Is HackerRank Worth It?

If you interview for a programming job, you may have to perform a coding challenge. There are many coding challenge websites. One of the most prevalent ones is HackerRank. Is HackerRank worth it? Is it easy to understand? I have used HackerRank. Some problems are easy to understand, and some are not.

If you are new to programming, HackerRank is frustrating to understand. I have talked to another developer friend who has many years of experience, and he thinks that HackerRank could be more beginner-friendly. Why would a developer want to use it if it is frustrating to understand?

However, there are pros and cons to using HackerRank.

Employers Use HackerRank for Interviews

Many employers give you assessments using Hacker Rank. I have been given coding challenges using HackerRank in interviews. However, some employers do not use HackerRank or any coding challenge platform. I have also interviewed at a place that does not have coding challenges. However, coding challenges are a standard for many companies in the industry.

The Downside to Coding Challenges

Unfortunately, many coding tests could be more practical for a software engineer’s daily problems. These HackerRank evaluations also have a time limit, and it would be more difficult if you did not think or type quickly. You may be a great engineer but could improve at coding challenges. Collaboration is also essential in the industry, but you have no help with these coding tests.

In these tests, you are not allowed to Google. There is a joke in the software engineering industry that you only need to be a great Googler to be good at your job.

The Upside to Coding Challenges

In Computer Science, there is this topic of Space/Time complexity. Space/Time is something that is out of a Sci-Fi movie, and it is far from that. To sum it up, Time complexity is how fast an algorithm runs, and Space complexity is how much space is used, for example, how many data structures you use and how big they are.

Coding challenges also teach you problem-solving. Even if the coding challenge you are participating in is not relevant to on-the-job situations, you still learn how to properly think through a coding problem and the right way to solve it with the best coding practices.

Pros

HackerRank has excellent design, certifications, coding interview prep, and numerous coding challenges in multiple categories.

Is HackerRank Worth It - Dashboard

Coding Challenges

The neat thing about HackerRank is that they award you points based on coding challenges you can solve. There is incredible filtering functionality where you can filter by difficulty level and subdomains.

Is-HackerRank-Worth-It-Coding Challenges

Certifications

Is Hackerrank Worth It - Python

If you want to showcase your skills, HackerRank has a lot of certifications to choose from. These certifications comprise a test.

Is-HackerRank-Worth-It-Certifications

Competitions

Do you love coding challenges and competition? If you do, you compete with others at coding challenges.

Is Hackerrank Worth It - Competition

You can view action contests and archived contests. For some of these challenges, you can even win a prize.

Con

Once you enter a coding challenge, it can be difficult to understand what they are trying to say. The following screenshot is just one example.

Someone starting programming would be confused with these symbols, especially the constraints section.

Is Hackerrank Worth It - Challenge

These lengthy introductions are a significant drawback to HackerRank, and I wish they would get straight to the point.

Is Hackerrank Worth It - Question

From this example, you can see that HackerRank’s problem introductions are very lengthy. This platform could be more beginner friendly. And that was only an “Easy” problem.

I would love it if there were a video explaining these coding challenges instead of reading them. Time to email HackerRank support.

Next Steps

HackerRank needs clear instructions for coding challenges, which is frustrating, especially among beginner programmers. However, their other features are still popular among many developers and are still the chosen platform for huge companies.

If you are new to programming, start with a more straightforward platform such as Edabit. This is one of the best platforms for beginners because the instructors for the coding challenges are more precise, and the community posts coding challenges. A significant benefit of Edabit is that there have tutorials that guide you through, but it is in Javascript or Python.

However, you can eventually use HackerRank once you get the fundamentals.

If you would like to learn more fundamentals try Edabit, or you can start a learning path where you can develop projects with CodeCademy.

Thank you for reading my post. Leave your comments below to participate in this engaging community. Be sure to sign up to receive updates of more incredible articles.

Before I go:

  1. Do you have any experience with coding challenge websites?
  2. Do you like coding challenges?

9 thoughts on “Is HackerRank Worth It?”

  1. Reading this article shed light on a world I had no idea existed! I think the mixed reviews regarding its user-friendliness are not unexpected, since a lot of coding communities can seem fairly daunting from the outside. As someone who enjoys coding challenges, I appreciate the insight into HackerRank’s features, such as its certifications and competitions. It’s very cool! And makes it fun to improve your resume. Crazy to think there are alternatives like Edabit for those starting their programming journey. Do you have any favorite platforms you’d recommend for complete beginners?

    Reply
  2. Jordan’s article also touches on the pros and cons of coding challenges, which I’ve encountered firsthand. On one hand, these challenges offer an opportunity to hone problem-solving skills and gain a deeper understanding of concepts like time and space complexity. However, the pressure of time constraints and the lack of collaboration can make the experience stressful.

    Reflecting on my own experiences, I appreciate Jordan’s candid discussion about the limitations of coding challenges. While they are a common part of the hiring process, it’s important for employers to consider how well they reflect real-world scenarios in software engineering.

    Overall, Jordan’s insights provide valuable food for thought for both candidates and employers alike. It’s a reminder that while coding challenges can be valuable, they should be approached with an understanding of their limitations and their potential impact on candidates of varying skill levels.

    Reply
  3. I’ve encountered HackerRank challenges in interviews and while they’re prevalent, I’m skeptical about their practicality. Sure, they teach problem-solving, but do they align with real-world tasks? The time constraints add pressure, making it challenging to showcase skills accurately. Additionally, the inability to Google feels counterintuitive in an industry heavily reliant on collaboration and resources. While HackerRank offers certifications and competitions, the lengthy problem introductions can be off-putting, especially for beginners. Perhaps clearer instructions or video explanations could enhance user experience. Overall, while HackerRank has its merits, it’s essential to consider its limitations and explore alternatives like Edabit for a more beginner-friendly approach.

    Reply
    • Right you are. This is incredibly insightful and I agree that a flaw in the interview process is challenges that dont relate to the real world.

      Its like we are supposed to memorize everything

      Reply
  4. Hi Jordan, 

    What a thought-provoking article! I’m really impressed by your exploration of whether HackerRank is worth it for developers. Your analysis provides valuable insights into the pros and cons of using this platform as a tool for skill development and career advancement.

    I appreciate how you’ve delved into the various features and functionalities of HackerRank, highlighting its strengths in improving problem-solving abilities and coding skills. Your firsthand experience and anecdotal examples add a personal touch to the discussion, making it relatable and engaging for readers.

    As someone considering whether to incorporate HackerRank into my learning journey, I find myself curious about:

    How does HackerRank compare to other similar platforms in terms of user experience and effectiveness in skill development?
    Are there any specific tips or strategies you recommend for maximizing the benefits of using HackerRank?
    Thank you for shedding light on this topic and helping developers make informed decisions about utilizing platforms like HackerRank. Your insights are truly valuable for anyone looking to enhance their coding skills and advance their careers in software development.

    Bob

    Reply
  5. Hi Jordan,
    Just read your take on HackerRank and couldn’t help but chuckle at the bit about needing to be a great Googler to excel in software engineering—so true! Your balanced view makes navigating the HackerRank universe seem less like a labyrinth for a newbie like me. I’ve had my fair share of staring blankly at the screen, wondering if the problem statement was in English or Elvish. Out of curiosity, have you found any specific challenges or sections on HackerRank that are more beginner-friendly, or should I start wearing a “Lost in HackerRank” T-shirt?
    Thank you for your work and for sharing!
    Best,
    Max

    Reply
    • A few challenges on “Easy” mode are easier to understand then others, but you do need to study up on your “Elvish” LOL, that is why I recommend Edibit 

      Reply

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