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Developers’ Online Competition: Career Builder?

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SAN FRANCISCO — Can competing for a job be fun? Coders might enjoy the challenge of Trollim, a programming skills assessment and comparison platform that launched here Tuesday.

The multi-level, cloud-based system is designed to let programmers of similar skill sets and coding proficiency compete against each other in either one-to-one “battles” or many-to-many “rumbles” of debugging code.

After you’ve registered and logged into Trollim, the system offers some base line tests of coding skills starting with simple bug fixes. Israeli-based Trollim, which unveiled the service here at the TechCrunch50conference, said it currently covers six languages and the battles have a time limit.

“If I want to improve my PHP skills, I can look for battles in that area and add that to my battle list,” explained Trollim’s co-founder and CEO Raz Alon in an onstage demo.

Rising to the challenge

The system rates you in comparison to others that have competed in the same level of challenges. “You can look at where you rate and see how you improved over several battles,” said Alon. During the demo he said “the system is pushing me pieces of code and improving my skills.”

In addition to the public service, Trollim said it plans to license the platform to enterprises for internal use. Companies could use the platform to help programmers sharpen their skills and highlight their achievements as new positions open up.

Companies and recruiting firms can also sponsor battles and rumbles highlighted with an icon to indicate the event is part of a screen processing for a job opening.

Trollim said it has a patent pending on its proprietary algorithms which are designed to evaluate multiple coding languages, skills and the competitive performance of the participants.

A panel of tech industry judges were impressed.

Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product management at Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), wanted to know if any “productive work” could be part of a battle.

Alon said the corporate edition lets IT submit bugs as part of a challenge.

Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg, said he liked the service a lot and suggested an online badge of Trollim accomplishment would be a good thing to add to job sites like Elance.

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