My journey from a Hacker to an Entrepreneur

College is the best time to startup, you have all the energy in the world, you have tons of ideas, you don’t understand the dynamics involved in building a business, which is good in a way when you are just starting out and the best thing is the biggest worry on your head is how to reach the next lecture on time.

It was the same with us, a bunch of super excited hackers, looking to make a dent in the universe.

February 2010, we want to do something, have a lot of ideas, but things are not clicking on. One day my best buddy is not able to make through Google telephonic interviews, bang! we decide we are going to make a platform for discussing computer science concepts and preparing for technical interviews. One long year, we write code, we add content, again write code and again add content, so we build MyCareerStack out of scratch.

After our re-launch in February 2012, we realized we do not want to monetize this platform, and more importantly we do not have clear direction that we are heading to.

Startup Weekend Delhi April 2012

It was the first time we were actually going out of our cocoons in college, to meet people in the startup community. We did not pitch any idea, we went with an objective to network and understand how things function. It was a great experience, the team we joined was one of the top 5 teams, we interacted with designers, talked to business guys and took gyan from mentors.

Fast forward 4 months, we have few things going on, we know what we want to do, but things are not just falling in place. I join Google, because my co-founder can’t come to Bangalore. We are waiting for the right moment to come.

Startup Weekend Bangalore, September 2012

This time I decided I will pitch an idea. We had been working in the learning domain for some time, and helping programmers learn to code better is our strength. So I pitch the idea ofJustCodeIt, our idea gets selected, I get the right team, we work our asses off over the weekend and the end of the event we win the second spot. But far more important than winning, it was the experience of building a MVD (minimum viable demo), starting from nothing but an idea, in less than 54 hours that made the event all the more special to us.

At the end it was not about the demo of the product that we gave, but also about how we thought about marketing the product, how we thought about differentiating us from competition, how we analyzed the market segment, how we decided to do that one thing that would create a worthy impact. Apart from a bunch of goodies and feeling of elation, more importantly, I took back the experience of going through the various cycles of startup building that you would ideally go through over a period of 6 months or more.

Just a month later.

I have been working days at Google and nights on our product. On the other hand my co-founder is juggling college and startup. Two good things happened to us in the month of October, my co-founder got permission from college to complete rest of his degree remotely, and far bigger than that we got selected in the GSF Accelerator program.

We always knew in what domain we want to build a startup. We can make people code online, we can create content for programmers, and we can drill down each code compilation to get performance metrics out of it. Since we never planned to monetize the learning/discussion platform, so we decided to we need to go into recruitment and assessment if we want the moolah to be coming in. At GSF, we pithched HackerEarth – a hiring platform to uncover great programmers and got selected.

HackerEarth is a platform that aims to put real-world programming problems at the center of the tech-hiring process. It allows Engineering Managers to create online programming test across several programming languages and platforms. The applicant’s code is compiled, tested, and evaluated using a range of metrics to help companies filter candidates quickly and accurately. It is built for identifying programmers who can quickly fit in with your Engineering team.

HackerEarth is going to conduct a weekly running programming challenge by the name of HackerWeekly starting next week. The programming challenge will not only have standard interview questions but some real world problems test your mettl. Looking forward to your participation.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

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