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trollimA new startup called Trollim wants to help talented programmers stand out from the wannabes who jostle for jobs with them. The site uses a combination of tests and battles with other coders.

Trollim’s website, which was formally debuted at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco today, is built around tests of different programming languages. Each test features a program with a number of bugs. An aspiring warrior hero-coder has to wade in and fix them.

Spotting some bugs will be easy, others will be much harder. Trollim doesn’t just look at how many bugs you fix, but how you find and repair them. At the end of the test, you get a score, which affects your ranking on the site, and which you can also post as a widget on your own website.

This would be a good fit if for companies looking to recruit for an open position. In fact, this sounds similar to testing options at online job marketplaces like oDesk, but there’s more to Trollim than tests. It also provides an environment for coders to challenge other coders in these tests, either one-on-one, or in “rumbles” against multiple programmers. This creates a richer website where coders come back to battle each other, which in turn leads to a richer set of data to determine their rankings.

(VentureBeat writer Paul Boutin, a former software developer, asks: “How do they guarantee the winner isn’t a team of six college students in Bangalore? I guess as long as they show up for work, it doesn’t matter.”)

Click here for more startup news coming out of the TechCrunch50 conference.


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