Two important pieces of news have sparked a lot of debate and emotion among CodinGamers lately: the chat is gone, and Thibaud is leaving the company.
I know you’re worried about the future of the community, that we’ll lose everything CodinGame was special for. Those concerns are understandable given recent news: I would like to address them with full transparency, and make sure you know we remain fully committed to making this platform thrive as a collective and not as a commercial product.
Let me start with a bit of history: the original business model of CodinGame was to have companies pay in order to have their name on puzzles and challenges. However, this model was not sustainable and the company nearly went bankrupt.
We then tried our hand at becoming a team-building agency, with one-off events for companies. This wasn’t scalable either, but it allowed some great features to emerge such as AI contests or Coding Escape.
In the meantime, we’ve decided to focus on one of our old products: CodinGame for Work. After many years working on gamification and assessment for developer skills, this turned out to be a successful product used by more than a thousand companies across the world. In 2018, CodinGame finally reached profitability, and last year we joined forces with CoderPad to become a leader on tech hiring. 99% of our revenue now comes from skill assessment with automated technical tests on CodinGame for Work: as you probably have noticed, sponsored challenges are progressively disappearing and all Coding Escape rooms are now free to play for everyone.
Then why are we keeping this platform alive?
It’s a matter of personal convictions. Everyone at CodinGame is extremely attached to this platform: either they were here from the start and are the ones who built it, or they joined the company because they fell in love with the concept. And I’m actually a bit of both! I was one of the first 100 users on the platform in 2012, and got hired by CodinGame after winning the first two challenges (no credits, we were only 100+ participants ). I also built the AI contests, designed clash of code, and created Coding Escape. I truly believe all these games are unique and so fun to play - but still underrated and not highlighted enough. We have gold in our hands, and just need to focus more on how to make CodinGame.com even better.
Now, for the future of the community. It’s true that we progressively shifted our focus away from CodinGame to build our interview product in the last few years, ultimately ending up with Thibaud practically alone in a role where we used to have an entire team dedicated to adding features and content to the website. Engineers and product were barely spending any time on it. This is going to change soon.
As I’m writing these lines, we are actively looking for a successor to Thibaud who’s leaving the company. Trust me, it won’t be easy to find someone as amazing in the many areas he is currently handling. We’re actually replacing his Community Manager role with a more appropriate Senior Product Manager opening, with 100% of time dedicated to CodinGame.com improvements. From now on, there will be a whole part of the team (product, engineers and design) dedicated to evolve the platform rather than a single person to maintain it.
While we’re waiting for Thibaud’s replacement, @MathisHammel will take care of the forum, and I’ll keep an eye on Discord to make sure your voices remain heard with the help of our amazing moderators.
We also announced recently the discontinuation of the integrated chat, which had become hard to maintain and moderate, in favor of Discord.
After listening to your concerns and constructive feedback about this, we realized our choice could be improved. Having a place for live discussion directly on the platform is not only important for the core members, but also for the culture of sharing and personal improvement that has always been a part of this community. We are currently exploring alternate options, such as an integration of Discord where the chat used to be. We will keep you updated and any of your feedback is welcome.
If you have any questions regarding the future of CodinGame, please ask them below and I’ll answer them on behalf of the team.
And in other news: Fall Challenge 2022 is happening, and it will be an AI contest! We’ll share more details in the upcoming weeks