank is a startup that seeks to make companies less and less dependent on summaries as predictors of programmer skills.
Vivek Ravisankar: Distinctions
Vivek Ravisankar: Other facts
Initially, Ravisankar developed HackerRank based on CodeIgniter. However, he soon noticed that this would prevent him from developing a rapid prototype, so they decided to work with Ruby on Rails since the community is quite active and offers plugins that make development faster and faster.
Vivek Ravisankar and his partner tried to apply for Y Combinator on two different occasions and were not accepted until the third time. They were invited for a ten-minute interview at Silicon Valley, but Hari was denied a visa, so only Ravisankar was able to travel on that occasion. For this reason, HackerRank maintains offices in both Silicon Valley and Bangalore from the beginning.