Google, GOOD Hold Hackathon Looking For Talent

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Google held a hackathon for Google TV and YouTube last weekend in Los Angeles to find innovative developers. The company has stepped up a search for new hires, mentioning multiple times during the event that it's looking for qualified coders with good ideas.

Job seekers might find it difficult to secure the perfect job, but executives admit that finding candidates with ambition, education and skills is still trickier than some might think.

As part of the YouTube Google TV Hackathon held last weekend in Los Angeles, GOOD and Apollo Group put together a Code for GOOD project that would give one enthusiastic coder a job at GOOD. The three finalists -- Brian Bonus, Ada Ng, and Corey Speisman -- were flown out by GOOD and participated in the hackathon alongside members of GOOD's tech team.

The apps created at the hackathon range from using a Google TV to help teachers make use of online educational content in a classroom environment, to an Android app that would allow multiple people to watch live TV in a connected room on Google TV.

Speisman's hackathon group project developed an app that searches YouTube videos of local concerts. The app allows consumers to type in the location and genre to find YouTube videos. It connects music lovers to the local events and people joining them. He began with online courses from codingacademy.com. "I came into the program knowing very little code, but it taught me so much in the past three to four weeks," he said.

The Songkick and YouTube APIs made it possible. It calls on raw data from concerts and artists, combining it with YouTube videos to serve up the information. At the hackathon, the app -- Concert YouTube Stream -- won Most Viable. Bonus's project -- Ed Tech Videos -- picked up an award for Best Execution/Teamwork.

Potential is often overlooked, according to GOOD Program Lead Chelsea Spann. Companies are not willing to think out of the box when it comes to recruiting. "Companies need to focus on the person's potential instead of the resume they share," she said. "Give them a challenge and the means to learn, and they will stay longer."

Spann said people typically jump careers -- staying in jobs two to three years, especially when they are in their mid 20s and 30s. They also need a variety of knowledge. You might build a Web site in Ruby on Rails, but the person also needs an understanding of JavaScript, HTML, APIs, and more before understanding the more complicated languages.

GOOD began the project offering a 16-course coding curriculum aimed at helping those with and without experience. Hundreds began signing up and taking the courses, and some of them submitted to participate in the hackathon and apply for the job.

GOOD will choose a winner Monday.

How do you think out of the box when hiring?

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