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Engineers looking to skip to the front of recruiting line and land a job at Facebook have a new, unconventional way to get noticed. All they have to do is successfully map the entire Internet.

Facebook today launched a month-long engineering recruiting challenge on competition site Kaggle. In search of data-savvy software engineers, the social-network giant is tasking would-be candidates to solve a puzzle of sorts that asks them to determine the most optimal path from node A to B (it’s not as easy as it sounds). The grand prize is a chance to work for Facebook engineering.

Above: An example visualization of Internet topology (round-trip times).

Image Credit: Young Hyun

Kaggle is a young, handsomely funded San Francisco-based company that hosts data science competitions for clients of all kinds. Facebook seems particularly taken by the platform and the opportunity to vet candidates’ talent in different ways. The social network hosted a Kaggle competition for data scientists over the summer and hired participant John Costella as a result. Costella started a few weeks ago and is currently going through Facebook “boot camp.”

This time around, Facebook is looking to fill positions at its Menlo Park, Calif., Seattle, New York, and London offices. Its looking for engineers with “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.

“Something like this is a new take on finding talent that’s in line with our culture,” a Facebook spokesperson, citing the company’s predilection for hackathons and coding competitions, told VentureBeat.

Facebook’s latest engineering competition started earlier this morning on Kaggle and ends Nov. 21.

Photo credit: Matt Harnack/Facebook

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