Facebook Seeks Data Talent Through Crowdsourcing Competition

Susan Hall

Every company has its own challenges in hiring data talent. Facebook, known for its hackathons and coding competitions, has launched a data talent competition on crowdsourcing site Kaggle.

Basically, it plans to let 10 teams compete in mapping the entire Internet, according to VentureBeat. The challenge: to find the most optimal path from node A to node B. It’s not that easy, though.

Says Facebook:

Unlike the map of a city, where best routes are relatively fixed except for the occasional construction or parade detour, the paths that information travels over the web are constantly changing. There is no centralized system of stoplights or traffic cops.  Instead, there are tens of thousands of autonomous systems using a common protocol to advertise the next available hops, updated depending on service agreements, capacity and load. This will be a test of both the candidates engineering know-how and their ability to statistically learn on complex, dynamic graph structures.


Facebook hired one participant in its summer challenge for data scientists, VB says. It’s not clear how many it will hire from this round, though it says it’s looking to fill positions at its Menlo Park, Calif., Seattle, New York, and London offices.

It says it’s looking for “’Big Data’ know-how, tenacity, and open-mindedness to help it build next-gen systems that transform the online experience for its more than 1 billion users.” The competition ends Nov. 21.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 27, 2012 12:44 AM hoapres hoapres  says:
Companies are having trouble finding non existent "purple squirrels" being people with non existent skill sets versus "squirrels" people that are able to do the job. Assuming that a PhD in math puts one in the set of "squirrels" for a "data analyst" job then companies needing a data analyst can simply go out and hire an UNEMPLOYED PhD mathematician. The job market for new PhDs in math is so grim that the NSF started a hopefully temporary program stuffing new PhDs in math teaching at community colleges. Facebook having an arduous hiring process doesn't mean that it can't find "squirrels" but may not be able to find a "purple squirrel". Reply
Feb 6, 2013 5:50 PM lea@ crowdsourcing lea@ crowdsourcing  says:
I am not a Math wizard but this crowdsourcing competition by Facebook seem difficult. I mean, finding node A to B sounds easy but if its about mapping the entire internet? Boy! Goodluck then! But then all is possible. If this will turn out a success Facebook will really be cooking something for their billion users. Reply

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