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Upwork Coding Challenge, Developers are you ready?

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 62

The Upwork Coding Challenge is an official Upwork-sponsored challenge that is aiming to identify and reward the best programmer / developer freelancers. A company called HackerRank is our partner for this event and will be handling the technical side of administering the challenge. The winners get a cash prize. The top scoring group of developers will also be badged on their profile and have greater exposure to the best clients.



This first challenge, powered by HackerRank, will consist of programming problems with increasing levels of difficulty. You can choose to solve the problems using over 20 different programming languages. Here is a sample problem for you to see if this challenge is for you.   If you are a top-scoring developer, you’ll receive a "Top Dev" badge on your profile—boosting your visibility and exposure on Upwork.


Rules of the Challenge

  1. Make sure you have an Upwork account. You'll need one to register for the Challenge and for your results to count.

  2. Register for the Challenge anytime before the Challenge begins (8PM PT (San Francisco time) on June 5, 2015).

  3. Log-in to the Challenge starting at 8PM PT (San Francisco) on June 5.

    We will leave the competition open for 6 hours, but you will only have 3 hours to complete the challenge once you log-in.

  4. Take the challenge individually, not in teams. Our testing platform can pick up on similar/identical code. If we find the same code from the same IP, you'll likely be disqualified. Also, if you copy/paste code it will get flagged by our platform. We understand you may develop solutions on a separate computer, but you're less likely to be disqualified if you code directly on the UI provided through HackerRank. Any case of code plagiarism will result in disqualification from the contest of all users involved.

  5. Take the challenge only once. You only have one shot to take it with your existing Upwork user ID. 

  6. Solve the questions in order! You cannot view all the questions and then go back to solve the first question.

  7. HackerRank admins' decision will be final.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 62

So Upwork gets a lot of free work? I thought this was against the ToS?

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
3 of 62

Hi Nichola,


The coding challenge is a fun event to reward our top performing developers. If you have any questions about our TOS, please let me know.



Ace Contributor
Ray C Member Since: Apr 10, 2009
4 of 62

Any "challenge" is a code word for "free work". oDesk differenciated itself from the competition by not allowing "free work". Now they change the rules for themselve. The height of hypocrisy.

Community Guru
Khadezatul K Member Since: May 1, 2015
5 of 62

great news.................I am happy

Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
6 of 62

Is it just me who sees the dreadful, almost sickening irony in this?

Community Leader
Sadan M Member Since: Sep 3, 2010
7 of 62


         I registered for the challenge and took the sample test. The total alloted time was 45 minutes and had to complete 4 problems but one challenge forced me to code it either in C or Erlang where as my primary skills are Java and Ruby. I completed the other 3 challenge in Ruby language in less than 17 minutes. 


 I have following two questions:


1) How many problems we will have to solve in the actual live challenge in 3 hours ?

2) Are you sure during the challenge we will have the liberty to choose the language of our choice for all the coding implementations  ? 

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
8 of 62

Hi Sadan!


Yes, you can choose the language for each question as you go. There are 3 problems to solve during the challenge. Your answers will be scored depending on the cleanliness of the code and whether it produces the right output for each input. In the event of a tie, we will select the developer who submits the answers the fastest.



Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
9 of 62
Just got an invite. Pity I know nothing about coding.

Thanks though. I guess.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
10 of 62

@Lena E wrote:

aiming to identify and reward the best programmer / developer freelancers


Then let me help you out.  The best developers are the ones who don't bother with these kinds of silly contests.  We don't even like the cheat-tastic testing you require to make a profile 100% complete.  Treat professionals like professionals, please.