Redfin's Latest Crazy Recruiting Scheme…

Recruiting is an odd human activity. All the social rituals we use to assuage people’s insecurities are put aside.
Examples are near at hand. With GATTACA-like efficiency, Google requires recruits ten years out of college to produce an official copy of their SAT scores. Investment bankers asked a friend if he ever punched someone in the face (“and if not, why not?”). At one particularly sad juncture in my life, interviewing for a job as a bicycle messenger, I was asked to run in place for two minutes.

In that Hobbesian spirit, Redfin is running a big coding contest for the college students whom we hope to recruit. To win, you just have to build a maps mash-up using a real estate data-set that we put out on the Internet. It should be really fun: you could build one that includes geo-coded photos with the “naked” tag from Flickr, or nearby Taco Bells. Don’t feel like you have to do anything fancy; quality of code is what counts.

The grand prize, given at every college campus we visit, is a souped-up MacBook Pro. Anyone with an entry good enough to get an interview wins a Nano (my one instinctive contribution to this contest was the insistence that the losers should get something, too).

The deadline for the first two campuses, Berkeley and Stanford, is January 16. We’ve been asked if non-college students can compete too. To tell the truth, if you can build a really sweet real estate mashup, we don’t even care if you went to college. So throw your hat in the ring!

(I just realized that the stop for the #3 bus I take on days it’s too rainy to ride a bike — many of these blog entries are written on a bus — is at the county clink. My whole life is like the beginning of a Blues Brothers’ movie.)

And don’t forget that tonight is Redfin Chimichanga Night at Azteca on the Seattle Eastside.