If you are a French developer, chances are you have already heard that the 2nd edition of the programming contest organised by Criteo will take place this weekend. If you haven’t: Criteo is the European leader of retargeted advertisement. Retargeted ads are those evil web banners that follow you everywhere, begging you to return to that online shop where you spotted a nice pair of shoes but decided not to buy it because, well, it’s time for austérité. Incidentally, these banners also make the web work by making sure content providers get rewarded for all those eyeballs, and by helping online stores to get customer traction. (We write balanced articles here at Rude Bauguette.)
Last year, the Code of Duty 2 programming contest attracted 2400 challengers, says Emilie Blum of Criteo. This year, with the expansion of the contest to more European countries and the promised 20.000€ in rewards to the ten best finalists, bigger participation can be expected. Of course this is a tactical HR stunt for Criteo which is hungry for new talent to fuel its growth. The contest is an opportunity to show off Criteo’s shiny new headquarters to potential talented hires. The purely algorithmic challenges reflect Criteo’s selective hiring process. If you pass the preliminary phases, there is a good chance someone at Criteo will want to interview you. Among the twenty finalists of last year’s contest, three were eventually hired; given the rates of specialised head hunters, 20.000€ does not look like a bad deal after all.
Last year’s challenge had received critics from its participants for it slack of transparency: they said it was unclear how the submitted programs were compared and ranked. This year, source codes will be compiled and tested by an automated process (as opposed to last year’s interns). Yes, it means that even you fellow Lua and Java developers, you stand a chance.