HackerRank, the company that helps companies find top-notch software development talent by ranking programmers based on their coding skills, poses the question of which country would win a coding Olympics.
Although the United States dominated the recent 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games, HackerRank took a look at the data it has compiled on programmers from different countries around the world and concluded that China and Russia would come out on top of a coding Olympics. The United States would not even win a medal, according to the HackerRank data.
"If we held a hacking Olympics today, our data suggests that China would win the gold, Russia would take home a silver, and Poland would nab the bronze," wrote HackerRank's Ritika Trikha in an article on the company's website. "Though they certainly deserve credit for making a showing, the United States and India have some work ahead of them before they make it into the top 25."
Yes, that's right. According to HackerRank's data, the United States ranks 28th and India ranks 31st among countries with the best programmers—behind Poland, Switzerland, Hungary, Japan, France, the Czech Republic, Canada, South Korea, Vietnam, Chile and a bunch of other countries.
Trikha said HackerRank regularly posts new coding challenges for developers to improve their coding skills and thousands of developers from all over the world come to participate in challenges in a variety of languages and knowledge domains. The HackerRank community has more than 1.5 million ranked developers—with rankings based on a combination the programmers' accuracy and speed.
According to the HackerRank data, Chinese programmers outscored all other countries in mathematics, functional programming and data structures challenges, while Russians dominate in algorithms. Algorithms proved to be the most popular and most competitive area of the HackerRank challenges.
Indeed, nearly 40 percent of all developers competed in the algorithms domain, Trikha wrote. This domain includes challenges on sorting data, dynamic programming, and searching for keywords and other logic-based tasks, she said.
The second and third most popular domains for programmers in the HackerRank challenges—coming in at about 10 percent each—were Java and data structures. The United States and India, which HackerRank said provides more programmers to the world than any other countries, failed to claim a top ranking in any of the various domains.
Ironically, though, both China and Russia have reportedly been tied to major hacks or attempted hacks of U.S. corporations and government entities. Chinese developers scored 100 in the HackerRank evaluation, and Russian developers were right behind them with a score of 99.9. Poland and Switzerland rounded out the top of the list with scores of 98 and 97.9, respectively. Switzerland also won the top rank as the country with programmers that never give up on a challenge.
Meanwhile, Shimi Zang, a Chinese software engineer at HackerRank who did his undergraduate studies in China before coming to the United States for his master's degree, tries to explain why developers from other countries, particularly China, may perform better in competitive programming.