Why 5 Delaware corporations backed a coding competition together - Technical.ly Delaware

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Dec. 19, 2016 10:31 am

Why 5 Delaware corporations backed a coding competition together

“We’re all looking to improve our ability to attract the highest caliber of technology talent.”

2016 {OpenBracket contestants at World Cafe Live at The Queen.

(Photo by Rana Fayez)

Last month, 100 technologists made their way into downtown Wilmington to participate in the first ever {OpenBracket competition. The event spanned a couple of locations across downtown, including The Grand Opera House and World Cafe Live at the Queen. Contestants had 48 hours to code and plan, with the finalist presentations taking place on Sunday.

This coding competition attracted nearly 3,000 applicants from around the world. There were only two criteria to fill: be over 18 years of age and have permission to work in the United States.

Five Delaware corporations — Chatham Financial, JPMorgan Chase, Barclaycard US, Capital One and Christiana Care — came together to support the largest coding competition in Delaware, doling out $50,000 in cash prizes. It was the first of its kind in the state, attracting tech talent from across the world to Delaware.

Why the collaboration? Well, as JPMorgan Chase technology recruiting site lead Terrance Bowman put it, “Because it’s good for the overall tech ecosystem here in Delaware. The more we collaborate on important initiatives like this, the better served we all are. We’re all looking to improve our ability to attract the highest caliber of technology talent.”

According to Bowman, Chase made offers to about three contestants. Pooling in candidates into the state is important, especially since Delaware has faced challenges in attracting and retaining young talent in the past.

Barclaycard Tech, the technology arm of Barclaycard US, conducted a round of interviews as well.

“We have a robust pool of candidates that are currently interviewing for a variety of positions with our organization,” said Barclaycard Tech’s vice president of technology strategy and planning Corynn Ciber.

There is value in collaboration as ten leaders within the startup community showed us at a recent Technically Delaware stakeholder meeting, which is why these banks partnered with those who are ostensibly their competitors.

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“By working together to provide people with the digital skills they need to grow and prosper, we can prepare them for the digital age and give them opportunities to obtain the digital skills they need to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Capital One customer experience lead Pete Hayman.

There are already plans in place for hosting another {OpenBracket.

“This event had such a wide reach in this first year and we are really looking forward to where the {OpenBracket team will take next year’s event,” said Chatham Financial’s director of engineering Tim Savery.

As ideas were generated to solve problems, winners were selected from across the nation for their projects and new friends were made.

The projects that were not selected for cash prizes now have tangible project ideas to pursue in the future.

“In many respects, ideas have a negative value and it takes a lot of courage to go ahead and implement them,” said investor and {OpenBracket president Ben duPont.

Will you be competing next year? We’d love to hear your ideas.

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