Cracking the Code: Unveiling Seth Davis’ Winning Strategy at the SourceCon Hackathon

A Deeper Dive into Seth Davis' Winning Strategy at the Spring 2023 SourceCon Hackathon in Dallas, TX.

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Aug 29, 2023

It was the end of Day 1 at Spring SourceCon 2023 in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole. A 360 photo booth greeted the attendees in the ballroom, which served as the location for the SourceCon Hackathon. As people gathered round the tables with their laptops, snacks, and curious minds, our virtual emcee, Mike Chuidian, got everyone pumped up for a thrilling spectacle of skill, strategy, and innovation. Our hosts and masterminds behind the questions for the Spring Hackathon, Susanna Frazier, Erin Mathew, and Ben Solomon, welcomed everyone to the competition.

Imagine the fervor of a fashion showdown, but instead of couture, the stage is set for Boolean strings, LinkedIn expertise, and Google mastery! In the room, we had a couple handfuls of first-timers from the Marine Corps sharing a table with SourceCon speaker Trish Wyderka and others. (There’s no sitting at a table by yourself in this community.) A couple of tables over sat Seth Davis, first-time SourceCon attendee soon-to-be Hackathon winner!

Seth recently shared tips reflecting on his triumphant win. Today, we will dive a little deeper into the sourcing waters and hear again from the champion himself on his approach to tackling the Hackathon questions.

Kicking things off with the first question about the OneTab Chrome Extension.

Q1: I’ve been playing with the OneTab Chrome extension and have a few ideas to enhance their tool.

Seth started with a simple Google search: “OneTab Chrome Extension.” The first results brought him to the Chrome extension store for OneTab and at the bottom right, he found details, clicked on “contact the developer,” and found their email.

A win! As he went through the questions that followed, he had to stay persistent and focused on the prize, a custom cryptex and the winning title.

Let’s fast-forward to question 10.

Q10: What vegetable was this person eating on November 10, 2022?

The link took him to the GitHub page of Eric Holscher, and Eric’s username is ericholscher on GitHub and Twitter. So Seth makes a quick guess and feels like Eric might like that username. He then searches Eric’s username on Google. When he did that, he got quite a few results and Instagram is one of those. Seth thought this would be the platform of choice for someone to post something they are eating, so he scrolls down his public profile feed, to a post from November 10, 2022 where Eric says he is eating Butternut Squash Curry. There goes our answer!

To be a successful talent sourcer, especially in this competition, you have to stay curious. Searching for the purple squirrels of the world takes inquisitive thinking, and that was displayed here by Seth. Let’s take a look at one more example.

Q15: Jan Tegze’s Full Stack Recruiter was recently called “The Best Recruiting Guide Book Out There!” What other book did the reviewer rate 5 out of 5 stars?

Throughout the Hackathon, the leaderboard was displayed live. As we went through each question, you’d see the profiles constantly rotating as another participant advanced forward. The energy was buzzing as talented attendees were laser-focused on getting each question right to take home the prize. For this question, Seth had to start with Jan Tegze‘s book, Full Stack Recruiter.

He started with a Google search. The first result was the review related to the question. It was from a person named Sean Tien. So guess what Seth did next? Yep! He Googled Sean Tien. Seth then found Sean’s LinkedIn page and saw that he worked at a company called Rockstar Games. Additionally, Sean’s profile called out that “GTA IV” is one of his favorite games of all time. Ding! Ding! Ding! Another correct answer.

Perhaps you could be our next SourceCon Hackathon winner at the Fall SourceCon in Minneapolis. To participate in the competition, you have the option to join us in person or digitally. And if you’d like some practice prior to the event, join me and my co-host and most-recent winner, Seth Davis, for the upcoming SourceCon Hackathon Walkthrough on September 7. By attending the webinar, your name will be entered into a drawing. One lucky winner will get a free digital ticket to the conference, which will also feature three-time winner Ben Solomon, who will deliver an impactful general session on how to source like a champ!

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